Baked beans are true comfort food, after all, who hasn't had them on toast, or as part of a cozy breakfast? That's why I'm so excited to share with you these simple but delicious Vegan Baked Beans without sugar.
These delicious baked beans are slightly smokey and perfect to use wherever you want to add to a hearty meal. I like to serve mine as a Baked Potato topping. I also love to eat them as part of a vegan breakfast with some Tofu Scramble and maybe a bit of vegan bacon.
🤫The Secret to Beans with no sugar!
Most baked bean recipes, whether vegan or not, contain sugar in one form or another, whether by adding molasses, brown sugar or even coconut sugar. But this recipe doesn't have any at all, and yet still retains that delicious, sweet, smokey and savoury flavour.
But these vegan beans don't use sugar, they use apples instead. Yep. Apples. You simply add in one or two (depending on the size) cored and peeled apples and viola! Delicious sweetness, with the added benefit of fibre and vitamins from the apples. Yay! Best of all, the apple sort of disintegrates into the sauce and add an extra unctuousness to it. Gorgeous layers of sweetness, with no sugar in sight. Hurrah!
- Soaked and cooked beans such as kidney, haricot or cannellini. (see timeline below)
- Apples: eating apples are fine to use as you want their sweetness.
- Chopped tomatoes in tins (cans)
- Onion - two medium yellow onions
- Garlic- don't overdo the garlic, you just want enough for the flavour
- Smoked paprika - for the perfect smoky bbq taste.
- Cinnamon - adds a little sweetness and balances the flavours.
- Thyme - dried thyme is perfect.
- Bay Leaf- adds a subtle aroma
- Tomato puree concentrate- essential for that extra deep tomatoey flavour.
- Salt- you can use liquid aminos, soy sauce, marmite or regular salt.
👩🍳Easy Step by Step Instructions
Making the vegan baked beans is pretty simple, but it does take time!
You will need to first soak, then simmer your dried beans. (See timeline note below)
Then follow these instructions for delicious beans!
- Finely chop the onion and garlic.
2. Peel, core and dice the apples.
3. In a large saucepan, sweat the onion and garlic in the oil until they soften. Add the apple and cook until soft.
4. Add the pre-cooked beans and stir.
5. Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree and all the seasonings. Add water and cook on a slow simmer for 45min- 1 hour.
6. The beans are done when they are soft and slightly mushy. Smush any larger apple pieces with the back of a spoon, and taste for seasoning. You might want to add in some vegan Worcestershire sauce or pomegranate molasses to taste.
⏰Handy Timeline for cooking the beans.
Don't be scared by the cook times! It's mostly soaking and simmering with no work on your part. Here's a timeline for you, so you can plan ahead.
STEP 1) The day before you want to make the beans: Just before you go to bed, dump the uncooked beans in a pot and fill with water.
STEP 2) In the morning, drain the water, refill with fresh water and simmer the beans slowly for 2 hours. Don't let the pot run dry.
STEP 3) When the beans are soft (it can depend on how fresh/old the beans are): Follow the recipe to make the baked beans. They take a while to cook, so put them on a slow heat and just leave them, again making sure they don't run dry!
Of course, if you have a crockpot, this baked beans recipe would be the perfect thing to make it in as you can just set and forget. I don't have one (yet) so have given you the easy, no special equipment needed, recipe.
These delicious vegan baked beans can be stored for up to a week in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.
It takes time to make really yummy beans that are full of rich smokey flavour, so it's worth making lots to freeze. I like to freeze mine in two person portions, because my house has two people in it.
🌶Substitutions and Variations
- Tinned beans instead of dried beans You could of course also use tinned beans to make this recipe, however if you do, be careful not to overcook them and turn them to mush!
- Other bean types: I used kidney beans when making this recipe, however cannellini, haricots or even borlotti would be suitable beans to use.
- Spicy: Add chilli to taste!
- Smokey: Add a dash of Liquid Smoke and some extra smoked paprika.
They're your beans, so adding a few extra flavours will make them THE BEST (for you!)
Yes you can, these ones freeze very well for up to three months. I like to freeze them in one or two person portions so it's easy to make a quick meal as needed.
Absolutely, use four 400g tins (15 oz cans)
If you like the sound of this Vegan Baked Beans without Sugar recipe, please do check out some of my other recipes you might like to eat alongside them. (I'm looking at you, breakfast recipes!)
Vegan Baked Beans without Sugar
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
- 750 g (4¼ cups) dried beans (kidney, haricot or cannelinni) ( Can also use 4 x cans beans, drained.)
- 800 g (5 cups) crushed/chopped tinned tomatoes (can also use two cans or tins)
- 2 onions (small. Or one large!)
- 2 apples (small, or one very large. Can use any variety.)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic (of course you can add more if you like it garlicky!)
- 500 ml (2 cups) water
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- salt Or can use marmite or vegemite
Optional extras to pimp it to your taste
- splash vegan worcestershire sauce
- splash pomegranite molasses
- 3 drops liquid smoke
- a little hot sauce or chilli sauce
If using dried beans
- Soak the beans in plenty of water overnight750 g dried beans (kidney, haricot or cannelinni)
- drain and add water to cover generously in a big pot, and simmer until soft. Will take between 1-2 hours depending on the beans. Don't let it dry out!
To make the baked beans
- Finely chop the garlic and onion.2 onions, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 4 cloves garlic
- Peel and core the apples and chop roughly2 apples
- In a big pot, add the olive oil, onion and garlic and cook on a low heat until soft
- Add the apple
- Drain and rinse your beans and add them to the pot.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and the water.800 g crushed/chopped tinned tomatoes, 500 ml water, 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Add all the herbs and seasonings.1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon thyme, salt Or can use marmite or vegemite
- Give it all a big stir and leave on a low heat to simmer.
- Check the beans occassionally. Add extra water if needed.
- Cook for at least 45 mins and up to an hour & a half. The longer you cook, the more yummy they are!
- Squish the now very soft apples into the sauce.
- Taste and add salt, or any of the other optional seasonings to your own taste!splash vegan worcestershire sauce, splash pomegranite molasses, 3 drops liquid smoke, a little hot sauce or chilli sauce
- Serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner! These freeze well, so pack up any excess in 1 or 2 person portions, ready for a quick, nutritious dinner!
(Also your cat might want to try some too. Here's Sheriff, who loves to sneakily lick everything we make. He especially loves vegan cheese. Little weirdo.)
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