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Crockpot Baked Beans

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I got this recipe from a fellow diabetic a few years back and I make it every year for the 4th of July. She does hers in a Dutch Oven but I find it works well in the crockpot. It can cook for up to 24 hours and it is just wonderful. Since there are no set measurements and everything is pretty much done to taste, it never seems to come out the same way twice, but it's always good.

This year I made it with all organic ingredients.

I started with 4 cans of Great Northern beans, drained. You can also use pea beas or navy beans. Or your favorite dried beans. If using dried beans, be sure to bring to a boil and cook for at least an hour (or until soft) on the stove before putting in the crockpot. Use a pound of dried beans for this recipe. I always make sure to buy really fresh dried beans and soak them overnight. That way they cook up more quickly.

Add to the beans plenty of chopped onions. I used 2 large white ones. The onions are what add the sweetness to the dish. They will caramelize as they cook. I used to cook them first on the stove in a bit of olive oil, but I've found due to the long cooking in the crockpot, they will just caramelize in there.

The other seasonings are approx. 2 T. prepared mustard, 1/4 or more (I used a lot more) ketchup, 1/8 cup (or more) molasses and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

I also added one package of precooked (heat in microwave) bacon, cooked till crisp, drained and crumbled. You don't have to add the bacon, but we like it. I do not add any salt. You may find you need some if you are using dried beans or not adding the bacon. If using dried beans, do not add salt until after they are soft. Otherwise the salt will make them tough.

Now just mix it all up. Set your crockpot on high for about an hour or to heat through, then put it on low. I put mine on at about 2 this afternoon and we will be eating about 2 tomorrow afternoon. Check it occasionally, stir, and test for seasonings. It is hard to tell the sweetness when you first put it on because the onions haven't caramelized yet. You probably won't need to add any water. Seems I always feel like I need to towards the end of cooking time and then wish I hadn't because they get a bit runny. They really do cook up nicely with no fuss and the leftovers are wonderful!

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