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Archive for July 1, 2011

COOKING VIDEO: Homemade Baked Beans Recipe


July is National Baked Bean Month.

If you’ve only eaten baked beans from a can, it’s time to whip up some homemade baked beans in your oven or slow cooker. Vive la différence!

All you need are navy beans and pantry basics like baking soda, brown sugar, dry mustard and molasses. Soak the beans overnight to remove the indigestible complex sugars from the outer coating (oligosaccharides) that cause bloating and gas.

Enjoy your baked beans with franks or burgers, anything off the grill, on toast for breakfast or lunch, as a side with sandwiches or Southern-style, with a side of cornbread.

Once you see how easy it is, you can bring the baked beans to cookouts and potlucks—to great acclaim from all the others who’ve only had canned baked beans.

Recipe Tips

  • You can cut the brown sugar in the recipe by half. You’ll still get plenty of sweetness from two tablespoons, plus the tablespoon of ketchup.
  • Instead of the sausage used in the recipe (or in addition to it), add bacon. Prior to putting the beans into the oven, scatter the top with one-inch strips cut from four pieces of raw bacon. If you don’t want the extra bacon fat, pan-fry pieces of crispy bacon, break them into one-inch chunks and top the beans when they emerge from the oven.
    Beans are a nutritious, fiber-packed, filling, inexpensive, crowd-pleasing food.

  • Learn about bean nutrition.
  • See the different types of beans in our Bean Glossary.


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    JULY 4th: Send A Free Food E-Card

    We’re celebrating July 4th with red, white
    and blue whoopie pies.


    Send a yummy e-card featuring our favorite red velvet whoopie pies: a red, white and blue treat.

    Just head over to our E-Card Section and wish friends and family a happy celebration.

    Want to exclaim “Whoopie?” You can buy the delicious whoopie pies at



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    TIP OF THE DAY: 6 Reasons To Go Local (Become A Locavore)

    With the bounty of summer produce, there’s no better time to become a locavore. If you don’t like the word “locavore,” you can just “go local.”

    The “go local” trend has been growing over the past five years. The definition: seeking food produced under 100 miles from where you live.

    There are good reasons to implement a local focus into your food purchases.

    Our guest blogger is James Kim, a writer for, a company that provides online budget meal planning services to help families eat better and save money. (And who among us doesn’t want to do that?)
    1. Fresher Food. Because local food takes less time to get from the farm to your table, it’s fresher and more delicious. It’s also more nutritious. Nutrients in food begin to decline when the food is harvested. The less time taken from farm to table, fewer are nutrients lost.



    Romanesco cauliflower: a farmers market
    treat. Photo by Johan Bolhuis | SXC.

    2. Better Food. Family farmers have a profound attachment to their land and a love of farming. They want their product to be the best. Corporate farm developments don’t have the same devotion.

    3. Local Economy Boost. Buying local benefits your community. By supporting local businesses, you keep your money “close to home,” helping your community prosper. The New Economic Foundation, an independent economic research firm in London, found that twice the money stayed in the community when people bought products produced locally.

    4. Save Farmland. A heartbreaking amount of farmland is lost every year to commercial development. By supporting local food so that farmers don’t have to sell their land, you preserve both the beauty of a farm and a way of life that is our heritage.

    5. Less Air Pollution. Less food travel means fewer fuel contaminants released into the air—and thus, a healthier environment. According to a study by the journal “Food Policy,” even organic food transported long distances creates environmental damage that outweighs the environmental benefit of buying organic.

    6. Building Community. Eating local brings you closer to your community. You can go to farmers markets and meet exactly who is growing your food. Some farms can accommodate visitors—a wonderful experience for adults and children alike.

    Eating local isn’t confined to dairy and produce. Baked goods, meats, honey and numerous other food categories are produced locally.

    A food writer we know moved his family to a rural area so he could live a pure locavore life, growing and canning his own produce, keeping his own chickens, buying flour from regional mills, etc. The only “non-local” foods he buys are coffee and olive oil—neither of which can be produced in the Northeast. When we last spoke, he was building a shed to house goats for milk and cheese.

    No one has to make that kind of commitment. Just remember that “eating local” benefits everyone, starting with you. Buy local when you can, and take a step toward an improved community, environment and dishes on the table.


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