The Great American Beans Experiment #3: Apple Bacon Beans

The latest concoction to emerge from the heralded “Great American Beans Experiment” is J.B.’s Apple Bacon Beans. Mild apple sweetness is complimented by subtle spice notes and balanced by a hint of savory goodness. Excellent on it’s own or as a compliment to barbecue and picnic fare.

The Great American Beans Experiment is a project to develop bean recipes that break from the expectations of the average American consumer and deliver natural and delicious flavors. All of the recipes developed in the project are drawn from scratch, with out reference and use only real foods that your great great grandmother may have used. The project hopes to deliver a product that is gluten free and (more) diabetic friendly, while delivering appealing flavor palettes that will compliment meals typically featuring beans.

Ingredients:
1 lb Red Beans
1 qt Apple Cider
1 cup Apple Butter (look for one with ONLY apples in it)
1/2 cup Bacon, shredded
1 cup Onions
1 T Garlic, minced (dried)
1 T Nutmeg
1 T Cinnamon
Dash Lemon Juice
(all approximate, because I don’t actually measure things)

Optional:
Diced Chili Peppers can be added to the pot add a complimentary flavor and some heat.
Sriracha can be added to taste at serving as desired with enjoyable results.

Tools:
Jar
Slow Cooker
Measuring Devices
Spoon/Ladel

Directions:
Soak your beans.*
Add everything to slow cooker and cover.
Wait.
Stir.
Keep waiting, stirring occasionally.
After beans have been simmering for a few hours check for flavor and consistency. Add spice if desired.
Reduce volume by approximately one third.
If beans are not at desired consistency add a cup of water, allow to reduce and check again. Repeat if necessary.

*Soaking beans: There are many methods for soaking beans. Soaking beans will draw out some of the indigestible sugars that make farts happen, so it’s a highly beneficial step beyond softening the beans.

I use a gallon jar that originally housed something else. Add warm water, approx 120-140ºF, with a couple splashes of lemon or lime juice. Leave it on your counter, not in the fridge. After 6-8 hours or so drain and rinse, refill the jar/pot with room temperature water and splash of lemon juice. After 6-8 hours or so change it and wait again. When you are ready to cook the beans drain and rinse before adding to the pot.

I start the process before work, change after work, change again before bed, start cooking beans in the morning. If you aren’t ready to cook your beans at this point, change out the water and put it in your fridge to start within a day or two.

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