* Prices may differ from that shown
When you think about it, baked beans are a food cupboard staple to us Brits. A fry up, a full cooked breakfast, beans on toast, jacket potato cheese and beans...where would our quick student/child/lazy/short of time or just plain comfort meals be without these little babies?
Unfortunately, the sauce is absolutely laden with sugar and salt and just not as good for us as we're lead to believe. On a health kick, I decided to try other branded baked beans (which was mostly to do with the fact I was a student but they do taste pretty much the same) and opted for the reduced salt and sugar lables. Shockingly I found them to be far sweeter and it ruined the taste for me.
Due to my limitations in funds I didn't try the Heinz reduced sugar and salt and instead gave up on baked beans. Recently I found myself craving them again. Colder weather often does this to us, we forget about our salads and long for a nice spud with beans on top. I tried the reduced sugar and salt of many supermarket brands and again found the same thing - just too sweet!
The other day, while on my weekly shop I picked up a small can of the reduced Heinz branded beans. Though my wallet cried a bit, I decided to go for it anyway. I was so happy!
What the other brands had done, in order to make up for lost flavour, was add sweetener to the ingredients (though still keeping the sugar...) which left an artificial aftertaste and is also sweeter than sugar anyway. Heinz still had sugar in the ingredients but it hadn't added sweetener. They tasted far better.
Nutritionally you can see it's not a huge difference but it's enough to matter.
Heinz Baked Beans Nutritional Information:
Energy - KJ 337kJ
(Of which sugars) (5.0g)
(Of which saturates) (Trace)
Salt Equivalent 0.6g
Ingredients: Beans (51%), Tomatoes (34%), Water, Sugar, Modified Cornflour, Spirit Vinegar, Salt, Spice Extracts, Herb Extract
Heinz Reduced Sugar and Salt Baked Beans Nutritional Information:
Energy - kJ 297kJ
(Of which sugars) (3.4g)
(Of which saturates) (Trace)
Salt Equivalent 0.4g
Ingredients: Beans (50%), Tomatoes (36%), Water, Sugar, Modified Cornflour, Spirit Vinegar, Salt, Spice Extracts, Herb Extract
When you could have been having up to 20g a sugar dumped on your dinner (because let's face it, who only has 100g of beans?) it's now down to just under 14g. It's not a great difference, but it helps just that little bit without sacrificing flavour.
I like Heinz baked beans. Well, I'm supposed to. I'm a student. I've tried the Sainsbury's and Tesco versions in the aid of saving money, but, much like the ketchup, they don't compare.
I'm fairly health-conscious. I eat a balanced diet naturally (lots of fruit and veg and carbs, not much fat) without really thinking about it but if there's a product which looks the same as what I'm buying but is "healthier" I'll usually try it out too. I don't think much of "low fat" products because they often have extra sugar to make up for it, but I often buy the Sainsbury's "Be Good To Yourself" things if they look and taste the same as what I would be buying anyway.
So I thought this would be a fairly safe buy. They're about the same price as a normal tin of beans and they're still Heinz after all. Baked beans, just better for you, right?
Wrong. They taste foul. I thought I was going to be sick. I wasn't even thinking about the fact that they were "low sugar and salt" at the time - I just thought I was unusually queasy, tipped the plate in the bin and went and had a lie down. It wasn't until I bought some more another time that I put the feelings of revulsion together with the "low sugar and salt" thing. I won't be buying them again.
Beans on toast are quite healthy for you anyway - they're a portion of your five a day (beans and pulses can only count for a maximum of one portion though), they contain fibre, carbohydrate and energy whilst being low in fat. So I wouldn't worry too much about the sugar and salt unless you eat a lot of processed foods or sugary stuff.
If you want to try them out yourself (they're only 35p or something) then feel free - perhaps if you can stomach them yourself you might think the extra health benefits are worth it - but I thought these were absolutely disgusting and I won't be eating them again.
Heinz Baked Beans are by far the most superior tinned baked bean in tomato sauce. There are few who would argue this point (oh go on - prove me wrong with all the comments!!)
The beans are firm but not dry or chewy, they just melt in your mouth and the sauce is thick and rich. Some brands can have a watery tomato sauce, especially certain value products.
As well as the standard Heinz Baked Beans, you can also get a reduced salt and sugar version. I find that the sauce is not as rich tasting. This is probably because there is not as much salt, and we all know how salt brings out the flavour in foods. However, the beans themselves are just as juicy and melt in the mouth as the original Heinz baked beans. The sauce is also good, just a bit different to the original version. It still tastes great though, especially on toast!
As well as tasting great, they are also very good for you, being packed with fibre and protein. They even count towards your five a day!
They cost about 60 pence a tin, slightly more than the original version.
Heinz Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce (reduced salt and sugar variety) were the original version of these haricot beans served in tomato sauce.
There are many other brands out there now including supermarket own brands and Crosse and Blackwell, HP, etc but Heinz have the richest and tastiest sauce.
Although I do eat over version s of baked beans I must admit that I prefer the Heinz ones.
Other versions have thinner sauces and some have hard, less plump beans included in the tin. However, price is a big consideration here.
The large size which is 415grms costs 52p in Tesco at present. Low fat and salt versions cost more.
There is a smaller 200grm size which retails at 57p. Yes, I got that right, it is half the size but costs more.
A pack of four times 415grms costs £2.39 at Tesco at this time and that is even more curious.
Buy in bulk and pay almost 3p more per can. I have idea if this Tesco crazy pricing, or if it is down to Heinz, so it might be wise to check it out before purchasing your Heinz Baked Beans.
Generic brands of this product tend to range from around 12p to 27p per 415g can.
So, I personally prefer to buy these.
Although they do not have exactly the same flavour as Heinz beans I think they are an acceptable alternative.
The sauce in the Heinz version is of course, the real difference. It is thicker, brighter in colour and sweeter than many of the 'copy' products.
One portion of Heinz baked beans (half a can) gives you 40% of your daily fibre requirement and 20% of the protein you need.
They contain trace minerals like phosphorus and magnesium and are low in fat and calories but they do contain a lot of sugar and salt if you buy the standard variety. This is where the low fat and sugar version is useful.
In the reduced sugar and salt option the sauce is thinner and tastes different.
To sum up I would say that Heinz Beans have a better, thicker, richer sauce with more taste and the beans themselves are plumper, better cooked and tend to be more consistent in size and texture than rival products but the low salt and sugar version is not the same.
Heinz beans do have a unique flavour and are still worth buying occasionally. I am not keen on the low fat version. In opinion, these taste like some of the cheaper brands that are available. So, if you want less fat and sugar, shop around and compare the generic brands.
Heinz beans are made using navy beans part of the haricot family. The beans are grown Michigan, U.SA.The tomato sauce recipe is a closely guarded secret. Heinz beans are free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. They do however contain a lot of sugar and salt! An average portion of baked beans will give you 1/5 of your daily protein requirements and 40% of your fibre requirements. beans are also a good source of complex carbohydrate and contain magnesium and prosperous. beans are low in fat and calories.
I like Heinz original beans and am not keen on some of the other versions available such as curried beans or chilli flavoured. Heinz also produces organic beans and a version for those following the weight watchers plan.
Open a can of Heinz beans and you will notice how thick and rich the tomato sauce is. The beans are just the right consistency, not too soft and not too firm. I tried Tesco own brand and found the beans too firm. The tin is easy to open and Heinz uses the common ring pull system on their cans.
Heinz beans are a really versatile food. They are useful as a quick snack on toast, go well with baked potatoes and can be used to form part of a full meal.
These are my regular baked beans. I have type 2 diabetes and 'normal' Heinz beanz have too much sugar, and I do tend to eat a lot of baked beans so could not easily give them up. I have tried other brands, but there really is nothing like Heinz, and no, I do not work for them.
They come in a very similar can to the 'normal' variety, only with a slight lighter blue haze around the label and of course a band across the middle that states 'Reduced sugar & salt'.
They have only 3.4gms of sugar per hundred grams, which in a 415 gm tin is still over 13 gms of sugar, I never eat more than half a tin. Salt is 0.5 gms per tin. The 'normal' beans have 4.8 gms per 100.
Without the sugar and salt content they do taste a little different, a little blander, so I often 'pep them up' with a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
The consistency is pretty much the same as the normal baked beans, though I have noticed over the years that Heinz beans seem to be getting a little runnier.
Favourite way to eat:
Toast a couple of slices of nice wholemeal bread, place a good spoon of beans on each slice, top with cheese, put under grill till cheese is melting nicely, take out, add a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
More information can be found on the heinz website at:
Some of the info is just great; first baked beans from Heinz, 1886, first sold as a 'luxury item', an interesting site for a browse.
Not as tasty as full sugar baked beans but definitely okay. We should all be taking small steps to reduce our sugar and salt intake.
I was doing my regular supermarket shop the other day when disaster struck - as an enthusiastic consumer of Heinz Beans I was shocked to find none of my favourite 200g tins on the shelves in my local Tesco. Undaunted I resolved to check out Sainsburys the following week and rely on my store cupboard in the meantime but I was worried. I have used the 200g can for over 50 years and I love Heinz Beans - could it be that my favourite 'comfort food' was disappearing from the shelves? Well it certainly seemed so when I went into Sainsburys a week later and found they had no stock either.
Desperate I emailed Heinz over the weekend and went to Tesco in a neighbouring town the following Monday. They had no stock either but what I did see on one of their shelves was a 200g can containing 'Heinz Reduced Sugar and Salt Baked Beanz'. As I am currently on a low salt diet to help reduce my blood pressure it seemed as if Heinz understood the problem and had actually designed one of may favourite foods to suit my diet which was great news. Needless to say I bought a few cans.
I was eager to taste my new purchase so that evening I resolved to do my very own taste test and then write a review!
**How do they compare with the old recipe?**
I opened the can and looked inside. The sauce looked a little paler than usual and slightly thicker. I dipped in a fork keen to test the taste - whilst I prefer to eat my beans hot I do sometimes eat them cold so I wanted to test the taste both hot and cold. My first thought was that they tasted slightly sweeter than normal, this surprised me as they say they are low sugar and with no artificial sweetener, they were OK but not the normal Heinz Beans flavour. I put them in a dish and popped them in the microwave. When the beans were hot I thought the flavour was somewhat improved but still rather bland compared to the usual beans.
Looking at the nutritional information on the can and comparing it to the original I discovered that a 100g serving contains (the reduced sugar and salt figures first, traditional recipe second)
Calories 65 72
Protein 4.7g 4.6g
Carbohydrate 11.1g 12.9g
(of which sugar) 3.4g 4.8g
Fat 0.2g 0.2g
Fibre 3.7g 3.7g
Salt 0.5g 0.9g
Therefore it would appear that they have reduced the sugar by about 25% and the salt content by over 40%. According to the contents list you get slightly more beans and tomatoes in the new tin but to my eye the quantities looked around the same.
**What do I think of them?**
To be honest I did think that the taste was somewhat bland and uninteresting however that did not surprise me. When I first started cutting out salt in my diet I thought everything tasted bland and it is only now, some months later, that I have started to taste the real flavours in food. It is all about educating your taste buds if you really do want to reduce the salt in your diet. I have been very pleased with the improvements in my general health since I started cutting down on salt so I am committed to keeping my usage down so I was really hopeful that this product would help with that. I also thought now that my taste buds were used to low salt I wouldn't have noticed such a marked change but I did - whether this will change when I have eaten the remaining tins I am not sure.
I congratulate Heinz on actually reducing the salt and sugar without adding lots of additives and sweeteners and I suspect that over time I would adapt my taste buds to these beans. However the question is whether I would move from the traditional recipe to these on a regular basis?
I doubt that I would. Since cutting down on salt in my diet I have restricted myself to eating Heinz beans just once a week as a treat and have got used to that. I have always loved Heinz beans since I was a small child and they are now a treat which I really enjoy. I didn't get the same enjoyment from eating the reduced sugar and salt variety so from a positive point of view if I switched to these I would probably eat them less often as they don't taste as good as the original. That wouldn't be good for Heinz of course but I might finally kick the beans habit!
To me the saving of 0.4g of salt once each week isn't enough to make me want to change to something I don't enjoy as much. I think they are a great product for someone who eats far too much salt every day as I used to but I will stick to more fresh fruit a veg rather than eating more beans like these.
**Would I recommend them?**
No I wouldn't if you like the occasional can of beans and you love Heinz Beans. However if you eat lots of salty foods and are trying to cut down then they might help things along. I do however salute Heinz for trying to address some of the dietary issues we face at the moment. I will try out any further products that they introduce which are low in salt and sugar but I suspect that for me their beans are sacrosanct so I guess I do not want them to change.