Along the Grapevine

Maple Baked Beans


Somewhat sweeter and spicier than most baked bean recipes, this is a dish that is bound to please all those who love maple syrup. The mixture of spices gives enough flavour that no meat is needed, although for some a little chopped bacon could be added into the mix.

This has been a record year for maple syrup – a record that is for us in our third year of tree tapping. At this point the sap is still running, but with the sudden change in weather, I expect all will be dried up by tomorrow. Our small ‘operation’ of two trees gave us a full 8 litres of syrup, and would have been more had we not given up some time ago. This is more than required for our small household, so to celebrate I decided to splurge and add some to baked beans.

The difficulty was to choose the appropriate spices and quantities to do justice to this local specialty. Garlic, chili, sumac, mustard and bay leaves seemed like obvious choices, and I have enough experience with all of these that I wasn’t too worried about how to use them. But then I came across my asafoetida, and wondered if it would fit. I have used it many times before when following other people’s recipes without really understanding what it was. Time to do a little research. And this is what I learned.

  1. It is the dried gum of the tap root of severals species of ferula, a perennial herb native to Afghanistan and Iran and cultivated in India. That explains why I had some in my pantry.
  2. As its name suggests, it is considered to have a ‘fetid’ smell. I actually like the smell, something like mild onion and garlic, but this smell is rendered less offensive to sensitive types once cooked. Interesting!
  3. It is used Β mostly in the preparation of condiments, pickles and dals and has the effect of harmonising sweet, salty and spicy flavours. It is also used specifically in vegetarian dishes to add flavour and aroma. Perfect for a vegetarian bean dish.
  4. It also has a host of health benefits, not least of which being good for digestion and with the opposite effect of beans. This should have been my first choice of spices.

In short, what I learned is that this is a very useful spice, one I should and will use more often. If you are interested, here is the link to the wikipedia site where I got all this information.

Maple Baked Beans


4 cups cooked beans (I used navy)

1 large onion, chopped

5 cloves minced garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup tomato concentrate (preferably home-made)

1/2 cup maple syrup

a few bay leaves

2 Tbsp sumac powder

2 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp mustard powder

1 tsp asafoetida

1 tsp salt


Mix everything in a slow cooker. Set on high and cook for five hours, stirring occasionally if at all possible. It it becomes too dry, add a splash of boiling water.

When cooked, remove the bay leaves and serve.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, it can be done on the stove top, in which case it won’t take much more than an hour. However, with my bean baking experience, I prefer to give it about two to three hours at medium low, and just add water and stir if it gets too dry.

Linked to Fiesta Friday #115, Hostess at Heart and Too Zesty.

Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

34 thoughts on “Maple Baked Beans

  1. Fascinating post and the recipe sounds great. I am so enjoying my trip through your seasons and specialties, Hilda!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOOOOOVE sweet baked beans and these look wonderful Hilda! Thank you for sharing this recipe, I’ll have to try this one out πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a gorgeous array of spices Hilda. That sure looks like an amazing bowl of goodness right there. Happy Fiesta Friday.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would love this! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These maple baked beans look intoxicatingly delicious! I can’t say that I’ve ever cooked with asafoetida – I’ll have to check it out! That’s really interesting that it’s particularly good for digestion.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just love baked beans, and they just remind me of warmer weather. Having your own maple would be wonderful. I’ve never heard of asafoetida either. I always learn so much from you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This looks divine Hilda. My family is a baked beans fan, especially my girls :).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. How lucky you are to be able to tap into your own trees and provide yourself with REAL maple syrup! I am envious to say the least. Love the beans, and i would surely add bacon to mine. There is nothing more satisfying than what you have presented us today, Hilda! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These sound lovely – although I’d probably leave out the maple syrup for my tastes!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love baked beans but have never made them myself. Your recipe sounds quite flavorful and delicious. I love the addition of spices from India and the Middle-East to a maple-syrup (North-American) sweetened (British) dish; I would not have thought of putting all these ingredients together! I guess that is what true “fusion” food is!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Darya. I think baked beans are about the easiest thing to make and well worth the small effort. And they improve after a day or so and freeze really well. I hope you give them a try.


  11. First I thought it was dessert like azuki beans but not! Very fascinating!!
    And 8 liters of syrup??? Amazing!


  12. I love baked beans especially during the warmer months as I always associate it with barbecues, family and friends. I might throw a little bacon in there! Thanks for all of the info on asafetida as I just bought some. This ingredient kept popping up in Indian recipes.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sweet beans is new to me, we generally don’t eat much beans here but this sounds amazing! What would I eat it with? πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Baked beans here are usually made with molasses, and often pork. I think the best way to serve any kind of baked beans is with toast, preferably rye, and butter, but we also serve them with rice. You could also serve it with fried egg, avocado slices, and i have thought of refrying them and serving them with tortillas. Lots of possibilities!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I loved learning a bit more about asafoetida! This sounds like a delicious recipe as well. I’m impressed that you do your own tree tapping. Can’t wait to see what else you make with all that syrup. πŸ™‚


  15. Ooh Hilda! This looks like a very interesting dish. I never used maple syrup with beans! The dish looks very inviting too! Another must try! Yum!


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