One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Smokey Maple BBQ Beans (made with Jones Soda Co. Bacon Flavored Soda)

This afternoon I came home to a box little rectangle box filled with 4 clanging bottles of Jones Soda Co.'s new Bacon Flavored Soda. This new bacon flavored soda is 100% vegan but the moment I opened the box I knew in my heart I would never be able to drink it. But there has to be some redeeming value to a big box of bacony soda so I put on my thinking cap and started thinking about ways to incorporate the soda into delicious recipes. After mulling over it all afternoon I looked in my fridge and spotted the huge bowl of navy beans I just cooked up last night that had no particular culinary destination in mind. Right then and there I knew I had to make BBQ beans. I adapted my Smokey Maple BBQ Sauce recipe from Quick and Easy Vegan Celebrations into the base for the beans. I was really worried about how the bacon would effect the taste of the beans, I haven't cooked with or eaten food with pork in it since the early 80s, so I stirred the soda into the pot 1 tablespoon at a time, tasting it after every stir. Before I knew it there was 3/4 cup of bacon flavored soda in the beans! This is my new favorite BBQ beans recipe and I'm glad it turned out well because the recipe makes a really big batch of beans so I'll be eating these throughout the Thanksgiving holiday season and freezing them for Christmas and New Years.

Smokey Maple BBQ Beans
Makes 8 Servings

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup diced white onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups ketchup
3/4 cup Grade A maple syrup
3/4 cup Jones Soda Co. Bacon Flavored Soda
1 to 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 cups cooked navy beans

Warm canola oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in the ketchup, maple syrup, soda, Worcestershire sauce and red pepper flakes. Then slowly stir in navy beans. Stir until navy beans are completely covered with sauce. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.


  1. What a creative way to use that soda! I can't decide if I'd be able to drink it straight up... probably not. Hmm.

  2. That sounds so delicious! Where did you get Jones Soda Co. Bacon Flavored Soda? I live in Atlanta but I haven't seen anything like this before.


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