No, I didn’t give them a good old scrub! These babies are clean because they are free from sugar, additives and preservatives.
Well, I used to go to a specific shop every few weeks to buy my kids a few cans of an organic brand of baked beans, which had me feeling like I was a ‘good mother’ and buying them quality food. I would go to that particular store because each can was $2.50 as opposed to the usual $4 + for organic versions. To me this was a good, cost-effective system that ensured my children had protein and variety in their breakfasts.
A few months ago though, I went to see ‘That Sugar Film‘ at the cinema. One of the foods that they spotlighted in the film as being high in sugar were baked beans. I watched the scene, smugly self-assured that my stockpile of ‘certified organic’ Australian baked beans were sitting at home in the pantry.
It was not until I got home later that night that I thought I would just check the label of the beans, using my freshly learned knowledge. I was gob-smacked- the can had per serving 12g sugar (3 teaspoons sugar). Well! Yes, yes it was Organic Cane Sugar but we all know that that is still: SUGAR. Organic or not, sugar is sugar and I had just learned that day that the WHO recommended sugar intake for children, PER DAY, was 4 teaspoons.
To be clear:
- I am not anti-sugar. I am sugar-aware and definitely pro limiting it.
- If you give your children canned baked beans, organic or not, that’s okay. I’m not judging.
- This realisation was, for me, about easily replacing something with sugar with something without it.
- This recipe is as cost-effective as the alternative.
- For the record, I personally don’t like conventional Baked Beans however I really like these (I’m modest too;).
- I used cannellini beans for a reason- for me personally they are the easiest beans to digest. If your gut is damaged you may not be as tolerant.
- I think we all remember the following childhood rhyme. It’s very true- this easy meal packs a protein-filled breakfast or lunchbox hit to fuel their growing brains. Just don’t overdo it, for fear of the last line:
Baked Beans, Baked Beans, they make you smart
Baked Beans, Baked Beans, they make you fart!
If you want to give this recipe a try, do so and let me know how you go. The variations are endless. Start with something you or your child likes and experiment- be it bacon, smoky paprika, coriander, basil, cheese, anything. Or nothing, for those plain eaters! You could even be super-tricky and stretch it further by finely grating zucchini and carrot into this dish.
- ½ onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- olive oil or ghee
- 2 x 400g cans Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
- 1TBS tomato paste
- 2 tsp paprika
- salt to taste
- rosemary, parsley, basil, oregano, italian herb mix, coriander, smoked paprika, bacon, cheese
- Fry onion and garlic in oil/ghee
- Add cannellini beans and fry for a minute
- Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, paprika and herbs of choice
- Stir then simmer for 10-20 minutes.
This recipe can be frozen in small portions ready for weekday breakfasts and lunchboxes.