Homemade Baked Beans

Baked beans is one of my favorite dishes. It always reminds me of my Grandma Ruth, who passed away last year. She made the best baked beans. This recipe is as close to hers as I could get.

If you're on the GAPS Diet, this is such a comforting, delicious dish. I love to eat baked beans as a side dish with Sloppy Joes, burgers (without a bun,) or sugar-free grass-fed hot dogs or sausages. It's great on a cold autumn or winter night, or you can bring it to summertime picnics and barbecues.

I've cooked the beans in chicken stock for extra nourishment and flavor, and added a ham hock for more protein.

Homemade Baked Beans
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Homemade Baked Beans

  • Author: Ann Marie Michaels

Ingredients

  • Navy or Great Northern beans, dried, organic if possible (1 lb)
  • Ham hock, ideally pastured (1) or use salt pork (1/2 pound) or bacon made without sugar and added nitrates (1 lb)
  • Onion, white or yellow, large (1)
  • Garlic cloves (2)
  • Water, filtered
  • Chicken stock, homemade from pastured chickens (10 cups + more as needed)
  • Bay leaves (2)
  • Honey (up to 1/4 cup)
  • Date sugar (up to 1/2 cup)
  • Ketchup, homemade — or store-bought ketchup sweetened with fruit juice (1 cup)
  • Mustard, yellow, organic (1 TBS)
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper, freshly ground

Instructions

1. First thing in the morning, put the beans in the crock pot. Pick out any stones. If you don't have a crock pot, use a stock pot or Dutch oven.
2. Cover with filtered water (about an inch or two higher than the beans).
3. Set the crock pot on warm for a couple of hours, then turn off the heat. Let sit for 24 hours. (If using a stock pot, turn on the heat and just bring the water up to warm. Then remove from heat, cover and let sit for 24 hours).
4. The next morning, drain the beans in a colander and rinse well.
5. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Dice the bacon and add it to the pot. Fry the bacon until crispy, about 4 to 6 minutes.
6. Peel and dice the onions, adding to the pot. Cook until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
7. Peel and mince the garlic. Add the garlic and the beans to the pot and cook for 1 minute.
8. Increase the heat, stir in the chicken stock and bay leaves, and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook the beans for about 2 hours, or until tender, stirring occasionally.
9. Add in the honey and or date sugar, ketchup, and mustard. Continue to cook for another 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and flavors have come together.
10. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Notes

If you want to use just honey, you can substitute honey instead of date sugar (or vice versa). Use as little honey or date sugar as you can get away with.

If you don't have homemade ketchup or can't find fruit-sweetened ketchup, you can use tomato paste.

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Equipment Needed for This Recipe

Crock pot, stock pot or Dutch oven

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Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

22 thoughts on “Homemade Baked Beans

  1. This sounds yummy! It reminds me, I recently made some homemade baked beans with beans that I had sprouted. My life had gotten a little busy, and I let the beans sprout an extra day, and we never could eat those baked beans, because it tasted as though the beans would never cook, or, soften, I guess. I cooked them for several days in a crock pot, and they were still kind of crunchy. Was that because I “over-sprouted” them?

    1. I’m interested to hear that too. If I soak lentils or split peas more than about 12 hours, I find that they just don’t cook properly and stay crunchy, even though I cook them for hours! Beans seem to always go soft, even when I soak them for more than 24 hours.
      I hadn’t thought of sprouting beans first – how do they cook up? Is the taste any different (I have little ones that might object to a variation in their beans!).
      Thanks.

  2. This looks very good.

    Do you prefer Great Northern over Navy or does it make little difference?

    Would uncured bacon work well?

    And in the list of ingredients, you show both honey and date sugar. Do you use both, or pick just one?

    Thanks!

    1. @Barry Great Northern and Navy beans are very similar — you can use either one (they’re both legal on GAPS).

      Yes uncured bacon or even salt pork will work.

      You can use honey and date sugar OR either one. If you are not on the GAPS diet, you can also use part molasses and sucanat (which is what I usually use when not doing GAPS).

      1. Hi, new to this site and just started GAPS diet but just can’t find that Great Northern beans really are OK on the diet. I see only Navy Beans on the GAP list. Anywhere I can find it? Thanks!

  3. Great recipe. Here in the UK baked beans are so popular that there is an entire supermarket aisle dedicated to them. I’m not a big baked bean fan, but my husband is an Englishman and liking baked beans seems to be a requirement. I’ll have to try the recipe.

  4. I know this is an old recipe, but I made these tonight & there was WAY too much chicken broth. I basically made soup. :/ I would reccomend only using enough chicken broth to cover the beans, not 10 cups.

    Hopefully after simmering all night they will have absorbed more stock & thicken up! 🙂

  5. I made these several times six or so years ago when my oldest was in first grade. We did GAPS to eliminate his Tourette’s symptoms and this recipe was life changing for us. We added nitrate free hot dogs to make it a meal. Today we begin the journey again with our younger kids and I successfully used my instant pot to cut the time down. Still such a delicious recipe. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Alison! I was wondering if you were able to cure your son's tourette's? Two of mine have TS. At 8-9 years old GAPS seemed to work for my oldest (the second son had yet to show TS) but after one small mess up with fried chicken he reverted and though we've tried GAPS and keto since neither have offered the results we once saw. Clean eating definitely helps them, though. Thanks for your response. 🙂

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