When I was a kid, every summer for as long as I can remember, my family would take a two week-long trip to visit my great aunt and uncle in Northern Ontario. It was during these trips that my whole family would reconnect and share stories over amazing home-cooked food. My great aunt was not only an incredible cook, but she had an organic garden that makes Michelle Obama's White House organic garden pale in comparison. It was bursting with goodness including beans, lettuce, tomatoes and raspberries and this just barely scratches the surface of what she had growing. She didn't use any fertilizers or pesticides and it was some kind of magic that made her garden so rich with life.
My great aunt would make these baked beans every summer and if we were lucky, she would give us a care package to take home. My mom has carried on this tradition and at every holiday and McCarthy family gathering, she makes these AMAZING baked beans. And yes, they taste just as good as my great aunt!
Beans are very versatile, because you can add them to wraps, have them as a side dish, or make them the main course. They are comforting if you warm them up, which is ideal now that the weather is starting to turn cool.
Navy beans are the bean variety in this recipe. Not only are these beans incredibly delicious and satisfying, they are good for our hearts and have cholesterol lowering benefits. They are also a great source of protein, folate, magnesium, manganese, iron, vitamin B1 and a very high amount of fiber.
An excellent source of folate and magnesium.
Folate helps lower levels of homocysteine. Elevated blood levels of homocysteine are an independent risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
Magnesium improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body as it relaxes the veins and arteries.
Studies show that a deficiency of magnesium following a heart attack, promotes free radical injury to the heart.
A fibre superstar! A cup of cooked navy beans provides nearly 50 percent of the daily recommended intake for fibre, wow!
Soluble fibre becomes very gelatinous in the digestive tract and combines with bile and carries cholesterol through the intestines and out the door (if you know what I mean!)
Fibre is incredible for overall health and elimination of toxins
Baked Beans - McCarthy Style (Crock-Pot recipe)
2lbs organic navy beans
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup sucanat sugar or agave nectar (more if you want a sweeter taste, but it will increase the calories and glycemic index)
3/4 cup organic blackstrap molasses (amazing source of iron)
1/2 can low salt tomato paste (another source of iron)
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
Optional: 10 slices of organic bacon broken into small pieces. You can get bacon from Beretta Farms in Ontario directly from their website or buy from your local health food store.
Soak the beans overnight (at least 12 hours) to increase the digestibility and begin the softening process.
Place the beans in the Crock-Pot and cover with fresh filtered water. Put the lid on and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours or until beans are tender when you poke them with a fork. Keep in mind the time may vary depending on your Crock-Pot.
Drain off most of the excess liquid from the beans after four hours, except for about 1 cup. Mix all the remaining ingredients into the Crock-Pot (except for the bacon) and cook for another 1-2 hours.
These beans are delicious warm or cold.