So are baked beans vegan? It honestly all depends on how you cook them, but yes, baked beans can absolutely be vegan!
First let’s talk about how beans can help you lose weight, and at the end I will share with you my favorite vegan baked beans recipe!
Beans And Weight Loss
Eating beans is not a subject many of us like to talk about because of the side effects, if you know what I mean *wink* *wink*
Whenever I tell my coworkers or friends how they should be eating more beans, I always get the same response “they give me gas” or “they make me bloated”.
I cannot argue against that.
However if you follow some of the tips I will give you later on, they will help you alleviate those side effects or even get rid of them once and for all.
But first let’s talk about the benefits of eating beans, and why you as a vegan who is trying to lose weight should be eating them!
Beans will indirectly help you lose weight because of their fiber content.
Beans are composed of fiber and healthy starches. That means that they will keep you full for a longer period of time, reduce your cravings, and therefore you won’t over eat. Pretty cool, right?
Beans And Protein
Where do you get your protein from?
Aren’t you tired of hearing that question over and over again? I certainly am. As vegans, it’s important that we know how to answer. And if beans was never on the list of your response, well now you can add it.
Yes, beans are a great source of protein. And not only does protein also help in keeping you feeling full longer, but protein can also boost your metabolism.
Other than the fiber and protein content, beans are also known to have many other health benefits such as better heart health, improving gut health, and even prevent diabetes.
Are you convinced to start eating beans yet?
Beans And Digestive Issues
I hope so. If you are, you might now be wondering “ok so how do I get rid of the gas and bloating beans cause me so I can get all these great benefits?”
I’m glad you asked! Here are my top tips:
1. Start out slowly
Don’t try and eat a 2–3 cup of beans all at one time. Start out with 1/4 of beans or less, and each week gradually increase the amount you are eating. Is not that your body doesn’t like beans and never will, it is just not used to them. Give it time.
2. Chew more
By breaking down the beans in your mouth better you are helping your body not have to work as hard to break down the beans further once they are inside your body. This along with some enzymes we have in our saliva will help reduce the gas and bloating.
3. Prepare your beans well
If you buy canned beans you need to rinse them before you consume them. And if you decide to make beans from scratch (the healthier option), then you need to make sure you soak the beans in hot water for several hours before you cook them.
4. Lentils might do it
The gas we experience after eating legumes is a by-product of the bacterial fermentation of certain large sugar molecules found in beans. But some types legumes are higher in these sugars than others, and lentils are among the lowest.
5. If all else fails
There are products out in the market that you can buy that contain a natural food enzyme that helps prevent gas before it starts. It works with your body’s digestion to break down the complex carbohydrates in gassy foods. However, if you decide to go this route, I would advise you to do ample research on the product first.
6. Embrace it
You might lose a few friends (JK), but like I said, it will eventually pass.
If I’m being honest with you, I’ve never had gas or bloating issues because of eating beans. I’m hispanic. So beans have been part of my daily diet ever since I can remember.
However, I do know that it is a struggle for so many people, especially vegans, because we vegans are always looking for foods that can help us get our daily protein needs.
(For a complete list of the best protein sources for vegans, check out my blog post “You Need To See This Vegan Protein Sources Chart! Got Enough Protein?”)
My hope is that the benefits and tips on eating beans that I shared with you, will renew your love for them.
Baked Beans Recipe
And for my favorite baked beans vegan recipe:
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, sliced into thin strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 tbsp. vegan Worchestershire sauce
2 tbsp. blackstrap molasses
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. liquid smoke, optional
1/4 to 1/2 cup maple syrup, see my note
2 (14 oz.) cans navy beans or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
- Coat the bottom of a skillet (use a medium, oven-safe skillet if you’ve got one) with oil and place over medium-low heat. Add onion and toss a few times to coat. Allow to cook, flipping occasionally, until onion is very soft and caramelized, 30-40 minutes. Raise heat to medium and add garlic. Cook until very fragrant, about 1 minute more. Allow to cook until most of the liquid has cooked off, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Stir tomato paste, Worchestershire sauce, molasses, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, paprika and liquid smoke together in a small bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup maple syrup, taste test and add up to 1/4 cup more. If you used a non oven-safe skillet to caramelize the onions, transfer them to an oven-safe dish (an 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish works). Otherwise, leave them in the oven-safe skillet. Add beans and maple syrup mixture. Stir a few times to mix everything up. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and bake 40-45 minutes, until bubbly. Uncover and bake 10 minutes more.
- Remove from oven and allow to sit for a few minutes. Serve.