3 variations on baked beans: sweet, smoky, spicy

Christmas-Lima-heirloom-beanTHE FREEZERS WERE too tightly packed till now to do anything but choose the forward-facing foods. (Sound familiar?) But I’ve happily eaten my way to some wiggle room, and it’s clear I have some cooking—a.k.a. restocking–to do. I’m running low on portions of my favorite food: three variations on a baked-bean theme, from sweet to smoky to spicy. The recipes, plus a nudge to try growing beans for drying next year, too.

(In the slideshow above, toggle between slides by clicking a thumbnail image, or hover over the right edge of the big photos to reveal navigational arrows.)

the recipes, and dry-bean how-to

ALL THE RECIPES are easy, and delicious as a side dish or even as a whole meal-in-a-bowl, served over brown rice with something green tucked alongside.

frozen tomatoesBonus: My midwinter freezer check revealed a few bags of whole paste tomatoes that will go into the mix—meaning more room for the incoming bean concoctions, and for the soups I see I need to replenish, too. The recipes:

  1. Laura Poulette says:

    I grew dry black turtle beans for the first time last year, and have been pleased with how tasty they are. They were so satisfying to grow-and easy to store, I’m planning on trying a couple more varieties this year. Thanks for the recipe ideas!

  2. Tibs says:

    Last summer I planted a heirloom bush bean from the Livingston seed co. It was not a bush bean. Have you ever tried to rig up something for climbers after the fact? I had bean runners everywhere. The beans were tasty but very stringy. So I let them dry out. First time I ever shelled beans. Most tedious time consuming thing. Right down there with cleaning elderberries. Except I could space the beans out. Good taste, but not much different from great northern.

  3. Cathy Salter says:


    Do you know of a source for blackberry lilies.

    I have some in my garden but would like to add other varieties.



  4. Marlene Gakle says:

    wow! was i glad to see the picture of the whole frozen paste tomatoes! i have some that look just like that! i was too busy to do anything else with them in the late summer so i just threw them in the freezer that way. they seem to work great just like that. thanks for confirming my actions.

  5. Dd says:

    I have been growing cranberry beans from fedco for years and love them. I use Jamie Oliver’s bean receipe in his garden to table cook book. Can’t wait to try yours.

  6. Janet A.M. Hill Doherty says:

    I still get so many compliments on the baked bean recipes, thank you. Now, our week wacker guy wacked so much more than my weeds and did my eight trillium plants to the ground any suggestions to protect them, they were just in bloom too. So I just very lightly mulched with a little dry leaf and grass combo, after I had watered. Greatful for your imput in advance.

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