Natural hickory flavoring will give these beans that classic baked bean flavor – without the salt pork. You can use a popular brand (like Liquid Smoke) or search your local natural foods store for a healthier alternative (like Bakon Yeast).
2-1/2 cups dried navy or kidney beans
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon natural hickory flavoring (optional)
2 teaspoon tamari
2 medium onions, chopped into large pieces
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly cracked pepper
Soak the beans overnight (or at least 5 hours). Drain off the soaking water, rinse well and drain again. Add fresh water and bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes then drain well. Mix together the molasses, sugar, mustard, cayenne, hickory flavoring, and tamari in a small bowl then combine with the beans, onions, bay leaves, garlic, salt, and pepper in a crockpot. Add water to cover, put the lid on, and cook on low until the beans are very soft. That will take 7-8 hours. Check them periodically and add more water, if needed, to keep the beans from drying out.