Dietitian's tip: This legume dish is high in folate and a good source of iron. Folate helps form red blood cells, which contain iron. Both nutrients are important in preventing anemia.
- 2 cups dried small, white beans (navy beans), picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight and drained
- 4 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup light molasses
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dry mustard
- 3 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
In a large, ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid or in a Dutch oven, combine the beans, water, bay leaves and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the beans have softened but are still firm, 65 to 75 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Don't drain the beans.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Stir the onion, molasses, mustard, bacon and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt into the beans. Cover and bake until the beans are tender and coated with a light syrup, 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Check periodically to make sure the beans don't dry out, stirring and adding hot water as needed.