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Musical Fruit--Reprise

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Baked Beans have got to be one of the most delicious, and easy, make-ahead dinners you can throw together (surpassed only by All-Day Beef Stew in my menu planner). You can use them as a main dish, and throw some foil-wrapped red potatoes in the oven about 1 1/2-2 hours before mealtime for an almost effortless meal. Or, they make a great side dish to beef, game or turkey sausage. Serve with some fresh or lacto-fermented vegetables (such as Ginger Carrots--sorry, haven't posted the recipe yet), and you've got a meal that busy moms dream about.

I took this recipe almost directly from Nourishing Traditions, except I double the amount of maple syrup, as my affinity for Heinz Baked Beans (the Canadian version) has made my palate crave the extra sweetness in this dish. (Still not much sugar, on the whole.) Also, I use apple cider vinegar, because it has so many health benefits.

This makes a large batch. I usually freeze the leftovers in 2-3 cup containers, then pull them out for side dishes, chili additions, or sandwich toppers. Yes, sandwich toppers. (One of my favourite sandwiches is mayo and baked beans on sprouted-grain toast.)

The advantage of the long, slow cooking time is that it makes this a meal you can throw together in about 15 minutes in the morning! (With a little fore-thought to start your beans soaking the previous day.) And! It's economical. Beans are cheap like Borscht.

Baked Beans
Serves 6-8--about 3 times! :-)

4 cups small white beans (such as navy beans)
warm filtered water
2 tbsp. whey or lemon juice
2 medium onions
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 small can tomato paste
3 tbsp. naturally fermented soy sauce (Kikkomen makes some of this)
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. molasses (blackstrap molasses is best)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp. sea salt
pinch red chili flakes

  1. Cover beans with warm water in a glass bowl (or something NOT plastic). Stir in whey or lemon juice and leave in a warm place for 24 hours.
  2. In a flameproof casserole, sauté onion in butter and oil. Drain beans, rinse and add to casserole, with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and skim.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, cover and bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 6 hours. (Can be longer--make sure you have plenty of liquid. I find that these can dry out about half-way through the day if you aren't careful. If you are going to be home while they are baking, you can simply keep checking the liquid levels throughout the day.

Diabetes Caused By Consuming Refined Foods
In the side-bar on this page (497) of the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, it has an interesting little excerpt from The Kellogg Report by Joseph D. Beasley, MD and Jerry J. Swift, MA.

In The Saccharine Disease (1975), Cleave lays the blame for prevalence of diabetes on the door-step of refined carbohydrates. He acknowledges the genetic basis of the disorder but "rejects unequivocally" the assumption that this is a "defect."

"The hereditary features of the disease...do no more than reflect the inheritance of personal build, including that of the pancreas itself, rendering the persons concerned more vulnerable to the new environmental factor.... These features in no sense indicate hereditary defect... the body is not wrongly built but is being used wrongly."

The more pronounced the genetic predisposition, according to Cleave, the earlier the onset of the disease, provided the triggering event occurs. In industrialized society, the triggering event appears to be the overload of sugar, white flour products, white rice and processed fruits and vegetables.

"The consumption of refined carbohydrates... imposes unnatural strains upon the pancreas, either through overconsumption, or...rapidity of consumption and absorption, or... both."

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