Sweet, smoky and comforting, these Apple Cider Baked Beans are the perfect dish to set up in your crock pot or slow cooker to simmer all day. The slow cooking provides ample time for these beans to become rich and delicious with flavours of sweet apple cider and smoky paprika and rich depth from molasses and mustard.
My favourite recipe for Baked Beans was originally from the Fanny Farmer Cookbook, Boston Baked Beans, and that recipe was the inspiration for this recipe. Simple, cheap and easy with only a few ingredients, it became a family favourite for years served up with Molasses Brown Bread reflecting our partial familial Eastern Canada influence. I’ve changed it up at times just to add variety to the flavours and this is our favourite variation. The apple cider adds such a beautiful flavour and really makes the dish special.
This dish could not be easier to throw together. Once the beans are soaked, simply add everything else and set up the slow cooker to work its magic. Baked beans are terrific comfort food for cooler days but also for hot days when you don’t want to turn the oven on. Baked Beans are the perfect family meal, potluck contribution or picnic addition. It is an easy make ahead dish and freezes well. We like to take them frozen for camping, where they are quick to heat up and taste so deliciously satisfying after a day spent exploring the great outdoors.
This month with The Recipe Redux, it is all about fast or slow cooking while keeping the kitchen cool. “Beat the Heat with the Slow Cooker/Instapot/Pressure Cooker”. I’m looking forward to checking out all the recipes! What appliances do you use to make your meals while keeping the kitchen cool?
Apple Cider Baked Beans
2 cups dried white beans or pinto beans
3 – 4 cups apple cider*
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup fancy molasses
2 tablespoons oil
Soak beans in 8 cups water overnight. Drain, rinse and put in slow cooker or crock pot. Add spices, apple cider, molasses and oil. Stir well to mix the molasses with apple cider. Put on low for 6-8 hours. Test if they are done by trying a bean, they should be tender and creamy inside. Add salt starting with a 1/4 teaspoon and adjust as needed.
*Alternatively, use part apple cider and part water to reduce the sugar in the dish.
Serve with bread or baked potatoes and salad to make a complete meal. This recipe is vegan.
Check out all the other recipes to “Beat the Heat” here:
Aquafaba (chickpea or bean water) is something most of us have and would typically throw away. It is an amazing substance that can be a very useful and versatile ingredient that will have you eating more chickpeas and beans just to get and use the water! I’ve been fascinated with aquafaba ever since I heard of it being whipped into white fluffy stuff and was excited to learn more about it and to review Aquafabulous! – 100+ Egg-Free Vegan Recipes Using Aquafaba by fellow Vancouverite Rebecca Coleman.
When the book arrived, I noticed how pretty it is and just love the colour and the cover picture – what a gorgeous Baked Alaska – and the beautiful pink Macarons on the back. The title is, well, just so perfect to describe this “magical bean water”. It was interesting to read how Rebecca Coleman came to write this book and like many of us who try using aquafaba for the first time – we go from extremely doubtful to completely astounded!
Aquafabulous is a comprehensive guide to using aquafaba and shows how to use it to emulsify, bind, or thicken. It includes valuable information on how to make it yourself from dried beans/peas, how to store it, and answers many questions that will come up when you start to use it. From the contents alone I quickly realized how incredibly versatile it is. Aquafaba is a substitute for eggs and the book includes recipes that seem impossible to make without eggs (Scrambled “Eggs”, Frittata, French Toast, Omelet). The book includes over 100 recipes for breakfast, snacks, appetizers, salad dressing, mains, baking and sweet treats.
I chose several recipes to try. First I made my own aquafaba, aptly the first recipe in the book. We use a lot of pulses so I typically buy them dry and cook them myself. Following the directions I easily made my own aquafaba.
The next recipe I tried was Marshmallow Fluff. Noted in the book homemade aquafaba does not seem to whip as well as canned aquafaba and unfortunately my Marshmallow Fluff made with my own aquafaba was not particularly fluffy and separated before long. It may have been helpful to include which recipes required canned aquafaba and which ones can be used with home made aquafaba although basic guidelines are given. However, the taste was wonderful (absolutely no bean flavour) and with the addition of the vanilla bean seeds (a variation in the book) it was delicious. It was so good I will definitely try it again using canned aquafaba. I was interested in the recipe as a possible lower calorie frosting, whipped topping for fruit or dessert than a comparable product like jarred marshmallow fluff, whipped cream or whipped coconut cream.
The next recipe I tried was the Roasted Garlic Mayo. In a word – AMAZING! It was creamy, rich, and full of flavour. It was so easy to make and my only regret was not doubling the recipe. I can’t wait to try the other mayo recipes in the book. When I added it to the Chickpea “Chicken” Salad Sandwiches (also in the book), it was divine.
Nutritionally, aquafaba is very low in calories and does not offer a source of any particular nutrient The reason it whips and works the way it does remains a mystery but regardless, it is a very useful ingredient. It has particular benefits for those who need or wish to avoid or reduce eggs. Replacing eggs with aquafaba may be helpful for those wanting to reduce saturated fat, cholesterol and calories.
There are many more recipes I would love to try from Aquafabulous, including this recipe for Roasted Carrot Dip.
Roasted Carrot Dip (reprinted with permission)
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 tsp toasted cumin seeds
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp canned and cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1⁄4 cup aquafaba
1 tbsp tahini
1 1⁄2 tsp seasoned rice vinegar
Tortilla chips, pita chips or crackers
Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by lining it with foil.
1.In a medium bowl, combine carrots, garlic, 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil, 1 tbsp (15 mL) cumin seeds and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well to coat.
2.Spread carrots in a single layer on prepared baking sheet and bake in preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until crispy around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
3.In food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine roasted carrots and garlic, chickpeas, aquafaba, 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil, tahini and rice vinegar. Process until smooth, stopping the motor to scrape down sides of work bowl, as necessary. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if desired.
4.Transfer to a bowl. Garnish with 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Serve warm with tortilla or pita chips or crackers.
Aquafabulous is a very unique book that has wonderful ideas. Thanks to Robert Rose for sending me a copy to review. All opinions are my own.
We got a coupon in the mail for a FREE sour cherry Slurpee® and as much as my kids want to go and use it, I keep strategically forgetting. I was shocked to learn that one 355 ml serving of this Slurpee has 46 grams of sugar, almost 12 teaspoons. I’m also not crazy about the ingredient list: glucose/fructose and/or sugar, water, citric acid, natural and artificial flavour, colour, sodium benzoate, and acadian gum. So the question is – do we want a free Slurpee? Maybe I can come up with a suitable substitute. Something refreshing, tangy, cold, with less sugar and lots of ice, that freezes your brain. Ok, maybe not that last part, but you know what I mean, something that would substitute for that summer ritual, the Slurpee. That coupon inspired me to experiment!
As much as I would like to not ever use that coupon, I believe that my kids need to make the choice. They are getting older and more independent and will soon be making many more of their own choices. If I restrict things, it makes them want it more. I want and hope to provide them with education and curiosity about the choices they make, to wonder how things are made and with what ingredients. Yes, I want them to be concerned about nutrition and make healthy choices most of the time, but also to find a balance that works for them, and if they really want to occasionally try something like a Slurpee, that is ok too.
Refreshing and cool, this tangy, tart Rhubarb Orange Slushie is a great hot weather beverage that both adults and kids will line up for. Rhubarb and orange flavours are very complimentary and the honey adds just enough sweetness. To preserve some of the pucker from the rhubard, which I enjoy, I used only a little honey but adjust it based on your taste. These are so easy to make and there is no end to experimenting with different fruit combinations. Homemade slushies are delicious and colourful concoctions to add to your parties and celebrations.
It’s all about sipping this month at The Recipe Redux and I can’t wait to check out all the healthy cocktails and mocktails from the other members. See the link at the bottom of this post for ideas to try!
Rhubarb Orange Slushie
2 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
2 small oranges (I used mandarin oranges)
12 ice cubes
Directions: Add rhubarb and water to medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until rhubarb is soft and tender. Add honey, taste for sweetness and adjust if necessary. Let cool.
Add oranges and cooled rhubarb to blender and process until smooth. Add 12 ice cubes and process until ice is slushy. Serve immediately.
Each serving has approximately 65 calories, 12 grams of sugar.
This recipe started out as a dip. It was so popular and well liked it turned into a main mix for a few different Mexican style dishes. It has evolved a little over the years, but always starts with the same foundation. It is a very versatile mix that can go a lot of different ways depending on what you have on hand, what ingredients are in season or what your preferences are. We use it for tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and as an ever popular dip for parties and potlucks. This recipe definitely has increased our use of black beans.
Black beans and all legumes are nutrition powerhouses. They are a good source or protein, iron, and other nutrients and a very good source of fibre and folate. In addition black beans (along with other pulses) provide exceptional support for blood sugar balance and blood sugar regulation due to their protein plus fibre combination. Although all beans and lentils are very healthy, there are unique properties to black beans. Current research is showing they may have particular benefits in preventing colon cancer as they support a very helpful bacteria in the lower colon. Here are a couple more recipes using black beans. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies (with black beans) and Roasted Corn, Black Bean and Ancient Grains Salad.
If you need taco inspiration, you have come to the right place. This month Recipe Redux challenge is to make a taco that is healthy and creative. Look for the link at the bottom of the post to take you to all the wonderful ideas from the members of The Recipe Redux team. You can probably make a different recipe for Taco Tuesday for at least a year! I’m looking forward to checking them out.
This recipe is very easy, quick, healthy, and creative. It takes only about 15 minutes to prepare. It doubles well to make extra to freeze for another day. Simply defrost in the fridge, reheat and serve. For another easy pulse based taco filling see my very popular recipe for Lentil Tacos.
Black Bean, Corn and Red Pepper Tacos
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp chipotle powder or 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 cup strained pureed tomatoes
1 3/4 cup cooked (or canned) black beans
1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Toppings such as chopped avocado, grated cheese (or vegan cheese), chopped tomato, lettuce, salsa, lime wedges
Directions: Add olive oil to medium saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add spices and heat until they are fragrant (a few more minutes). Add tomato, black beans and corn. Cook until filling is heated through (about 10 minutes). Top with freshly chopped cilantro and serve.
While taco filling is cooking prepare taco shells. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place taco shells on cookie sheet and heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.
Being an active family that loves the outdoors, I am pretty excited to be going to the show and also super excited that I can offer you a chance to win a family pass! I have 2 family passes to give away!! Enter by leaving a comment on the bottom of this post.
What I love about this show is the chance to get a ton of information in one place. As a family we haven’t been camping that long and this is a chance to check out all kinds of gear. Besides the gear, I am looking forward to learning about destinations to fill us with ideas for future adventures and get us excited about planning that next trip.
This is a place to bring the whole family. From our research so far, my son is looking forward to checking out the Whitewater pool and my daughter will be hanging out at Junior Outdoor Adventures. Myself, I’ve got my eye on Leo’s Camera Photography Workshops and my husband will be checking out the bikes at the Bike Show and Adventures in Cycling. There is something for everyone and I think it will be hard to take it all in.
I remember making truffles years ago, but only once or maybe twice a year because they were so rich. Traditional truffles are made with butter or cream to make them so smooth and creamy, with the incredible texture that only truffles have. If you love truffles, this recipe is going to change your life.
Avocado, which is today’s butter, oil, cream, cream cheese, and mayo substitute, couldn’t be more popular. Avocado is used to replace fat in all kinds of recipes from brownies, pudding and cheesecake to the ever popular avocado toast. When combined with dark chocolate in these truffles, it makes a rich, decadent, heavenly dessert that is delicious yet healthy too.
Avocado and dark chocolate are very heart healthy foods. Avocado is made up mostly of fat, but predominantly heart healthy monounsaturated fat, which can help reduce cholesterol. It is also high in antioxidants and is nutrient rich. Flavonoids and phytonutrients in dark chocolate have anti-inflammatory, anti-clogging, and antioxidant properties all of which benefit the heart. Much of the fat in chocolate (cocoa butter) is heart healthy as well. When choosing chocolate, try to find one with seventy percent cocoa or more. Making truffles with dark chocolate and avocado for your sweetheart is a wonderful way to express your love but also protect their heart.
Dark Chocolate Seville Orange Truffles
1/2 cup hazelnuts
140 grams dark chocolate
1/2 ripe avocado (70 grams)
6 tablespoons Seville Orange Marmalade
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pre heat oven to 300 degrees. Place hazelnuts on an oven tray and roast for about 10 to 15 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from oven and with oven mitts, rub hazelnuts together to remove skins. Let cool.
While nuts are roasting, place 1/2 avocado in food processor and pulse. Add marmalade, salt, vanilla and process until smooth. While this is working slowly melt chocolate in a medium size heat proof bowl and let cool slightly. Slowly add avocado mixture to warm chocolate and stir to combine. Let cool and if mixture is too runny to make balls, refrigerate or freeze to firm up.
Pulse hazelnuts until fine or until desired texture for rolling truffles in. Place in shallow bowl or plate. Spoon truffle mixture onto nuts and roll until coated. Store in the refrigerator.
Isn’t it amazing how fast the year has gone? It is time for the December Recipe Redux! This month we’re playing a little party game. We were instructed to reach for the nearest cookbook and redux the recipe on page 201, 16, 216 – or any combination of the number ‘2016.’ So fun! For this The Recipe Redux I chose “The Art of Simple Food” by Alice Waters. On page 216 I found the recipe, Roasted Almonds with Herbs. It is in the delightful chapter, A Little Something…., which is filled with terrific small meals, snacks, or appetizers. The ideas are simple and quick, easy and nutritious and perfect for entertaining and even gifting.
From warm olives to eggplant caviar there were some great reminders of simple dishes I love and also some that I need to make ASAP such as marinated chard and fresh pickled vegetables. Although I have made spiced nuts many times before, I particularly liked the method in this recipe. In this recipe the salt is dissolved into the liquid and really enhances the flavour. The herbs are added and then the almonds are roasted for 15-20 minutes. Quick and simple!
It is very easy to adjust the flavours to your liking. The original recipe uses thyme and winter savoury but you can add anything you like. I particularly like rosemary with lemon, orange or grapefruit. Spices work well too like curry, cumin, smoked paprika, chili, cocoa or maple.
Alice Waters is the owner of Chez Panisse, a restaurant in Berkeley, California that is best known for locally grown, organic ingredients. She has the culinary philosophy that cooking should be based on the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients and I wholeheartedly agree. She has many excellent cookbooks and has won many awards.
Citrus Rosemary Roasted Almonds
Makes 1 cup
1 cup almonds
2 tablespoons fresh orange or grapefruit juice
zest of 1 grapefruit or 1 large orange
1/4 tsp salt
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (measure it after mincing)
2 teaspoons olive oil
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Squeeze juice from an orange or grapefruit and measure into a medium size bowl. Add salt and stir to dissolve. Add fresh rosemary, olive oil and almonds. Stir to coat almonds. Add zest and toss. Transfer to cast iron pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely. The almonds will be chewy when still warm but become wonderfully crunchy when cool. Package in a air tight container to keep them fresh.