Molasses baked beans with a touch of sass

Molasses baked beans

I associate February with crazy storms. When I was in grade three our region was hit with the Groundhog Gale, a massive nor’easter that hit on February 2nd, Groundhog Day.

As an eight year old it was thrilling.

Molasses baked beans

It all started out as a normal school day.

Off we walked to our neighbourhood elementary school in a heavy breeze and pelted with rain. Before recess we could see garbage cans being blown down the street and before lunchtime we were told that school was closing dues to the storm and we were all to go home.

Most of us were walkers so out into the gale we went to make our way home.

It was the most thrilling walk of my life. With the wind at our backs we were tossed along the rain coated ice like it was some kind of high-speed carnival ride. We were blown into puddles and hung onto trees to catch our breath. We screamed in delight and took the long way home to prolong the fun.

Can you imagine?

Molasses baked beans

Apparently the winds were clocked at over 140 km per hour and there were reports that salt spray from the Bay of Fundy was found on homes more than 10 kilometres inland. I’m sure we were home before it got that bad but still…

My poor mom hadn’t even been notified that school was closed.

Molasses baked beans

Baked beans are the sort of satisfying meal that helps you weather February storms. The long baking time keeps the kitchen cozy (although they can be baked in a crockpot) and leftovers can we eaten with breakfast.

This is the recipe that I grew up with, adapted from The Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook. It has a bit of a bite from the pepper (that’s the sass) to balance the sweetness and develops an amazing depth of flavour. Enjoy these baked beans with oatmeal brown bread or cracked wheat brown bread

Molasses Baked Beans

  • 2 cups dried navy or pea beans
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. dried mustard
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 slice of bacon, chopped or 1 Tbsp. butter
  • Boiling water
  1. Soak 2 cups of dried navy or white beans in water overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the beans, put them in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes (or until the skins break when you blow on them).
  3. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  4. Drain the beans and put them in a large ovenproof pot or bean crock. Bury peeled onion in the middle of the beans.
  5. Mix together and pour over the beans: brown sugar, molasses, salt, dry mustard and pepper. Dab with the butter or sprinkle over the bacon pieces.
  6. Pour over enough boiling water to just cover the beans.
  7. Cover the pot and cook for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary so the beans do not dry out. Take the lid off for the last half hour of cooking.

Tasty tip: You can also add half a peeled apple to the mixture along with the onion.

 

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Here’s to eating well, everyday,

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Mom’s Black Bean Turkey Chili a warming winter meal

black bean turkey chili is substantial and satisfying

I spent my childhood winters up at our local ski hill. On weekend mornings Dad would pile us in the car with a big picnic lunch and away we’d go for the day.

My dad didn’t grow up skiing so he learned to ski alongside all of his kids and I think relished his days on the hill more than we did.

My mom would stay put at home and now I know why. There is something lovely about a quiet house on a winter’s day, especially after the early morning rush getting us all out the door.

black bean turkey chili is substantial and satisfying

Not only did dad teach himself to ski when he was in his late 30s, he also somehow dad managed to get us all off the mountain, packed in the car and back home in time for Saturday suppertime mass on these snowy days.  We never had time to change so half of us would still be in our snow pants and ski boots, clomping up the church aisle and trying to fit into a pew without tripping on the knee rest.

black bean turkey chili is substantial and satisfying

This black bean turkey chili was the sort of supper we’d come home to after these days of skiing.  Hot, hearty and served with cornbread or oatmeal brown bread, it’s just the sort of supper that’s perfect after a winter day spent outside.

This recipe is great with chopped carrots added too (sauté them with the onions and peppers).

 Mom’s Black Bean Turkey Chili

  • 2 cups dried black turtle beans, soaked and cooked (or about 4 cups cooked)
  • ¼ cup oil, divided
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. dried chipotle (optional)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups broth
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat 2 Tbsp. of the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat and brown the ground turkey until it is no longer pink. Remove to a bowl.
  2. In the same pot, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. of oil and sauté the onions, jalapenos and red pepper. Add garlic, tomato paste and chili powder and stir to combine. Add tomatoes, turkey (with juices), beans and broth. Bring to a simmer, add oregano, molasses and salt to taste.

What kind of food warms you up on a cold winter’s day?

You might also like our Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with corn

Black bean chili with a touch of molasses, fast and healthy.family food

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top left hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

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Black bean chili that sticks to your ribs

This hearty vegetarian black bean chili combines sweet with heat, and is chock full of corn and carrots too.

 

There is nothing that I like better on a cold January night than a big bowl of chili. It’s hearty and warming and reminds you that a substantial meal does more than just fill the belly.

I got the idea for adding molasses to my chili from one of our Facebook friends who balances the extreme heat and spice of her chili recipe with molasses. I also have a family friend who makes his chili with molasses baked beans so there is a good dose of sweet with the heat.

You’ll see that the tangy sweetness of molasses pairs beautifully with tomatoes. It softens their tart acidity and adds flavour with just the right substance.

This recipe is vegetarian but works with ground beef or ground turkey as well. Just add a bit more broth or even another can of tomatoes if you find yours too thick. As well, feel free to mix up the beans. Kidney beans or a blend of beans makes for a great variation.

Serve it with this cornbread for a delicious, filling meal.

 

This hearty vegetarian black bean chili combines sweet with heat, and is chock full of corn and carrots too.

Black bean chili

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tsp cumin seeds (or 2 tsp ground cumin)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • Cayanne pepper to taste
  • 4 tsp oregano
  • 1 28 oz can or 24 oz bottle of tomatoes (prepared tomato sauce will do)
  • 1 cup broth or water
  • 2 cups cooked black beans (about 1 ½ cans)
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • ½ Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice and zest of ½ a lime
  1. In a big pot over medium heat saute the onions until soft.
  2. Add the garlic, spices, oregano and bay leaf and stir for a minute then add the carrots.
  3. Cover for 10 minutes, stirring a few times.
  4. Add corn, tomatoes, beans, broth and chipotle (if using) and let simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the vinegar and molasses. Thin with more broth if it’s too thick for your liking.
  6. Season with salt and decide if it needs more heat (cayenne) or sweet (molasses)
  7. Add the lime zest and juice and cilantro.

Serve with grated cheese and cornbread. Don’t forget to fish out the chipotle chili so nobody eats it whole.

Chili is adaptable so feel free to add any kind of beans or vegetables. Cubed sweet potato or squash are delicious too.

 This hearty vegetarian black bean chili combines sweet with heat, and is chock full of corn and carrots too.