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How to Make Healthy Baked Beans

Though there's no baking involved, this recipe churns out a flavorful and nutrient-dense pot of beans that provides the same mouth-feel as traditional baked beans. All you need are some navy beans, tomatoes, and a few other select ingredients.

Navy beans are one of nature's best sources of healthy protein and folate. They're also rich in a number of minerals, including iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese. - Ben Kim


Here's how to make your own healthy baked beans:



1 cup dried navy beans, soaked for at least six hours
1 yellow onion, finely diced
14 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1.5 tablespoons honey, maple syrup, or apple juice concentrate
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
6 cups vegetable broth (or water if broth is unavailable)
Extra-virgin olive oil


1. Thoroughly rinse and drain soaked beans.


2. In a heavy saucepan, cook the onions, garlic, and basil in olive oil over low to medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.




3. Add the navy beans and all other ingredients, save the tomatoes. Place lid on saucepan, but leave it open just a crack to allow steam to escape, and cook over low to medium heat for about an hour.




4. Add tomatoes and cook for another 3 hours over low to medium heat. As the ingredients cook, check the saucepan from time to time to make sure that everything is well covered with liquid.


5. When mixture has thickened, it's ready to be served.


Enjoy this traditional dish of baked beans with some lightly cooked eggs and whole grain toast for a hearty, protein-rich meal.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here:

Healthy Baked Beans Recipe


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Your recipe looks wonderful, will be trying very shortly.....I too, have a quick, easy and of course healthy bean recipe I make often..Clean, rinse and ..Soak beans overnight in crock pot...add some carrots cut up small and about 1 TBLS of rosemary...cook for most of the day. Enjoy....

Many thanks Dr. Kim for your continuous efforts for healing!
Keep up the good work!

The same ingredients can be cooked in a pressure cooker in less than half an hour.
We use one, where hardly any steam escapes - so more vitamins etc. are likely to remain in the food.

In many cultures beans are cooked with (winter- or summer-) savory instead of basil.

One might also consider not to add any sweetening - though it might taste more like a vegetarian chili (where chili peppers and cumin are used instead of the basil), but who would care?

In most non-anglo cultures sweeteners are used almost exclusively in sweets and desserts anyway, which certainly makes more sense to me - not just as healthier nutrition.
It's a matter of custom. As I grew up without added sweetening in savory dishes, I find sweetened beans etc., even ketchup, distasteful.

One might also consider the interesting note at
"... Corn, squash, and beans are known as the "Three Sisters" of Native American agriculture. They were cultivated together, and complement each other as foods..."