Secret Chocolate Lunchbox Muffins

Secret Chocolate Lunchbox Muffins

My boys are still very much a ‘work in progress’ with my project to turn them into vegetable lovers. I do love a challenge.

In the mean time, I’ve been taking delight in adding vegetables to their lives in unexpected ways.

And while I’ve called them ‘secret’ muffins, it’s not the fact that they contain vegetables AND legumes that’s the secret. I’m very open about the ingredients (after they’ve tried them and decided they like them).

The secret part is that vegetables can actually taste delicious. Oh and that with the beans and the eggs they’re giving them a generous serving of protein so they’re more nutritious than a sandwich.

Secret Chocolate Lunchbox Muffins

Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 muffins


  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 150 g olive oil
  • 200 g sugar
  • 1 can cannellini beans 400g / 14oz
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract optional
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 g grated zucchini or carrot


  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Line a 12 hole muffin pan with papers.

  2. Place cocoa powder, oil, sugar, drained beans, baking powder, vanilla and eggs in a bowl or large jug. Puree with a stick blender until smooth (or use a food processor). Or you could just mash with a fork for a more chunky version.
  3. Divide the grated veg between the muffin papers. Pour over the chocolate batter and use a knife to stir each one so the veg are combined with the chocolate.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until the muffins feel springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out without any gooey mixture on it.
  5. Cool for a few minutes in the tin then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Recipe Video

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Variations & Substitutions for Secret Chocolate Lunchbox Muffins

loaf pan – line a large loaf pan and cook for about 70 minutes.

plan-B (pantry) – replace vegetables with an extra can of beans.

egg-free – your favourite egg replacer should work.

different veg or fruit – I haven’t tried grated parsnip or beets or apple or pear but they’re on my list!

cocoa-free – replace cocoa powder with extra sugar – the vegetables will be less of a secret. You might like to use brown sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon or ground ginger for extra flavour.

legume-free – replace with almond meal (almond flour), ground sunflower seeds (add an extra 5 mins to the baking time for sunflower seeds) or 200g (7oz) regular flour.

different legumes – black beans or chickpeas will work.

double choc – add in a handful of dark chocolate chips or chunks.

higher fiber – add 1-2 tablespoons linseeds (flax) – my boys weren’t a fan but you might like the crunch.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

cocoa powder / olive oil / sugar / cannellini beans / baking powder / vanilla extract – all keep in the pantry.

eggs – will keep in the fridge for weeks or use for another meal.

carrots – keep in a plastic bag in the fridge for weeks. Can be frozen if you’re leaving town!

zucchini – will keep for 2 weeks or longer in a plastic bag in the fridge. To keep it even longer, cook sliced zucchini in a little butter until just soft then store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Prepare Ahead

Yes! Will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or can be frozen.

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with love
Jules x

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One Comment

  • Hey! My can of cannellini beans is 540 grams. Would I use 400 grams of drained beans? Or less?

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