¼cupbrown sugaruse up to ½ cup if you like REALLY sweet beans
¼cuppure maple syrup
1tablespoonapple cider vinegar
½cupapple juiceor water
Prepare Navy Beans
Place dried beans in a container that can be fitted with a lid. Pour fresh water over beans until the water is at least 1 inch above beans. Seal container shut. Soak beans for 8-12 hours.
After soaking, drain beans. Add soaked beans to a large stock pan. Cover beans by 1 inch with fresh cold water.
Bring water to a rapid boil, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour. Drain cooked beans well.
Instead of soaking beans overnight and simmering, you can speed up the process and cook dried beans right in the Instant Pot, no soaking required.
For the Baked Beans
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add in the sliced bacon. Cook until bacon begins to render fat and then stir in the chopped onion. Saute bacon and onions together until onions begin to soften and bacon is browned and slightly crisp. This should take about 5-6 minutes. Drain off excess fat off bacon.
Mix together tomato sauce, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, dried mustard, vinegar,apple juice, water, and salt together. Add in bacon and onion mixture and cooked beans and gently stir to combine.
Pour bean mixture into a 2-quart oven-safe dish. Beans should be pretty well submerged in liquid and mixture should be relatively loose. If there does not seem to be enough liquid in the baking dish, add up to ½ cup additional water or juice. Cover pan with foil or oven-safe lid.
Bake covered for 2 hours. Uncover and bake for another 30-40 minutes, until thickened.
Navy Beans are traditional for baked beans, but pinto beans or great northern can be used in a pinch.
In place of dried mustard, feel free to use 1 tablespoon prepared mustard.
For really sweet baked beans use ketchup in place of the tomato sauce OR add up to ½ cup brown sugar instead of a ¼ cup brown sugar.
If you want these to be Vegetarian Baked Beans, omit the bacon and add the onions raw to bean mixture. You may need to increase the salt by up to 1 teaspoon as the bacon has quite a bit of sodium.
In place of dried beans, you can use 4 cups rinsed and drained navy beans--measure after draining.