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When I was a child, my mother would always cook up a batch of baked beans during the holidays. I remember waking up in the morning and smelling the absolutely wonderful aroma of beans cooking slowly overnight in sweet and tangy ingredients such as tomatoes, molasses and/or maple syrup, vinegar, etc. I had to come up with a vegan of baked beans which my mom cooked with bacon of course. If you can find vegan bacon, it will give this dish a nice smoky flavor and aroma, but the baked beans will also be excellent without it.

Starting the new year with baked beans in the oven might just be my new tradition! Healthy and comforting. This is definitely my comfort food!

An added bonus : blackstrap molasses are full of iron and calcium and navy beans are full of fiber!

To a wonderfully healthy New Year!

3 cup dry navy beans
9 cups water
2 large onions, 1 diced and 1 left whole
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
2 tablespoons agave nectar (or maple syrup)
2 tablespoons mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 strips of vegan bacon

Mix the beans and water in a large container and refrigerate them overnight or for about 7-8 hours.

Drain the water and replace it with nine cups of fresh water. Bring the mixture to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the beans aren’t quite done but are beginning to get tender. Drain the mixture again, setting aside 2 cups or the drained liquid.

Mix the beans, chopped onions, molasses, agave nectar, mustard, apple cider vinegar, diced tomatoes and salt in a large covered preferably ceramic casserole. Top the casserole with a whole onion pressing it into the bean mixture. Top with vegan bacon. Bake (overnight) at 250 degrees F for 6 to 9 hours. Remove the cover for the last hour.

Check the mixture a few times and add a little of the saved liquid if the beans are too thick.

Serves at least 8 for breakfast or brunch.

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