There are several side dishes you will find at almost every summer get together. One of those dishes is baked beans. Baked beans are the perfect side dish for everything from hamburgers to barbecue to even steak. But, have you ever thought about the calories that might be lurking in those baked beans? In this article, you’ll learn a few simple tips to make baked beans into a healthy summer side dish.
First of all, you need to start with the healthy beans. A lot of recipes start out with canned pork and beans that are opened with a can opener. The simplest way to make this side dish healthy is to use a vegetarian version of pork and beans. This product is easily found in grocery stores and tastes very similar, except for the lack of pork. Check the different brands available and find one that is low in calories and sodium.
Next, you need to add lots of healthy vegetables. Personally, I love to add onions and green peppers. As the onions cook in the baked beans they get nice and sweet, which only enhances the flavor. You can use whichever variety of onions you like. Different types will add different flavors. Also, don’t be afraid to add hot peppers. The contrast of the sweet and spicy flavors found in your healthy baked beans will only improve their taste.
(Here are some great onion choppers for you!)
Last, but not least, you need to season your healthy baked beans. While many recipes call for brown sugar or molasses, I find these ingredients unnecessary. Not only do they add unneeded calories to your healthy baked beans, but the onion and canned beans have made the dish sweet enough. What I do suggest adding is lots of cracked black peppers, low-sodium ketchup, and mustard. If you like, you can also add real bacon bits, but do so sparingly.
Baked beans really are a healthy side dish, especially when you prepare them properly. These healthy baked beans are high in fiber and protein and low in fat and calories. Plus, these healthy baked beans are the perfect side item to serve during the summer. They can be cooked in a Dutch oven on the grill, which means your home will stay nice and cool. Also, they taste great warm and at room temperature, making them perfect for parties.
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