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Slow cooker baked beans with ham

Who doesn't love a warm bowl of baked beans? Especially when they're smothered in a sweet and tangy maple syrup sauce with chunks of salty ham. Baked beans remind me of campfire dinners and rainy day lunches, family potlucks and cozy suppers at home with a plate of buttered toast. And to add good to good, beans are one of the most affordable items in the grocery store while also being one of the most nutritious. Plus, they're the musical fruit and we all know how much kids love to recite that rhyme.

I used dried beans in this recipe and soaked them in a large mixing bowl of cold water overnight prior to cooking. If you want to skip the long soak process you can cover the beans with water in a pot and bring the water to a boil, remove the pot from the heat, cover and let sit one hour, drain and rinse. You could also use canned beans, drained and rinsed.

Here's how I made them:

2 1/2 cups dried navy beans, soaked overnight (see above)
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup cooked ham, diced
3/4 cup onion, diced
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

I stirred together all the ingredients in my slow cooker and set it on HIGH for 7 hours. And that's it!

A baked beans supper just isn't complete without hot, buttery toast. So that's what I served these with. Life is good when a big bowl of baked beans greets you at the end of a cool day.

Are you a fan of baked beans? Do you have a favourite family recipe for them? Leave a comment and share your recipe links!