What I have been finding when cooking dried beans, is that older beans take a lot longer to cook. I know I have beans stored in air tight jars that are older than five or six years. I am finding that when I use beans that I purchased a number of years ago, it takes a lot longer to cook them. I do soak the beans in a big pot of water overnight before I cook them but that doesn't change the issue for these old beans. While browsing the Internet on this very question of old beans, some sites have suggested to add baking soda to the soaking water when using old beans. I haven't tried that yet. Here are some photos from preparing the dish.
|Navy beans draining after soaking overnight in a pot of water.|
|Chopped onions and apricots.|
|The molasses, spices and chopped onions and apricots.|
|I used whole tomatoes in the recipe.|
|Layering of ingredients in the crock pot.|
|Addition of the molasses mixture to the crock pot.|
|Ready to eat.|
CROCK POT BAKED BEANS WITH MOLASSES
2 cups dried navy beans
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp pepper
1 ½ cups boiling water
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup ketchup
3 tbsp maple syrup or agave
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 medium onions, chopped
8 dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
1- 28 oz can of diced or whole tomatoes
Soak the beans overnight in a large pot of water. The next morning, drain the water from the beans, place the beans in a colander and rinse the beans under cold running water. Set aside to drain.
In a small bowl mix the pepper, basil and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large glass measuring cup or bowl, mix together the boiling water, oil, molasses, ketchup, maple syrup and cider.
Place half of the beans in the bottom of the crock pot. Sprinkle half of the onions and apricots over the beans followed by half of the spices and half of the canned tomatoes. Repeat sequence with the second half of the various ingredients. Pour the water mixture over the top of the bean mixture making sure the liquid is mixed in. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours or until the beans are soft. Makes 8 to 10 cups.
Adapted from Alive Magazine, March 2011.