Stovetop “Baked” Beans with Peaches

The addition of sweet, local peaches in these homestyle baked beans makes for a comforting dish that everyone will love. Add a few shakes of cayenne pepper for an unbeatable mix of spicy sweetness.

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Stovetop 'Baked' Beans with Peaches

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups cooked navy beans (see Note)
1 1/2 cups water
1 (156mL) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably amber
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
5 fresh medium peaches, stoned and cut into small chunks
Sea salt, to taste
Fresh parsley, for garnish
2 to 4 green onions, chopped, for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and let cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Mix in the navy beans. Add the water, tomato paste, maple syrup, mustard and tamari to the bean mixture, stirring until well combined. Mix in peaches and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often.

Check the seasonings, adding salt to taste. You don’t want to add the salt too early—the beans will toughen. Continue to simmer for an additional 25 to 45 minutes, until reduced and flavours have come together.

Note: Cooking the beans from scratch—as opposed to using canned—will give you the best flavor. If you are using canned beans, lower the cooking time by at least 20 minutes, as the beans will become mushy. You may also need to add less tamari and salt if the beans are already salted.

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Jalapeños Stuffed with Roasted Garlic Hummus

The roasted garlic in the hummus creates a sultry, mellow flavour, rich in taste without the pungent kick of raw garlic, and can be made a few days in advance to make day-of assembly a breeze.

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JALAPENOS STUFFED WITH ROASTED GARLIC HUMMUS

Roasted Garlic Hummus
1 large head of garlic
1 (14 oz./398 mL) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons roasted tahini
1/4 cup warm water
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

To Assemble
About 20 jalapenos, cut in half, length-wise and seeded
Fresh cilantro, for garnish

To make the hummus, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Cut off the very top of the garlic bulb so just the tops of most of the cloves are exposed. Wrap securely in aluminum foil and place in oven to roast for one hour. Remove and let cool.

Using your fingers, squeeze the roasted garlic into the food processor. Add all remaining ingredients except for cilantro and jalapenos. If not completely smooth, add a dash or two of water until smooth consistency is reached. Test for seasoning. Refrigerate overnight if desired.

When ready to stuff the jalapenos, preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Spoon hummus in each jalapeno half, filling the crevasses, and transfer on a baking sheet. Depending on the size of the jalapenos, you might have some left over (eat it within a few days).

Bake the stuffed jalapenos  for 17 to 20 minutes, until jalapenos are tender but still slightly firm. Garnish with cilantro if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Raw Sprouted Chickpea Hummus

A spin on hummus using cooked chickpeas, this version tastes similar to the one we’re familiar with, but has an undeniable freshness thanks to the sprouts and soaked sesame seeds.Using sprouted chickpeas has a bit of an earthier undertone, and is a very different flavor than any other hummus I’ve tried. I like black sesame seeds for their richer flavour, but you can use white sesame seeds, too.

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Raw Sprouted Chickpea Hummus

2 1/2 cups sprouted chickpeas (see Note)
Juice and zest of 1/2 large lemon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, soaked for 4 hours then drained
1 to 2 cloves garlic, to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides, if needed. Serve with anything!

Note: To sprout chickpeas, put 1 heaping cup of chickpeas in a large bowl. Add about 3 cups water. Soak about 12 hours. Pour the chickpeas into a colander and rinse well. Set the colander over a bowl and let stand at room temperature for 1 to 2 days, rinsing every 6 hours or so. You’ll notice sprouts will begin to form; they’ll be best to use when the sprouts are about 1/4-inch long.

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