Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil (or avocado oil or water), shallot, salt, and pepper and sauté until translucent and tender — about 3-5 minutes.
Add garlic powder (or minced garlic) and stir. Then add all the remaining sauce ingredients to the pot: water, cider vinegar, tomato paste, yellow mustard, maple syrup, unsulphured molasses. Stir again to combine. Whisk if needed to break up any clumps.
Add the drained and rinsed beans and stir to coat. Turn the heat to medium-high and let the mixture reduce for 8-10 minutes (you should be able to hear and see the sauce bubbling). If the sauce starts to spit, turn the heat down slightly. Avoid covering the pot or the sauce won’t reduce quickly.
Stir often to avoid sticking. After 10 minutes the baked beans should be done and there will be some sauce coating the beans. Turn off the heat. Taste test and adjust, adding more salt for overall flavor, maple syrup for sweetness, apple cider vinegar for tang, or molasses for depth of flavor. Place a lid on the pot to keep the beans warm.
If serving with toast (we prefer hearty sourdough), put your bread in the toaster. Once golden brown, remove — usually within 3 minutes.
Once toasted, option to butter your toast with vegan butter or drizzle with olive oil. Then top with the piping hot beans.
Best when fresh and eaten with a knife and fork. The toast will turn a little wet where the sauce lands, and that's how it’s typically eaten. Alternatively, serve on a baked potato. Optionally, garnish with arugula, roasted cherry tomatoes, or wilted spinach.
Store leftover beans covered in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat until hot (adding a bit of water to thin as needed if too thick).
*We recommend unsulphured molasses as sulphured can have a metallic taste. *Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with olive oil and sourdough bread, and without optional ingredients.