‘Cut the Waste’ Apple Baked Beans

With the new year comes my commitment to finishing off as many food staples in the kitchen as possible to avoid waste. That half cup of whole wheat pastry flour and handful of dried corn kernels have to be good for something beyond taking up shelf space. Recipe suggestions, anyone?

Besides the dried good odds and ends cluttering my cupboard, I stared down a half dozen less-than-crunchy apples in our refrigerator produce drawer over the weekend and vowed to prevent their wasteful loss to the compost bin. (Yes, they can become food for our garden this spring, but I’d always rather eat whole produce and throw out scraps.)

I used five of the six apples in one go when I tried my hand at an apple skillet recipe from Joy the Baker. Unfortunately, my old oven’s heat fluctuates, which made for an unsightly, though still delicious, cake. Not something photo-worthy for the blog. With the one remaining apple, I went for the sweet and savory with Thug Kitchen’s Apple Baked Beans recipe. The original recipe calls for dried beans, but to save time, I recommend using two cans of cooked navy beans. (Eight hours of slow-cooking these beans, they were still too tough for my tastes, so the whole process took way longer than I wanted to get the beans fully cooked.)

Below you’ll find my adapted recipe. Cameron loves baked beans, so he wound up eating a big bowl for dinner last night while we watched Mad Max: Fury Road. So many friends loved this movie that I wanted to love it, too, but I was bored about 10 minutes past the opening. Visually stunning, though! As I made my way through a few spoonfuls of these very tasty-looking beans, I realized that, like high-octane films with little character development, baked beans aren’t really my thing. But I’m glad they exist for others, and if you like a nice bowl of baked beans, you should definitely try this recipe. The apple is a great addition to the sauce.

Apple Baked Beans 1
Image by author.

Apple Baked Beans
(adapted from a Thug Kitchen Cookbook recipe)
Serves 6 as a side

– 3 cups cooked navy beans (Two 15-oz cans, drained)
– 2 tsp olive oil
– 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tsp smoked paprika
– One 15-oz can low-salt tomato sauce
– 1 TBS molasses
– 1 TBS apple cider vinegar
– 2 TBS brown sugar
– 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
– 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
– 1 medium apple, any variety, chopped (I used a Honeycrisp.)
– Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place a large pot over medium heat. Sauté onions until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and smoked paprika, and cook for another 30 seconds. Add beans, tomato sauce, molasses, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, and rosemary, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, and then add broth.

2. Cover and simmer for an hour. Add chopped apple, stirring to combine. Cover again and simmer until the apple is tender, another 30 minutes. Remove rosemary sprig and serve.

4 Comments Add yours

    1. gwynnem says:

      Thanks, Tasty! 🙂

  1. OMG. I love Thug Kitchen! The beans look great. How about a pot pie with the corn and flour. Maybe you have carrots and celery and onion and whatever else! Cheers! Have fun using things up!

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