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J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Aug;105(8):1295-8.

Pureed cannellini beans can be substituted for shortening in brownies.

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  • 1Department of Human Nutrition, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA.


Studies have shown white beans to be an effective fat replacer in dropped cookies. However, research is needed to determine whether legumes may be an effective replacement for fat in other types of cookies. This study determined the overall acceptability, sensory characteristics, and nutrient content of brownies (bar cookie) made using cannellini beans as a replacement for shortening. Cannellini beans were used to replace 25%, 50%, and 75% of the shortening (by weight) in a control brownie formula. One hundred twenty untrained panelists participated in rating the brownies on a seven-point hedonic scale. Analysis of variance conducted on the acceptability and sensory characteristics indicated a statistically significant effect when replacing fat with beans for acceptability, tenderness, texture, and flavor (P<.05). Post-hoc testing (Scheffe's test) indicated that neither the 25% nor the 50% bean brownies were significantly different from the control in overall acceptability, tenderness, texture, or flavor. Also, the 50% bean brownies, compared with control, had 2.6 g less fat and 21 fewer kcal per 1.4-oz serving. This study demonstrated that pureed cannellini beans can replace as much as 50% of the fat (by weight) in brownies, while yielding an acceptable and more nutritious product.

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