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The humble baked bean. A nutritious power packed meal in a tin

The humble baked bean. A nutritious power packed meal in a tin

Tinned food can have a bad image, but for one of our favourite store-cupboard standbys it is unjustified.  Baked beans are convenient, filling and surprisingly good for us. Read on for a baked bean primer.

What is in the tin?

What actually is that ‘baked bean’? In a British tin, they are almost always the variety known as haricot beans. These are grown in the same way as the runner beans so popular with gardeners. However haricot beans don’t grow well in the British climate, so they are all imported. They are then cooked to perfection, mixed with the tomato sauce and packed ready to eat.

What makes baked beans good for us?

The beans (and the tomato sauce) provide plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals. Baked beans also contain anti-oxidants, which are believed to have beneficial effects on heart health and longevity. Some famous sportsmen swear by their baked beans for improved performance – and they should know.

What should I watch out for?

There have been concerns that too much sugar and salt is added to tinned baked beans. This means that many people have been switching to brands sold with an ‘organic’ or ‘health’ tag. Before you do that, read the information on actual sugar and salt content in tinned beans here. You may be surprised!

Can I make my own baked beans?

Definitely – and make a big batch to reduce fuel costs and save time. Dried beans need to be soaked overnight first, so a little planning ahead is required. This recipe for perfect baked beans allows you to choose your ingredients and control what you add.

Tinned? Home-made? Whichever it is, feel free to enjoy your beans!


the author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.