Crock-Pot Vegan Baked Beans
I thought I was going to just be normal and call this recipe Slow-Cooked Vegan Baked Beans, but that would be a lie. A big fat lie. Y’all need to know that this is something you can fix up before your 8:10-5:45 jobs and return to once your brain is mush and your beans are Bush (just kidding, they’re HOMEMADE!).
Thus, it is a crock-pot recipe. Crocccckkkk potttt. Fun to say. You could make this in a dutch oven, in the oven, so a dutch oven oven, but you really wouldn’t want to leave your oven on for 8 hours while you’re gone or asleep unless you just want some midnight pizza and you realized that your girlfriend took the homemade BBQ chicken pizza to work and ate it all so there’s no pizza to cook anymore so ramen it is.
Whatever you do, Googling “left oven on all night kitchen very warm will cabinets next to oven burn up” will not make you feel better at 4 AM, and segueing towards the next Yahoo Answers topic “did I eat healthy today im 16” won’t either.
This is where comforting vegan baked beans come in. They’re silky, somewhat sweet, a little tangy, and rich-tasting. But they’re also full of protein and if you don’t eat 4 bowls at once, they’re pretty healthy. I should also say that you don’t really have to cook these for 8 hours on low. You could just do four hours on high if you’re pressed for time.
Anyway, there’s nothing like way too many beans when you live with just one other person. If that’s the case, I recommend freezing half the batch immediately after it cools down. Food safety experts will tell you that you’ve got about 3 days before bacteria really starts to grow, honestly, I ate them a week later and I’m still not dead. I drank my homebrewed kombucha from October yesterday, and if anything, I feel like viruses take one look at me and go, “Well, that is certainly one acidic inhospitable environment for me to throw a rave.”
Recipe is based on this one, with a few alterations.
- 3/4-1 pound dried pinto beans, picked over for stones (fun fact, I have never found a stone in my beans before, but the easiest way to look for them is to dump the beans into a large cloth and root around).
- Baking soda
- 6 cups water
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mustard
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter (you can’t taste this, but make sure you warn your guests with peanut allergies)
- 1 tablespoon tahini (same, it’s just for richness)
- A few dashes of vegan Worcestershire sauce (or not if you’re GF)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- Maple syrup, to taste (really)
1. This is kind of optional, this step #1. The night before, put your picked-over beans in bowl and cover with water, add some baking soda, stir, and let that just think about what it’s done for about 2 hours or whatever. Drain and rinse, cover the bowl and put it in the fridge. Go to bed. Make sure your oven is off. Accidentally leave burner on low for separate, unrelated project. Wake up in a panic AGAIN. Go turn it off. Bad things happen in threes. Fall asleep with ominous cloud hanging over your head.
2. All right, you working lady, you! It’s time to get up 15 minutes earlier than usual, because you are about to fix yourself some glorious baked beans. You’re about to dump a whole bunch of things in a crock pot. Get your beans from the fridge (unless you opted out of that step), put in crockpot with 6 cups of fresh water. Add your diced onions, molasses, salt, ketchup, ACV, mustard, peanut butter, tahini, Worcestershire, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper. Give it a nice stir. Look at you, so adult.
3. Set your crockpot to low for 8 hours, make sure it’s plugged in otherwise you’ll end up like Ramona Quimby when the whole family comes home and realizes the crock pot is cold. Then they end up at the Whopperburger at some point after Ramona’s dad swats the mom with a spatula and she gets really pissed off. I’m maybe combining different books. I have this description memorized.
Leftovers—yuck!, thought Ramona. “Maybe Daddy will take us to the Whopperburger for supper for payday,” she said. A soft, juicy hamburger spiced with relish, French fries crisp on the outside and mealy inside, a little paper cup of cole slaw at the Whopperburger Restaurant were Ramona’s favorite payday treat. Eating close together in a booth made Ramona feel snug and cozy. She and Beezus never quarreled at the Whopperburger.
4. Woo-hoo, set it and forget it, girlfriend! 8 hours of long, slow cooking, requiring absolutely nothing on your part aside from reliable electrical wiring. Heck, if you want to make your coworkers jealous, bring your crock-pot to work and plug it in at your desk. That’s not weird.
5. Come home, whip up a little Jiffy cornbread mix, or if you really want to do this up big-style, make these corn griddle cakes stuffed with breakfast sausage.
6. Open up the lid, drizzle in a little maple syrup, stir in, then taste. Everything might need a little salt, so salt to taste. If it needs more sweetness, add a little more maple syrup. Remember, beans are like a pureed soup, so you’re going to get more into the flavor as soon as you’re 3 spoonfuls in.
7. Serve over cornbread or alongside corn griddle cakes.