Bean Suppah

It's SUPPAH, not SUPPER. Get it right. It's ingrained in our history. Every one of us Mainers has been to at least one. It's the heart of the community. Not very vegan, but wholesome in it's own way. We've set out here to create a vegan version of the New England tradition. Baked beans are sacred, and here we think we've done them right.

We're all about utilizing the local bounty and it doesn't get much more local to us than Harris Farm; it's less than 6 miles away! They're our regular go-to for Maine Maple Sunday and they're a regular face at the Saco Farmers' Market which kicked off this weekend. We've included their fine maple product in this here recipe using their Grade A Dark Amber for the maple notes in our baked beans.

1 lb. white navy beans, soaked overnight
1 medium onion, rough chop
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup molasses
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 1/3 tbsp. tamari
2 tsp. dry mustard

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Drain beans and put soaked beans into large pot with 3 parts water per 1 parts beans by volume. Bring water to boil. Reduce to low, rolling boil and cook for 20 minutes. While beans are cooking put onions and garlic in large, deep casserole or preferably a beanpot. Drain and rinse par-cooked beans, reserving the cooking liquid.

In a saucepan, combine 2 cups liquid from the beans, molasses, maple syrup, ketchup, vinegar, tamari, and dry mustard, heating gently as to incorporate. As the sauce gets yummers, place beans in casserole with onions and garlic. Top with sauce, cover, and bake. After two hours check the beans to make sure they're not getting dry. If necessary, add more of your reserved cooking liquid. Replace cover, cooking for an additional 2 hours. You'll be able to tell when the beans are done by pressing them gently. They should yield under light pressure, their skin breaking and getting a little smooshy. Makes 8 hearty servings.

While we were at it we whipped up a brown bread recipe too. It's not much of a bean suppah without the brown bread after all. Couldn't we all benefit from a little more molasses in our life anyway?

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine all dry ingredients. In another bowl combine all wet ingredients making sure molasses and maple syrup are incorporated. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Now pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir with dry ingredients until just mixed. We poured ours into a 9" x 9" inch pan and baked for 40 minutes. Again, keep an eye on it and call it done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. 12 servings.


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