Perfect for a summer barbecue or an autumn tailgate party, this dish is quick to make! Gather your crockpot and all the ingredients. Pour, stir and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Perfection for a side dish with brats or burgers. Or make it a main dish with a tossed salad.
This recipe is foolproof and flexible and known also as Trucker, Cowboy or Prairie Beans. Chips* contributed it to the Quasquicentennial cookbook and I have tweaked it several ways, including using the crockpot. Her family prefers the deeper flavor from baking and a little extra kick. Chips adds 1 tablespoon mustard and 1 teaspoon chili powder, though she warns against using beans or BBQ sauce with chili flavor. She also uses Splenda brown sugar and has used ham instead of bacon. My sister Bee uses Campbell’s pork n beans from the original recipe, but I like Bush’s baked beans because they are “thicker”. Kidney beans, dark or light, it doesn’t matter, but do pick up the low sodium version on your grocery shelf. (Less salt = good for you.) And I sometimes add a can of black beans for their nutritional value. If you are looking for the recipe so you can get going and get to the party on time, scroll on down and hit print. But you already know that this is a great dish for crowds because it will fill your crockpot. And you also know that it is perfect for potlucks and picnics. Besides your family.
But, if you gasped when you saw the picture of the ingredients and thought “does she know how many carbs are in those beans?”, then read on. Legumes, which is what these beans are called, are in a special class. Yes, they are higher in carbs – but they also have a built in protein and plenty of fiber. Legumes tend to be absorbed more slowly into the blood stream. The slower absorption keeps blood sugar levels more even and keeps you feeling full and satisfied longer than more quickly digested foods. Eating healthy for the long term requires a balanced diet that takes into account all your nutritional needs. The soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol and keep you regular. Protein is necessary for energy and strong muscles. Good– and good for you.
* Full Disclosure: Chips’ brother married my sister Kay. Millions of beans were consumed in the evolution of this recipe with no harm done.
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