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Baked beans - 12 ways

Hands up if you have a can of baked beans in your cupboard?

Whether you stockpiled or not due to the Coronavirus pandemic, baked beans are a staple in most cupboards including mine! You might be surprised to hear a Dietitian has canned foods in their cupboard, after all they are processed right?! Processing foods extends shelf-life, keeps food safe and can preserve nutrients. This is exactly the case with a can of humble baked beans. Baked beans are packed with fibre, protein and nutrients.

• 1 of your 5 a day; 3 heaped tablespoons (once per day) • Source of plant-based protein; ½ tin = 9.7g protein • High in fibre; ½ tin = 7.7g fibre • Low in fat; ½ tin = 0.4g saturated fat • Suitable for vegetarians and vegans • Naturally gluten-free *The nutritional values were taken from Heinz Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce 415g

Baked beans are convenient, quick and easy to heat. What’s not to love… But what do you have them with? Are you sick of the sight of beans on toast? Well fear not, I have complied some great recipes all using baked beans.

Spice Up Your Beans on Toast

Firstly, lets kick off with how to upgrade your current beans on toast game. One idea is to add marmite (trust me, it’s lovely if you like marmite). You can also spice up you’re your baked beans by adding a teaspoon of your favourite spice, for example smoked paprika, cumin or chilli powder if your feeling adventurous.

What you need: 1-2 slices of toast, ½ can baked beans and 1 tsp marmite/smoked paprika/cumin/chilli powder.

Method: Heat baked beans and add in marmite/spice of choice and toast bread. Pour beans over toast to serve.

Cheesy Beans

Adding cheese to your beans on toast makes it a complete protein meal. What I mean by that is often vegetarian sources of protein don’t have the full range of amino acids (protein building blocks) compared to meat. By combining two vegetarian sources of protein, such as baked beans and cheese on toast you create a complete protein (with the full range of amino acids). What you need: 1-2 slices of bread, ½ can baked beans, 20-30g cheese and 20g onions. Method: Toast bread, add cheese and onions and place under the grill and heat baked beans. Add baked beans to the toast after grilling.

Easy, Quick Lunch Beans Want a quick easy lunch that will please everyone? Baked potatoes are great for lunch and you can even get the kids involved with helping to top them! This recipe is a short cut to make a super quick baked potato without having to turn on the oven. What you need: 1 baking potato, ½ can baked beans and 20g grated cheese. Method: Pierce potato a few times using a fork, cook on full power for 5 minutes* in the microwave, turn over and cook on other side for another 5 minutes, heat baked beans and grate cheese while potato is in the microwave. Once finished, carefully slice potato in half lengthways and add baked beans and cheese. Place back in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt cheese. *Note, cooking times vary based on wattage of microwave and size of potato.

Beans or don't have to choose

Another great quick lunchtime idea is to add baked beans to soup, this will up the protein content too! What you need: ½ can vegetable or tomato soup, ½ can baked beans and bread (optional). Method: Heat soup according to packet instructions and heat baked beans. Transfer soup to a bowl and add baked beans, serve with bread (optional).

Breakfast for lunch

With more free time at the weekend, why not try a fry-up for brunch, sausages (meat or vegetarian), eggs, sautéed spinach, and baked beans.

What you need: 1-2 sausages of your choice, 1 egg, 80g spinach, 1 tsp olive oil and ½ can baked beans.

Method: Bake sausages in the oven according to pack instructions, cook your egg the way you like it, heat olive oil in a small frying pan, add washed spinach and sauté for 3-5 minutes on a medium-low heat, heat baked beans. Serve all together on one plate.

Avocado and beans bagel

Another combination for brunch could be smashed avocado on a bagel, roasted tomatoes and baked beans. This meal packs a punch with 3 of your 5 a day! What you need: ½ avocado, 80g tomatoes 1 bagel, 1 tsp olive oil, and ½ can of baked beans. Method: Slice and mash avocado, place tomatoes on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, heat baked beans and toast bagel. Add avocado smash to bagel and serve with tomatoes and baked beans.

Veggie Mexican wrap

Wraps are both fun and messy, fry up some peppers and onions in fajita spice mix, add baked beans. Place in wrap with rice, lettuce and mayo for a filling lunch.

What you need: 40g mixed peppers, 40g onions,1 tsp olive oil, ¼ fajita spice mix pack, ¼ can of baked beans, 1 wrap, 50g cooked rice, couple of lettuce leaves and 1 tablespoon mayonnaise.

Method: Boil rice according to packet instructions, fry sliced peppers and diced onions in olive oil for 3-5 minutes and add spice mix. Heat baked beans. Once everything is cooked begin with placing a wrap on a plate, add mayonnaise, lettuce, baked beans, peppers and onions and close wrap.

Note, all my recipes are in reference to 415g can of baked beans and based on serving 1 person. When heating baked beans please refer to the packet instructions.

Or check out these other bean packed recipes....... Sausage & bean casserole is a great dinner winner, especially as it’s a one-pot wonder. This recipe uses chorizo but you could easily substitute for any kind of sausage including veggie sausages. Check out the recipe on BBC Good Food by clicking here

Another great dinner winner is chilli, the ultimate comfort meal. This recipe is a Mexican twist on the standard chilli recipe and uses baked beans instead of kidney beans. This recipe uses beef mince but you could easily swap to meat-free mince. Check out the recipe on Simply Cook by clicking here.

Greggs bakery has shared the recipe to make your own Sausage, Bean and Cheese Melt at home; you could substitute for a vegetarian sausage. Check out the recipe video on Greggs Facebook page by clicking here.

Heinz have lots of recipes using baked beans, I like the look of the Nachos with Beans. Check out the recipe on the Heinz webpage by clicking here.

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