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“You wanna know how good bacon is? To improve other food, they wrap it in bacon. If it weren’t for bacon, we wouldn’t even know what a water chestnut is,” stand-up guy, Jim Gaffigan said as part of his 3 minute tribute to the greasy, tasty, banned-from-diets porky goodness – I insist you brighten your day by taking the three minutes to watch his bit – his bacon bit. I will wait.

See, now I have you in a happier place. So, bacon, as well as strong cheese, chicken sausage are all fine foods as flavor boosters; they don’t have to be the enemy. “Bacon for flavor, you can’t do better than that,” Mark Bittman, the minimalist chef declared just the other day on a morning news program. But we have given these foods – bacon, cheese, sausage – a bad rap because of the damage they can do without portion control. Using cautionary foods in scant amounts to elevate the flavor of really healthy foods, is not only acceptable, it’s encouraged so you actually eat more of the good stuff.

Guess what peeps, here is a way I have found to have your beans and eat your bacon too. Good For You Baked Beans, adapted from aCooking Light recipe is low in sugar, low in fat and easy to make. But first a reminder that beans should be a big part of your diet. The latest reports say we should have three cups a week for this fiber-filled food, which is also a powerful antioxidant. And if vanity is your hook, bean eaters are associated with having smaller waist sizes and a 22% lower risk of obesity. The bean eaters also take in less “bad” fat and one-third more fiber than those who avoid these nutritional gems. So eat your beans with a bacon spoon!

One more note about this recipe. We always give you foods that minimize your time in the kitchen, but this one will require a length of time just not much active cooking time, so you will still have more time to watch Louis CK tell us that everything’s amazing.



baked beans with bacon, and did I mention bacon?

Active CookTime: 30 minutes

TotalTime 3 hours 30 minutes (does not include 8 hrs to soak beans)

1 lb. dried navy beans

3 bacon slices

1 c. finely chopped onions

5 c water, divided

1/2 c maple syrup divided

1/4 c bourbon

1/4 c. dijon mustard

1 1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 t. black pepper

1 T cider vinegar

1-1 1/2 t salt

Wash beans and sort. Place in heavy pot and cover with water 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight.

Drain beans. Wipe pan dry. Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat pan and add bacon; cook for 4 minutes and remove from pan. Add onion to drippings, cook for 5 minutes. Add beans, bacon, 4 c. of water, 1/4 c. maple syrup, 1/4 bourbon, mustard, W.sauce, and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and bake for 2 hours.

Stir in remaining water, maple syrup and bourbon. Cover and bake 1 hour.

Stir in vinegar and salt – adjust to taste.

recipe adapted from Cooking Light by your friends at crunchtimefood.com

Dr. April adds:

If you can find fresh shell beans this delish dish will only take 45 minutes total!!!


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