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The Secret to Amazing Gluten-Free Baked Beans and the Truth About Me

Gluten-Free Artisanal Root Beer Baked Beans

Before I get to this amazing Gluten-Free Baked Beans Recipe, I thought it was time to reveal the truth about me.  If you read my last post, The Gluten-Free Diner Giveaway and 5 “Facts” About Me, you saw my list of the 5 “facts” that I posted about myself. Only one of those was an actual fact.  The rest? All lies.  And only a few of you guessed right.  So, now for the true reveal! I have re-listed the facts and why or why they may not be true.

1.  My house is always a complete and total disaster.

Nope this is not the right one.  Why? Because I have a problem. My friends tease me about it. Some actually have had dreams about this said problem. One girlfriend just recently dreamt that my house was, in fact, a complete and total disaster and she said she woke up feeling so excited, relieved, justified …until she realized it was just a dream.

So yes. I keep an organized house.  I have a basket or storage spot for everything. That does not mean that I do not always have toys strewn all over the house. I do.  Or ingredients for four different recipes always sitting on my kitchen counters. Again, yes. Or art supplies for the two different art projects my kids have going at any time strewn across my dining room table.  A given.

These things, in fact, are a usual state for our home.  But, a complete and total disaster? I would not go that far. Maybe I should just start calling it an “organized mess”.

2.  I have a wake-boarding boat that is so big it will not even fit in our over-sized garage.

Part of this sentence is true. We do have a wake-boarding boat. It is very big.  However, my husband actually had the garage designed and built to fit his “boat baby” along with our cars and all of his other “toys”.  It is a man’s playground in there. Thank goodness I have two boys who love to fix things in the garage with Daddy. Mommy gets a lot of time to herself in the house these days.

3.  I know how to surf pretty well and love to ride the waves with my husband.

This, in fact, is not a fact at all (much to the complete chagrin and utter disappointment of my husband). I have surfed before.  But there are two things about the above statement that make it not true. One – my surfing abilities are more closely related to drowning scares. And two – because of said drowning scares, I anything BUT love to be out there with my husband.  And because of Number One, it actually relieves my husband not to have me out there with him.

He only can save me from near-death so many times.

4.  I love my chocolate chip cookies hot and straight from the oven.

A little bizarre and possibly very un-American of me, but….I actually do not like my chocolate cookies straight from the oven. Instead, I love my home-made cookies straight from the…FREEZER! I love the hard, frozen, chocolate chunks. I wonder, if there were to be some analysis about this, what, exactly it would say about me?

5.  I have been to over 10 Jimmy Buffett Concerts in the last seventeen years.

Who would have guessed?  Well, apparently only a few of you! But…this is it! This one is true!  A Parrothead I am. Are you surprised?


Okay, so now for the secret that makes these Gluten-Free Baked Beans so darn good. Ready? It is Artisanal Root Beer.  You know the kind that comes in a glass bottle and is made from sugar and spices and NOT from High-Fructose Corn Syrup?

Back in July, Bon Appetit included a recipe for Root Beer Baked Beans in their magazine.  I could not resist trying it.  I love home-made baked beans. And then to include an Artisanal root beer into the mix?

I have fond memories of those cool glass bottles of Artisanal Root Beers and Sarsaparilla that were part of many special occasions of my youth. And, to add a bit of this to a baked beans recipe? What a perfect touch.  You will not be disappointed by this recipe. I have adapted it a bit from the original recipe to make it slightly healthier and more suited to our particular tastes.  The kids devoured these, as did my husband and I.

Oh. And we may or may not have eaten these for breakfast again the next morning.  They were that good.

Gluten Free Baked Beans

Gluten-Free Artisanal Root Beer Baked Beans

Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, July 2010 issue


3 slices Applewood Smoked Bacon (I used Applegate Farms Organic Sunday Bacon), cut crosswise into 1 inch pieces

3 cups onions, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 – 15 ounce cans Cannellini Beans or Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained, preferably Organic

1 cup Artisanal Root Beer (such as, Virgil’s – which, has NO HFCS and even says it is Gluten Free on the bottle)

3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

3 Tablespoons Organic Coconut Palm Sugar (original recipe calls for light Molasses)

2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons Chili Powder

1/2 teaspoon Paprika

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (optional, or more to taste)

1 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt

1 teaspoon Black Pepper, freshly ground

Green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook sliced bacon in large oven-proof pot, over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Use slotted spoon to transfer bacon to paper towel. Drain all but 2 Tablespoons of bacon drippings from pot.

2.  Add onions to reserved drippings in pot. Sautee until browned, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic, stir 1 minute.

3.  Add beans, root beer, vinegar, sugar, tomato paste, mustard, chili powder, Sea Salt, and pepper. Mix all together.  Stir in bacon and bring to boil.

4.  Transfer pot to oven. Bake uncovered until liquid thickens, about 30 minutes. Serve topped with green onions for garnish, if desired.

Root Beer Baked BeansSo did you have me pegged for a Parrot Head? I cannot help it. His music just reminds me of relaxing vacations in the Caribbean and many wonderful House Boating vacations on Lake Powell.

This post is linked to:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Hearth and Soul Blog Hop

  1. On February 22, 2011 Chef Froggie said

    I had a feeling that #1 was right, but the wording of it confused me…. kind of like double negation.

    As for the recipe, I didn’t grow up drinking any root beer, so the thought that someone would bake with it kind of surprises me. But, maybe I’ll try it some day.

    • On February 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Sorry for the confusing way I wrote that. Changed it up a bit so hopefully makes more sense. Bottom line, I am a bit organized. 😉

  2. On February 22, 2011 Jeanine said

    Shucks, I was wrong! But, I like cookies out of the freezer too, so I can understand why I was wrong on that one.
    Love homemade beans as well, and these look YUMMY!

    • On February 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks Jeanine! Not many people guessed right at all. Guess I am a really good liar. LOL!

  3. On February 22, 2011 pam said

    Wow-I too LOVE the chocolate chip cookies straight from the freezer!!! I have no allergies to to dictate a gluten free diet, so I do so as a choice. I am diabetic so sugar free is right for me. With my daughters help and the gluten, sugar free websites such as yours with great recipes and healthy information I have been able to lower my blood sugar and my weight! So thank you for all your hard work! Pam

    • On February 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Pam! Aren’t the frozen chocolate chunks the best? I am so glad that you are able to lower your blood sugar and weight by eating sugar and gluten free. Well done!! And thank you for your kind words! 😉

  4. On February 22, 2011 AndreAnna said

    I suppose there’s no chance you could, say, beam me some of these beans because AHMAHGAH they look fantastic and I want them right now.

    • On February 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      AndreAnna! LOL – Root Beer Baked Beans being shipped to you as we speak. Cannot take responsibility for their condition or their smell upon arrival, however, as I shipped them via the slow boat! 😉

  5. On February 22, 2011 AndreAnna said

    Oh and a Buffet-head huh? I think we’re gonna get along swimmingly in CO, my friend.

    P.S. Did I tell you my middle name is actually Margarita.

    P.P.S. The above statement is not true but wouldn’t it be fun? Ha

    • On February 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Oh, and aha, AndreAnna! Another reason why I seem to like you so much already! 😉 Another Buffett fan…And yes. It would so fun if your middle name was Margarita!!

  6. On February 22, 2011 Christy said

    I was just thinking the other day that I need to learn to make bake beans from scratch. I open a can of Bush’s on occasion and doctor them up but WOWZA would my crowd be thrilled if I served them these. Thanks for sharing this with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop!

    • On February 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Christy, it is super easy to make Baked Beans! You will love this recipe – so yummy! 😉 Thanks for letting me share it on Hearth and Soul this week!

  7. On February 22, 2011 Tia said

    I was so close. It was between that one and the boat. I was pretty sure about the other two, and I KNOW about your cookie fetish, I mean preference.

    Looks like you know me a tad better than I know you, though. I posted my lies/truth today. Yesterday’s post was too long to include it.

    • On February 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Well, Tia, I must be a really good liar to have even stumped you!! But, i am glad that I had you pegged for your truth. You, apparently are not such a good fibber. LOL Just kidding.

  8. On February 22, 2011 Alisa Fleming said

    Did I guess right? I was leaning toward #5, but can’t remember my final vote!!

    I totally like cookies from the freezer too, and prefer the chocolate chips all solidified up rather than gooey. Not that I don’t ever take one off the baking sheet, but if I can hold out, they get chilled.

    The baked beans look awesome … you have far too many fun secrets!

    • On February 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      And you, Alisa, are one of the few who did get it right!! Well done, my friend.
      And I am glad to see another fellow frozen chocolate chip cookie lover. Now I do not feel so weird. 😉

  9. On February 22, 2011 Johanna B said

    These beans sound fabulous.

    I guessed the chocolate chip cookie one.

    • On February 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Johanna, thanks so much on the beans! And most people picked the chocolate chip cookie one! Seems that I am just a bit strange and that most normal people would rather them HOT and gooey! 😉

  10. On February 22, 2011 Maggie said

    You are funny Kim! Loved learning so much about you in this post 🙂 These baked beans look and sound amazing. I’ve been wanting to try making some. Might have to find me some rootbeer!

    • On February 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Maggie, you should get some good root beer and give these beans a try. Your kids may even really like them. I know mine love ’em! 😉

  11. On February 22, 2011 Shirley @ gfe said

    The beans look fab and I do have a weakness for root beer. Usually it’s in the form of a root beer float though. 😉

    I guessed the right one. I had inside knowledge on the others, of course. LOL Now I have to tell you that Mr. GFE used to listen to Jimmy way back in the day in small venues in NC well before he was famous, and, sadly, once he got famous he didn’t give his old fans the time of day. I still love some of his old tunes though. Most are ones that are rarely heard. I’ve been to his sister’s, “Lulu’s,” restaurant in Gulf Shores, AL. That’s quite a fun place and I guess she even shows up occasionally and once in a blue moon Jimmy visits, as he did after the oil spill. We’ll need to talk more now that this side of you has been revealed! 🙂


    • On February 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      LOL! Shirley, I used the rest of the root beer the night I made these to make root beer floats for dessert. My children were in heaven!!!!
      Yay for you that you guessed the right one!! Interesting tid bit about Jimmy Buffett. And how cool that Smokey got to hear him way back when. Not so loving that he did not give his old fans the time of day though. 🙁 Will have to find out more about this soon in person!! 😉

  12. On February 22, 2011 Diane-thewholegang said

    These look amazing. I love beans. I’ll have to give this one a try for sure. Love that you’re a Parrot Head. I thought that was it but the cookie was a great distraction and I fell for it. It was fun getting to know more about you!

    • On February 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Too funny, Diane! I was able to divert you from the true fact! 😉 So surprised that so many people fell for it!

  13. On February 22, 2011 Iris said

    I love chocolate chip cookies from the freezer too! And from the oven. And from the counter… okay I just love them, period.

    • On February 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Iris, do not get me wrong. I am also known to take them straight from the hot cookie sheet. However, when that chocolate is hard, I just cannot resist them.

  14. On February 22, 2011 nicola @ gfreemom said

    I didn’t even dare guess the truth. I was secretly convinced it was the cookies. Who would have known? 😉

    • On February 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Nicola, apparently not many people knew the right one about me at all. Only a few guessed #5. 😉 The cookies were an excellent distraction!

  15. On February 23, 2011 InTolerantChef said

    Just another ingredient we can’t get over here- but the rest sounds good though!

    • On February 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Intolerant Chef! I am surprised that you cannot get root beer over there. Not even Sarsaparilla? How interesting! You could probably use molasses in place of it though for an equally yummy taste (but probably not use quite as much as you would the root beer since molasses is a fairly strong flavor).

  16. On February 24, 2011 Carol, Simply...Glut said

    Ok, yes, I am surprised but should not have been since I love Jimmy Buffet too and I think we are like twins seperated at birth. 🙂 Except that I am not organized. Oh please come teach me how!

  17. On February 24, 2011 Carol, Simply...Glut said

    Oh and the beans, they look amazing!

    • On February 25, 2011 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Well, I will say that I am not surprised either that you like Jimmy too, Carol! Just another similarity to add to the list! 😉 I only organize when I am stressed. And since my goal this year is to be un-stressed, my organization skills may fall by the wayside and I will probably not be a very good teacher! LOL

  18. On February 27, 2011 Gluten Free Diva said

    Beans, beans, good for your heart….etc.:).

    I love the sound of this recipe. And the root beer – well, it’s just so interesting. Somebody sat around and thought up that idea!!! Anyhoowangles, I am going to try this. I’m always looking for new and different ways to incorporate beans/legumes into our diet and this recipe might just be the trick. Thank you Kim!

    P.S. Never would’ve guessed you for a Jimmy Buffet fan. And I’m right there with you on the frozen chocolate chip cookies – they were designed to be eaten straight out of the freezer, in my opinion.

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