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Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Sprouted Baked Beans

June 9, 2014

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Sprouted Baked Beans
I hope everyone’s summer is kicking off to a fun start! I began this real food summer picnic series a couple weeks ago while making potato salad and I’m so excited to share with you how to make baked beans in a real food way so you can enjoy them all summer!

Canned baked beans has nothing on homemade! The flavor will blow you away, and your picnic guests are sure to be asking for the recipe.

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Sprouted Baked Beans
My method is not oven baked or in a slow cooker, but rather using a big stock pot to simmer. As much as I love my slow cooker, I just feel you get much more flavor when you slow sauté the onions, garlic, and bacon and then meld the flavors of the rest in a simmer. You can absolutely make it up and then keep it warm in a slow cooker though! And the flavors only enhance over time!

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Sprouted Baked Beans
This is such a great one to make up a few days ahead of time for your summer gatherings. It gets one thing out of the way and done for you, and it warms right up in a slow cooker well. This is a nice big batch that would be perfect for a big gathering – OR you can get leftovers into jars in your freezer so you can pull them out on a hot summer day when you don’t want to cook!

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Sprouted Baked Beans
One note on sprouting the beans! If you are “not there yet” – I would much rather see you just use the beans without sprouting them, and still make your own, instead of just buying a can of baked beans. I’m all about baby steps. Just keep in mind the nourishing benefits of the sprouting – and please don’t be intimidated by it! It is so simple and takes barely any hands on time. HERE is my simple post about the hows and whys to sprout beans!
Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Sprouted Baked Beans
  • 1 ½ lbs dry organic navy beans (My local health food store has them in the bulk section)
  • 1 lb bacon, chopped (preferably from a trusted local organic/pasturing pig farmer – see Tips section for sourcing info)
  • 2 small onions, sliced long
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 – 15 oz can organic tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅓ – ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup organic blackstrap molasses
  • ¼ cup organic Dijon or regular mustard (watch ingredients!)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp chipotle powder (could add more if you like more heat)
  • Sea salt/pepper to taste
  1. A couple days before you want to make your beans, sprout your beans according to my sprouting post linked up at the top. It is also linked up below here in the Tips section.
  2. Cook your soaked/sprouted beans in water or chicken stock (just cover the beans with water to cover a couple inches, bring to a boil, and simmer for a good hour or 2. At this point you can either freeze your cooked beans until you are ready to make your baked beans, keep them in the fridge up to a week until you are ready to make your beans, or make the baked beans right away.
  3. In a large stock pot, fry the bacon pieces in a tablespoon or 2 of butter or coconut oil until their fats start rendering out.
  4. Add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients including the cooked beans and bring to a simmer.
  7. Put the lid on and let the beans low simmer for 30ish minutes until it thickens. Stir every 5-10 minutes.
  8. Taste test for salt and pepper – and if you want more heat from more chipotle.
  9. You may store in a crockpot on low or warm if you are taking this to a picnic or park.

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  • HERE is how to sprout your beans – again it is super simple and barely any hands on time!
  • HERE are the benefits of using pastured/local/organic pork for your bacon source. If you are unsure of where to find some around you, head to your local farmer’s market and ask around! The farmers are usually more than willing to help.
  • If you don’t have a nice big stock pot for your kitchen…oh! Treat yourself to one this year. I use mine at least weekly and it is one of my kitchen staples! It is so nice to have to make very large batches of soup for your freezer, and it is easier to cook down a big batch of beans in a big stock pot!
  • THIS would be a nice “to-go” slow cooker that you could bring your beans in for a picnic or park day!

Keep me posted if you try the baked beans for your family gathering this summer!

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  • Reply linda spiker June 9, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Emily De Jonge Elling June 9, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    oh I am totally doing this. Thank you…

    • Reply Renee Kohley June 10, 2014 at 8:58 am

      Yeah! Let me know how the family likes it Emily 🙂

  • Reply Kathy June 10, 2014 at 10:27 am

    This looks amazing!! I will absolutely make it (and I will rally to sprout the beans, thanks for the link…)
    One question: If I were to cut back on sweetener, do you think it would be better to cut back on the maple syrup or the molasses?

    • Reply Renee Kohley June 10, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Kathy! How about if you cut back half of both and see how it tastes to you? Let me know how it turns out!

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  • Reply Amy June 30, 2015 at 10:41 am

    I am wanting to make this for my daughters second birthday party. We have a few vegetarians coming and I’d like to make a small batch for them to eat also. Would you just use butter or coconut oil and cook the veg in that and go from there?

    • Reply Renee Kohley June 30, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      Hi Amy! Yes that should work just fine! (If they are truly vegetarian you may want to cook in coconut oil versus the butter!)

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