Baked beans have always been my favorite. Dinner in Howard Johnson’s was a childhood treat. My favorite meal (which I got every time) was a small crock pot of Boston Baked Beans. The smokey aroma and the sweet/salty tanginess of the beans bursting with flavor in my mouth was delicious. Ahhh… childhood memories. Well, the apple(s) does/do not fall far from the tree. Both of my kids absolutely love baked beans! Lucky for them I have come up with a recipe that is both healthy and home-made. The ingredients are simple and the technique, easy. Give them a try!

– 1 onion, chopped
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 2-3 Tbsp. olive or grape-seed oil
– 2 cans of beans, drained and rinsed (navy, white, pinto, kidney, or black-eye) or you can get 2 cups of your favorite beans cooked from scratch
– 1 cup of pumpkin butter or apple butter
– 1/2 cup of molasses
– 1/2 cup of kidney beans mashed (or half a can of refried beans)
– 1 carrot finely diced
– 1 small tomato, chopped
– Water as needed

– Heat oil, salt, onions and carrot in a medium saucepan till browned and soft.
– Add pumpkin butter, molasses, tomato and stir till well mixed.
– Cover and let simmer for a few minutes.
– Add beans and mashed beans to the pot and stir to combine.
– Cover and let simmer, adding some water to thin if necessary, for 5 to 10 minutes.
– Adjust for seasonings and serve.

Enjoy with rice, over toast or in a wrap. The kids love these beans and always ask for seconds. The flavors marinate better with age, so leftovers become even more delicious. Try it!!