No Mo Beans Please

Baked Beans was high on the list of simple crock pot recipes to try, but I think this went wrong when I tried mixing maple syrup with tomatoes. It was in truth an awkward attempt all together as I hadn't soaked beans in awhile and tried to combine a number of recipes. My girlfriend is a veggie head so I omitted the salt pork as good as that sounded. I also had to consider Grandmama Therese's French Canadian heritage so maple syrup was mandatory. The result was a very sweet, kind of dry, and slightly spicy mess. It was the night before Montreal's famous St. Patrick's Parade so I am guilty of getting a bit carried away with the warm ups. I will post the list of ingredients I wrote up myself to use only as an idea of how to mess up slow cooked beans.


  • 450g or 1/2 lb or 2 1/2f cups of dried white navy beans (these were not what I expected)
  • 1 cup of tomato juice
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup (where other recipes used 1/4 cup of brown sugar, probably a good idea)
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (I used dry, but I think fresh is the better option!)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • A large pinch of cayenne (wrong?!)

A whole lot, considering these didn't work out. The beans didn't swell as much as I would have liked, but they were still soft. As I mentioned, I probably shouldn't have mixed so many tomato ingredients with maple syrup, and some of those spices look out of place. They may be mentioned in maple baked bean recipes though, and I'm sure I will gives these another try. Also this is a vegetarian recipe and I would like to try it with meat, especially since my roommate just found a cheap butcher up the street.


Remember, this didn't work out well.

  • Follow the directions on the back of your bean bag considering soaking. Most say something like soak beans in 6 cups of water over night, but I needed to heat the navy beans before they got soft. So soften up d'em beans! Make sure to strain and rinse before adding to the slow cooker.
  • I then heated up the tomato juice with the clove and mustard and ginger and brought it to a boil.
  • In a separate bowl I mixed the maple syrup, ketchup, molasses, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Finally I combined the strained beans and onions in the crock pot and added the tomato mix and the dark syrupy mix. I also added a pretty liberal pinch of cayenne and gave it a good stir.
  • Cooked on the crock pot for 6 hours.

Worth trying again because I know a big bowl of beans can be very tasty. I would probably try without the maple syrup because I would like them better as a dinner. Already mentioned adding salt pork which I think could be really hearty. My navy beans never really swelled, and I'm not sure if that's because of how they are or who I am. I think I would prefer a thick, meatier bean like the kidney variation. People did eat these though and liked them, but let's keep in mind that they started drinking at 10 am!

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