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Skinny Baked Brown Beans

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Skinny Baked Beans

Skinny Baked Beans
© Randal Oulton

Don't tell anyone about the "skinny" word in the title here; they won't know or care, these home baked beans are so darn good. Even people who have grown up expecting baked beans to taste like certain canned brands smack their lips over these beans.

These are very little work to make aside from chopping an onion. All the time is in the cooking time, which doesn't involve you, anyway.

Most canned baked beans are really bad for you, sadly -- really fattening and really high in sodium. These are only 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus® per 1/2 cup (125 ml); compare that with up to 9 points or more per half cup of other baked beans. And, you can make them very low sodium. Suddenly, that wonderful cooked breakfast that they've been saying is bad for us looks just that 'lil bit healthier, doesn't it?

But never mind that, these are seriously good baked beans. It's just nice to know that food that is supposed to be good for you, suddenly is, again.

Number of servings: 12 x 1/2 cup (125 ml).

Estimated Prep Time: 20 minutes

Estimated Cooking Time: 5 hours


1 teaspoon Mustard Powder


Step 1: Cook the beans

Rinse the navy beans. No need to presoak for either cooking method below.

1a) Pressure cooker (recommended): Put them in a pressure cooker along with the 10 cups of water, oil, and bay leaves. Put them right in -- as in, not in a steamer basket. Cook on high for 35 minutes. (In a Nutricook™, use the starch setting.) If the beans aren't soft after 35 minutes, bring them back up to pressure for another 5 minutes or so.


1b) If you don't have a pressure cooker, put the dried beans in a pot on stove with the water and bay leaves (omit oil), cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer. Let cook for around 2 hours until the beans are soft.

Step 2: Assemble the recipe

When the beans are cooked, right away reserve 2 cups (500 ml) of the cooking water. Drain the beans. You can freeze the rest of the broth in a tub as a rich tasting, healthy stock for future cooking (recommended), or discard.

Assemble in your slow cooker the 2 cups (500 ml) of bean stock, and all the remaining ingredients from the onion down to and including the Kitchen Bouquet. Stir to mix, then add the drained beans. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or on high for 2 hours.

Recipe notes

2 cups of dried Navy beans is 400 g / 14 oz. You can convert that to a pound / 450 g in your mind, no sweat. The oil in the pressure cooker is there as a safety measure to prevent bean skins clogging the pressure cooker; don't omit, unless you have opted to simmer the beans instead.

How long dried beans take to cook depends on how old they are. They are cooked when you can use your tongue to mash one against the roof of your mouth. It is possible to overcook them so that they become moosh. You want squishable in your mouth, as opposed to al dente, but without being moosh -- you want al tongue, not al teeth.

The liquid stevia gives the beans a mellow sweetness while not adding a boatload of calories like brown sugar, molasses, etc, do. The Kitchen Bouquet gives the beans their deep brown colour and eye appeal.

These are good for up to 5 days in the fridge, for quick breakfasts or suppers; they also freeze well. You can freeze portions in small tubs or small baggies.

Quick tips: instead of fresh onion, you can use a small handful of dried onion flakes; instead of tomato paste, you can use ketchup.

Optional: you can add a tablespoon of maple syrup (or 1/4 teaspoon maple flavouring) for flavouring without affecting the points per serving.

Nutrition Notes

3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus® per 1/2 cup (125 ml); 5 points for 1 cup (250 ml). That's half of most canned baked beans, which clock in around 5 points per 1/2 cup (125 ml).

There are 31 points in total in the recipe. The total yield of the recipe is 6 cups (1.5 litres.)

We used a salt substitute.

Weight Watchers® Info
Per 1/2 cup (125 ml)
1 cup (250 ml): 5 points

* PointsPlus™ calculated by CooksInfo.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.

Please share this recipe with your friends. They may love it.