Recipe Redo Blog

Traditional Recipes Redone…Healthier

Cocoa Bean Brownies from The Meal Makeover Moms

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These brownies are gluten free, light years lighter than a traditional butter-laden brownie, and they’re super fudgy. Our recipe makeover calls for just 2 tablespoons of oil—that’s all it really needs—and you can’t taste the beans at all. In fact, the beans lend a lovely creaminess and richness to the dessert. You’ll find this recipe on our new family recipe app, Meal Makeovers.

Makes 16 Servings


  • 3/4 cup lightly toasted walnuts
  • One 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed very well
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons expeller pressed canola oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil or coat an 8 x 8-inch baking pan or dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Place the walnuts in the bowl of a food process and process until finely chopped. Remove and set aside.
  3. Place the beans in the food processor and process until smooth and creamy.  Add the eggs and oil and process until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and process until smooth.  Add the chips and walnuts and pulse a few times until the chips are incorporated.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake about 35 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before slicing into 2-inch squares.
  5. Option: To decorate, place a heart-shaped stencil over brownie. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Repeat until all brownies are decorated. (To make your own stencil, take an index card and fold it in half. Cut out half a heart shape in the center. Unfold. Cut around the heart to create your stencil. Lay over cut brownies and dust with powdered sugar).

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 brownie): 160 calories, 8g fat (1.5g saturated, 0.7 omega-3), 95 mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 5g protein 


About the Chefs:

Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RD and Liz Weiss, MS, RD are The Meal Makeover Moms, and together, the dietitian duo is on a mission to help busy families eat better. For more recipes, check out their cookbook, No Whine with Dinner and download their new family recipe app, Meal Makeovers. You can also follow their blog, Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen or listen to their free radio podcast, Cooking with the Moms.


No Whine with Dinner:

Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen:

Cooking with the Moms:

Author: Debra K

I believe we all have the right to enjoy incredible looking and tasting cuisine.

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