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Essential Best Foods Cookbook
by Dana Jacobi
Making these dark and pungent beans takes patience—but their ginger, chocolate, and coffee flavors are worth the time required. I love them topped with a poached egg or used for Baked Beans on Toast.
Makes 8 servings


• 1 pound navy beans, soaked for 8 hours, or quick-soaked (below)
• 1/2 cup tomato sauce
• 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
• 2 tablespoons wildflower honey
• 2 teaspoons English mustard powder
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
• 2 cups hot water, plus more as needed
• 1 small onion
• 2 whole cloves
• 1 ounce Scharffen Berger Mocha Dark Chocolate, chopped
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup
• Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Drain the beans and set aside.

2. In a medium bean pot, combine the tomato sauce, molasses, honey, mustard, ginger, and pumpkin pie spice. Bring to a boil. Add the beans and hot water. Halve the onion vertically, stopping just above the root tip to keep the halves attached. Turn the onion 90° and repeat. Stick in the cloves and add the onion to the beans. Cover the pot.

3. Bake the beans for 1 hour. Reduce the heat to 275°F. Bake for 2 hours, adding 1 cup warm water if needed to keep the beans submerged. Check every hour; bake until the beans are al dente, adding water 1/2 cup at a time, as needed.

4. Stir in the chocolate and maple syrup. Bake 1 to 2 hours, until the beans are very tender, still adding water by the 1/2 cup to keep the beans submerged. Remove and discard the onion.

Quicker Beans: To save time try the quick-soak method: Place the beans in a deep pot and add water to cover by 2". Cook, covered, over medium heat until the water just boils. Remove from the heat and let the covered pot sit for 1 hour. Drain the beans and finish cooking according to your recipe.

Another Way: In place of Scharffen Berger Mocha Dark Chocolate, use 1 ounce dark chocolate (70 to 85%) plus 2 tablespoons brewed espresso coffee. Use a small Dutch oven in place of a bean pot.

Per serving: 271 calories, 2 g fat. 1 g saturated fat, 12 g protein. 54 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber



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