08/09/2010 09:47 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

My Favorite Organic Baked Beans

My favorite picnic dish just got better.

It was late. I was starving for baked beans and could have sworn I had my favorite nonorganic brand in my pantry. In fact, I thought I had a couple of cans. I searched. I cursed. But I couldn't find them anywhere. That's when I spotted the organic baked beans that had been sent to me as a free sample.

I'd had more than my share of bad experiences with organic baked beans. As much as I love organic foods, I won't sacrifice taste or texture, and I still hadn't tasted any baked beans that beat my tried-and-true brand. With trepidation, I took the first taste. And what a pleasant surprise. I was, in fact, very satisfied. These were beans I could love in every way.

Who's the lucky winner of my newfound loyalty? Walnut Acres baked beans, made with 100 percent organic ingredients and flavored with that essential baked-beany twang: molasses, tomatoes, and mustard. (Find them at supermarkets and natural-food stores nationwide.)

Thanks to Walnut Acres, I can make my special doctored-up summer-picnic baked-bean recipe -- organically!

The beans will go great with my favorite organic hot dogs: Applegate Farms organic hot dogs!

Maria's Summer-Picnic Baked Beans


2 cans Walnut Acres Organic baked beans
1 tbsp. yellow mustard
2 tbsp. barbecue sauce
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 small onion, chopped
5 pieces cooked bacon (turkey, pork or tofu)


1: In an oven-safe dish, combine the beans, mustard, barbecue sauce, maple syrup, and onions.

2: Top with bacon.

3: Bake at 350 until bubbly, about 20 to 30 minutes.

This serves four as a side dish. To make enough for a potluck for 16, simply quadruple the recipe. Goes great with fried chicken!

Related Links:
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14 Fantastically Healthy Foods for Diabetes - Prevention

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