Summer barbecues, summer picnics, easy dinners with minimal cooking time all call for this simple recipe of a lightened up version of baked beans. Fresh cherries are used to help sweeten the dish and provide a depth of flavor. Normally baked bean recipes can use up to one cup of sugar in addition to already sweetened canned beans. By using the naturally sweet cherries this dish cuts back on a lot of the added sugar and also provides one of your daily fruit servings! With only 15 minutes you can showcase this tasty summer recipe at your next dinner.
At my new home in Colorado I was pleased to discover two 20 year old cherry trees on my property that I was not aware of when we purchased in the middle of winter. I was beyond thrilled for as a dietitian I am a little obsessed with fruit and vegetables!
This year I had my fair share of fresh cherries and I started to venture out with their use in savory dishes such as this baked bean recipe. I encourage you to try cherries in a new light if you have not yet tried them in this capacity.
One of the staples you can always find in my pantry is no added salt canned beans. Even though I love cooking with dried beans sometimes I do not have the time. Having already cooked beans on hand can make getting food on the table fast and simple. I like using no added salt canned products as I have the control on how much salt goes into my dish. If all your ingredients are packed with salt the numbers can easily go up. The daily recommended amount of sodium for healthy individuals is 2,300 mg per day. If you have kidney disease, heart disease and or high blood pressure your daily recommended amount is usually lower.
Making “baked” beans can be easy with this quickened up version. Even though it is not technically being baked it can save you hours in the kitchen and help with getting something healthy and delicious on the table. It is a far better option than simply opening up a can and heating as it is lower in added sugar and salt than most canned baked beans you can find on the grocery store shelf. This dish only takes 5 to 6 minutes to cook in a sauté pan before it is ready compared to 2 to 3 hours if making traditional baked beans from scratch!
Beans and legumes are a great way to add some plant based protein to your day. A one half cup serving will provide you with a good dose of vitamins and minerals, protein, and dietary fiber.