Using Pureed Beans As A Fat Replacer

In one of my favorite lab based nutrition classes we did an experiment (officially titled  Acceptability of bean puree as a fat replacement in blueberry muffins) in which we changed the fat content in a muffin recipe and tested to see how well it was accepted. Sounds easy except for the fact that there was food related research to be done, sensory panel questionnaires to design and a whole lot of writing to do. Eighty eight pages of report and graphs later I have some actual research evidence to back up the fact that people enjoyed the blueberry muffins we made using pureed cannellini beans. Our taste panel members actually liked the muffins made with 50% bean puree used to replace butter more than the original recipe. They also liked the muffins made with 100% bean replacement but, when compared to the full fat muffins (called the control muffin), they liked the control muffin better.

So what exactly does this mean? This means that you can easily swap out some or all of the butter or oil in many baked goods with pureed beans and no one will notice! Kids hate beans? They can be easily added to muffins and most likely many other baked goods without anyone noticing. Unless they actually catch you pureeing up the beans. This bean swap is also great for those looking to cut their fat intake. Perhaps you have had WLS and added fat upsets your stomach. How about those with gallbladder issues? Often times added fat will set off an attack. It did with my brother but he didn’t have issues with the 100% bean replaced muffins.

If your interested in swapping out some fat with pureed beans here a great trick to save you time.

Using Pureed Beans As A Fat Replacer
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This recipe makes a 50% bean to butter replacement for your baked goods. This mixture is used to replace butter or oil in a recipe. If the recipe calls for 1 cup then use 1 cup of the mixture. If it calls for ½ cup butter than use ½ cup of this mixture. You get the idea 🙂
  • 1 - 16 ounce can of beans (cannellini, chickpea, pinto or black beans) drained and rinsed
  • 1 stick of butter at room temperature
  1. Drain and rinse the beans. Place in a colander and allow the extra water to drain off.
  2. Place the beans in a food processor and puree.
  3. Add the stick of butter and process until smooth.
  4. Since my muffin recipe calls for ½ cup of butter I simply scoop out ½ cup of the bean/butter mixture and place it in small plastic bags. Seal the bags and store in the freezer.
  5. If your making a recipe simply measure out the corrent amount of bean/butter mixture to use in place of the butter in the recipe. Pretend that the mixture is 100% butter and follow your recipe's directions.

Here’s what my final bagged bean/butter mixture looked like:


Each 1/2 cup scoop is placed in its own bag. Then these smaller bags are placed in one larger freezer bag and I include an index card with the item name and date. I can’t tell you how many mystery bags of frozen stuff I have defrosted in order to figure out what in the world it might be. Thought I would never forget what was in the bag. I’ve learned my lesson.


These are made with chickpeas. I don’t know how but, when I went looking for beans, I discovered 7 cans of chickpeas. They got volunteered to be used in the muffins instead of the cannellini beans.

Next up….the blueberry muffin recipe!

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