Shop bought baked beans are loaded with sugar. The sugar is used to sweeten the sauce and also as a preservative. Since I try to avoid sugar, I prefer to make my own and they are tastier! They are really easy and once you are familiar with the recipe they are quick to make. An added benefit is that the beans are a prebiotic and so good for gut health, especially without the sugar.
A little on the passata. I found it is advisable to buy a good quality passata as the cheap ones are watery. It is, of course, perfectly possible to use fresh tomatoes. To do this you would need to boil them and liquidise them to produce a tomato puree, then proceed as below. It would be a lovely why to use up an excess of tomatoes from the green house.
A little about Stevia. Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana. It is naturally very sweet and considered 100 to 200 times sweeter than sugar, but it doesn't raise blood sugar levels, or insulin levels, or contribute to dental cavities like sugar. Used in moderation it is therefore is an excellent sugar substitutes for people with diabetes or those wishing to reduce the intake of sugar.
1 500g carton of tomato passata
1 can of haricot beans
½ teaspoon of Stevia powder/mashed dates
½ teaspoon oyster sauce
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon powdered garlic
¼ teaspoon ground mixed spice
½ teaspoon salt
pinch of chilli powder
Place the passata in a sauce pan and gently heat.
Add all the other ingredients including the Stevia or mashed dates, but leave out the haricot beans at this point. The seasonings and sweetener can be adjusted to your tastes. If using the date option boiled a couple a dates in a small amount of water until soft (Only a few mins). Mash with a fork and add to the sauce as desired. Reduce the sauce by gently boiling until a slightly thicker consistency has been achieved.
Drain the haricot beans.
Add the haricot beans to the sauce and bring back to a simmer. Continue to simmer the sauce to thicken it further if desired. The more the sauce is reduced the stronger the tomato flavour will be. This also allows the beans to absorb the tomato flavour.
Your baked beans are now ready to serve! Enjoy!
As there is no sugar in this recipe the baked beans will not keep for long and will need to be frozen if not used straight away. I usually put any left overs into 1 portion sizes in freezer bags when it has completely cooled. Place in the freezer.
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