From Lorianne: Tennessee was just named one of America's unhealthiest states. Yikes! This shouldn't be. We have a bounty of fresh, homegrown vegetables and fruits... but we also have yummy comfort foods that are not so good for our health. Try Lorianne's favorite Baked Beans recipe that doesn't have a stitch of bacon or fat, yet the flavor is awesome! Feel free to experiment by adding other favorite baked bean ingredients such as a touch of brown sugar, prepared yellow mustard for added zing, chopped tomatoes, or a splash of bourbon!
2 1/2 cups canned Great Northern beans (if you prefer, you can soak 1 1/4 cups dried beans overnight)
1 large onion, diced into small pieces
2 Tablespoons molasses (you can substitute real maple syrup)
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1. If you are using dried beans, drain the soaking water and return beans to pot. Add 3 cups fresh water, bring to a boil, then simmer on low until the beans are tender, about two hours or more. Before draining, reserve about 3/4 cup of the liquid.
2. If you are using canned beans, drain them, reserving the liquid. Be sure to rinse the beans to remove excess salt.
3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
4. Combine all the ingredients, including the reserved bean liquid, in a baking dish (preferably with a lid). Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for an additional 30 minutes until the baked beans are bubbling.