Mrs Green makes baked beans!

Filed in Blog by on August 14, 2009 7 Comments
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Fartastic - Mrs Green's beans

Fartastic - Mrs Green's beans

You might remember that yesterday, thanks to Charity reminding me, I set myself the challenge of making baked beans.

Little Miss Green adores baked beans, but, as she can’t eat sugar, we are limited to what we can buy for her.

I end up buying them from the health food shop, where they are sweetened with apple juice, but they come at a premium price.

In addition, they don’t taste quite like Heinz and little Miss Green loves her Heinz beans.

I made up my own recipe as I went along, and here is what I did.

Mrs Green’s sugar free baked beans recipe

Fry 1 finely diced onion, 1 clove smashed garlic and 1 finely diced red pepper in a little oil until soft
Add 10 tbsp passata
2 tbsp agave syrup
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
pinch mustard
pinch allspice
pinch cinamon
1 tbsp paprika
1 tin drained haricot beans

Swirl it about a bit, put a lid on and simmer for 30 mins to infuse the flavours.

She ate them with the left over sardines from yesterday and a jacket potato for lunch.

The verdict? “Better than Heinz” !!

Fartastic. How pleased was I?

I browsed stacks of recipes for brazil nuts too. There were thousands out there and I got a bit overwhelmed with choice.

In the end I settled for some Brazil Nut and Banana Brownies because I still had two brown bananas to use up from the farm shop.
I’m going to post up the original recipe which is a vegan, gluten free version from the vegan society; as it might be helpful for some people. But I adapted it and used wheat flour along with some dairy products.

Gluten free,vegan banana and brazil nut brownies


* 2 very ripe bananas
* 6 ounces gluten-free flour
* 2 tablespoons cocoa
* 4 ounces sugar (I used 3 ounces of fructose)
* 140 ml vegetable oil (I used butter)
* 125 ml water (I used milk)
* 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda ( I used 1 egg instead)
* 2 ounces brazil nuts


Mash the bananas in a mixing bowl.
Sieve in the flour and cocoa.
Add the sugar, vegetable oil and water
Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in 1 tbsp of water then add to the bowl.
Mix well then stir in the brazil nuts.
Put the mixture in a greased brownie tin and bake for 40 minutes

When I wrote this post it was still cooling down, so we don’t have a verdict yet. It looks quite dry though, so I think cream or custard will be called for.

Today I realise I have the same issue as Charity with breakfast cereal. I bought an organic muesli but Little Miss Green hated it and said it was too sweet! So I’m going to adapt the funky flapjack recipe too  and see if I can turn it into something palatable for LMG. I’ll omit the sugar altogether and just tinker around with some honey and agave syrup.

Also, a ‘danger’ item for me will be the now opened jar of passata. I never buy this product myself, but was given a few jars by someone, so I need to use it up. I was thinking of mixing it with some fresh tomatoes from the garden, basil and blitzing it with some remaining bits of cheese that are starting to go hard around the edges for a filling soup.

What is your ‘storecupboard ingredient’ for today? Any new recipes to share with us? How is the ‘no spend’ food challenge turning out for you?

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (7)

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  1. thegreengal says:

    Your homemade baked beans look great! I’d love to have a go at making those, along with a million other things, but being out all week working in an office means there is not enough time at the weekend to fit in everything I want to do.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog, this challenge is decidedly more fun than I thought it would be! As I said at the beginning I thought we had quite a bit of food in the cupboard and freezer and that’s absolutely shown true. I’m sure by Sunday we’ll have gone in a slightly more imaginative/weird direction with our meal ideas but so far we’re doing well!

    My mini challenge for today is to try to heat up last night’s leftover sausage and mash in the work microwave so it’s edible. I don’t have a microwave at home so I’m a bit clueless on how best to use them. Currently I have the mash in a separate container from the veggie sausages with onion gravy. Would it be better to heat them up separately or okay to combine them and hope they heat up at the same rate? Any ideas would be v helpful!

  2. Charity says:

    Those beans look good; I will try that on my kids. They only eat the Whole Earth baked beans and won’t touch other brands.

    Passta is great for soup; it goes well with red lentils. I’ve also done 50:50 passata and milk for a very easy creamy one. I use it a lot for pasta sauces too intead of regular tinned tomatoes, because the children prefer a smoother texture.

    I found a Rose Elliott recipe to use my flageolet beans – bean, leek and watercress soup. As I don’t have leeks or watercress I shall try spring onions and spinach instead. Will make it tomorrow along with all my baking. And I found the missing breadmaker part in the depths of the dishwasher, hooray, so I can work on my flour mountain to go with the soup. Or I might do some soda bread. The bicarbonate of soda is a year past its use by, ooops, but I’m pretty sure it would still work. Does anyone really use that much bicarb within the date given? I can’t imagine how!

    GG, I microwaved some left over Quorn sausages yesterday. I just did them for 2 minutes on max power and they were fine to put into sandwiches. I would probably do the mash separately, but I don’t think it would really matter. You can’t go too far wrong really.

  3. thegreengal says:

    Thanks Charity! I put everything on a plate, zapped it for 2 mins then mixed a bit of marg into the mash. End result – delish!

  4. Sharon says:

    I need some bean ideas for this no spend week. I have just surveyed my cupboards and I have dried chickpeas, dried mung beans, dried aduki beans and dried butter beans. I also have a tin of soya beans and a carton of chickpeas!!
    I also have red lentils and puy lentils. And pearl barley.
    I like the frugality of dried pulses but they end up sitting in the cupboard due to lack of organisation and lack of inspiration.

    So inspire me!!

  5. Charity says:

    rRight now I’m making soup with my flageolet beans. Onion, spring onion and spinach, as that’s what I happen to have in. It would be good with butter beans I think.

    Aduki beans I would put into a chilli. Puy lentils make a great bolognaise style sauce, just cook them up with whatever veg and some herbs. Chickpeas make hoummus, curry, soup, all kinds of good things. Pearl barley I mix with veg in a stovetop stew. You can put mash on top and pretend it is shepherd’s pie.

    I’m stumped by mung beans though! Would you consider sprouting them instead of cooking them?

  6. Sharon says:

    @Charity: Thanks for that. I did actually buy the mung beans for sprouting bin the first place!!

  7. Mrs Green says:

    @thegreengal: Hi Greengal; no suggestions on the microwave; I don’t have one either (and no desire for one).
    I understand it must be very difficult to get things done over the weekend after a long week at work. It’s great that you’ve done the no spend challenge though and lovely that your DH got on board so much with it! Perhaps you have some new favourite meals that have materialised through the challenge?

    @Charity: Hi Charity! I just used up some more passata for a pasta sauce and LMG ate the lot declaring it the best pasta sauce she had every tasted. I think the secret was in a little feta cheese and a teaspoon of creme fraiche for a very rich sauce with a salty kick!

    How was the soup? That combination sounds really nice. Regarding bicarbonate of soda; I use it for cleaning – it’s perfect for burnt saucepans too 😉 Hence I buy in bulk LOL!

    @Sharon: Did you get around to sprouting the beans? Red dragon pie is good for using up the auduki beans – google it; it’s a bit like a shepherds pie. Chick peas I can eat straight from the can! But yes, hummous or curry is great; they are really nice with potato and spinach curry.
    Let us know if you did something yummy!

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