Beans are known as a vegetarian staple but, not all beans are vegetarian friendly. What’s the difference between vegetarian beans and regular beans?
Vegetarian beans are beans that are made without the addition of meat or meat flavorings. Regular non-vegetarian beans are often made with salty pork, lard, and beef or chicken broth. Look for premade beans labeled as Vegetarian.
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What Are Vegetarian Beans
All beans are vegetarian to begin with, it’s what you put in them that determines if they are still vegetarian friendly or not.
Vegetarian beans are beans that do not contain any meat as an ingredient. This also means they were not cooked with any meat products used as a flavoring.
Many bean recipes involve cooking the beans in a low and slow fashion using a salty piece of pork, bacon, lard, or broth to help flavor the beans.
What Are Regular Beans
Regular beans or non- vegetarian beans include meat as a flavoring and ingredient.
The most common meats used are a salty chunk of pork, bits of pork or bacon.
Lard (fat from pigs) is often used as a flavoring ingredient or a frying fat when making beans.
Beef or chicken broth can be used as a cooking liquid and flavor enhancer for the beans.
Are Baked Beans Vegetarian
Growing up in New England baked beans are a classic staple food.
We had a B&M baked beans factory in Portland, Maine when you drove by you could get a good nose full of the sweet molasses.
Traditional “Boston” baked beans are what I remember the most, although my mom made an amazing baked bean version using lima beans with bacon.
Baked beans are usually not vegetarian because they are made with pork belly. That said you can make vegetarian versions using other flavorings.
What Are Boston Baked Beans
As I get older I become more interested in history, and the history related to food can be fascinating. Just look up where the slogan “carrots are good for your eyesight” comes from? Who knew that carrots could be tied to wartime propaganda?
Baked beans originate from our ancestors back in England, what makes Boston baked beans so special and unique is that Bostonians made the beans their own with the addition of molasses.
Boston at the time had an abundance of molasses since it was shipped from the Caribbean to make rum.
Boston baked beans are hearty, affordable, and are made with shelf-stable ingredients that will never go bad. Making it a wonderful dish for any household.
What Is Boston Baked Beans Candy
Boston Baked Beans candy was created in the 1930’s.
This unique candy is actually candy coated peanuts made to look similar to baked beans.
What Brands Have Vegetarian Baked Beans
If you aren’t making your vegetarian baked beans from scratch there are many brands that have them available for a quick meal.
- Bush’s Vegetarian Baked Beans
- Amy’s Organic Vegetarian Baked Beans
- Eden Organic Baked Beans
- Seed’s Of Change Organic Baked Beans
Are Refried Beans Vegetarian
It’s easy to assume that refried beans are vegetarian but, they can sometimes contain lard.
What Brands Have Vegetarian Refried Beans
You need to look carefully at the list of ingredients to confirm if a can of refried beans are vegetarian.
It can be tricky because some brands will have vegetarian refried beans in addition to beans that contain lard. The labels are not always obvious if the beans are vegetarian or not.
Some brands that make vegetarian refried beans are.
- Old El Paso
- Santa Fe
- Taco Bell
Is Bean Dip Vegetarian
Bean dip is vegetarian-friendly. There are many delicious vegetarian bean dips to choose from including the classic Frito’s dip, Bush’s bean dip includes a black bean version. If spicy dip is your style you do not need to look any further than Tostitos Fiesta Bean Dip.
What Brands Have Vegetarian Bean Dip
There are many brands offering vegetarian bean dips.
- Great Value
How Can I Get A Smokey Flavor In My Beans Without Adding Meat
When beans are cooked for a long time under low heat with a piece of smoky pork the smoke flavor becomes one of the distinct flavors of the dish. If that smokiness is missing the dish will not taste the same.
Most of us would know if the flavor was missing from a pot of beans or a pea soup.
Luckily, there are ways that smoke flavor can be added to a vegetarian dish.
- Add liquid smoke
- Add smoked paprika (my favorite to add to pea soup)
- Smoked salts
- Lapsang Souchong (a smoky tea)
How Do I Make Vegetarian Refried Beans
Please visit my recipe for Vegetarian Refried Beans.
When you follow a specific diet you will get used to looking at the ingredient list on foods.
Unfortunately, canned beans aren’t any different from meat or meat products sneaking into foods that appear vegetarian-friendly.
Look for the cans that are clearly labeled as vegetarian to make your shopping trip easier.