Skinny Frozen Banana Pops

20190326_114118Imagine for a moment that you’re passing through your kitchen and you notice a bunch of bananas becoming overly ripe. What do you do? Do you try to eat as many as you can before they go bad? Do you whip up some banana bread? Do you slice them up and freeze for smoothies? Or would you just simply toss them out? As you can see, there are many options for salvaging bananas, so hopefully your answer was not to just toss them out. I personally love bread and muffins, and if it was still fall or winter I would have made some. However, since we have officially hit spring, I thought it was time for a new way to prevent banana waste that would compliment the warming temperatures. So I did a little research, ran a few tests, & viola, these frozen banana pops were born.

IMG_20190322_170845_932As a foodie that’s doing my best to stay fit, I’m always on the hunt for foods I can give a cleaner, more nutritious makeover to. After a recent visit to the amusement park, I was reminded of my previous love for frozen, chocolate-covered bananas. Instead of giving up on these sweet treats altogether, I thought I’d try to make them healthier. With that said, bananas on their own are a rather healthy snack option. Containing both potassium and manganese, they pack a mineral punch. Potassium is an important nutrient because it helps keep your blood pressure regulated, while manganese is needed for the body to produce collagen. A protein found in skin, bones, tendons, and connective tissue, collagen is most known for improving the health of our skin, hair, and nails. Beyond keeping us youthful, collagen can also help relieve joint pain, prevent bone loss, and boost muscle mass.

20190326_114259With all the benefits a regular banana provides for the body, it honestly doesn’t take much to clean up a frozen banana pop. Therefore, I started my process by stripping the banana back down to its roots, before adding toppings that contain more nutritional value than chocolate alone. Dark chocolate, chopped nuts, and unsweetened shredded coconut all add nutritional value while making the banana feel more decadent. I also refrained from submerging the entire banana in melted chocolate and opted for sprinkles of chopped dark chocolate instead. To make the toppings adhere to the banana while providing a bit of protein and sweetness, I mixed a blend of unsweetened almond milk, all-natural peanut butter, and pure maple syrup. Once assembled, my version is only 169 calories a pop and are without all the harmful processed ingredients you’d find in store-bought frozen bananas.

20190326_114221So the next time you need to keep hunger at bay without ruining your diet, give these nutty and chocolaty frozen banana pops a try. They will satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling any of the guilt!

 

Skinny Frozen Banana Pops

(Yield: 8 Servings)

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 large Bananas; peeled & cut in half crosswise
  • 5 tbsp. Unsweetened Plain Almond Milk
  • ¼ cup Natural Creamy Unsalted Peanut Butter
  • 1 tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
  • ¼ cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • ¼ cup Finely Chopped Dark Chocolate
  • ¼ cup Chopped Pecans or Walnuts
  • 8 Wooden Pop Sticks

 

Preparation:

  1. Line a large sheet tray with parchment paper. Pour toppings (coconut, dark chocolate, chopped nuts) onto a large plate. Set aside.
  2. Gently push a wooden stick into the cut end of each banana. Place on prepared sheet tray & set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine almond milk, peanut butter, and maple syrup until smooth. Holding one banana pop over the bowl, spoon peanut butter mixture over the banana, making sure to cover all sides. Allow excess to drip back into the bowl.
  4. Over the plate of toppings, hold the covered banana and evenly sprinkle with shredded coconut, dark chocolate, and nuts. Lay the completed banana pop on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining bananas.
  5. Cover prepared bananas and freeze until firm, or at least 4 hours. Transfer to a zip-top freezer bag or container and store for up to 2 months.

 

Nutrients Per Serving: 1 Banana Pop

Calories: 169 Calories, Protein: 4 g.,

Total Fat: 9 g., Sat. Fat: 3 g.,

Fiber: 3 g., Sodium: 11 mg.,

Sugars: 12 g., Carbs: 21 g.,

Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: C. LYONS
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

 

 

No Bake Crispy Date Bites

3When I initially went to work on these no bake bites I was having quite the rough week. My daughter was sick with a severe cold and I had caught the dreaded bug myself. I spent many hours wiping boogies, picking up spit out food, and changing sweat soaked, vapor rub scented pj’s. If I managed to get her to sleep for longer than a few minutes without waking up in a coughing fit or needing consolation, I had to work on my 20 pounds of homework I had waiting for me each week to figure out how to complete. Since my focus had obviously been everywhere else but the blog, I needed another quick fix and what could be more quick than something you do not have to bake.

These bites are perfect for mommy’s/daddy’s and all the worker bees out there who simply do not have the time or energy to make anything elaborate. My no bake crispy date bites come together quick (only 5 minutes of cook time on the stove) and taste like they have had hours spent on them in a confectionery getting the flavor and texture just right. Everyone that sampled these tasty treats thought they had been slaved over and they were shocked to find out these dainty treats were practically as simple as the traditional back of the box Rice Krispie favorite. These really are a simple treat that can be made to give kids after school or as an additional treat at a holiday table or office party.

2Being as this recipe is a quick one I will also keep my discussion about it brief. The following recipe prepares about 3 dozen bites, which is adequate for entertaining or munching over several days. The bites should be stored at room temperature and kept for no longer than three days.

 

Note: When toasting the nuts be sure to stir them frequently to prevent them from burning. Also please be sure that the date mixture does not reach a rapid boil as you may risk curdling the eggs.

 

NO BAKE CRISPY DATE BITES

 Ingredients:

  •  8 tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter
  • ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Chopped Dates
  • 1 Egg; lightly beaten
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
  • ½ cup Pecans; toasted & chopped

Formula:

  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the sugar, dates, egg, and salt to the butter and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla, Rice Krispies, and pecans until the mixture is well incorporated (there should be no areas of dry cereal pieces). Allow the mixture to cool for about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Once the mixture has cooled it is time to shape them into bite size portions. Grab a portion of the mixture and shape it into a 1-inch ball. Transfer the shaped ball onto the prepared baking sheet. Continue until all of the mixture has been shaped into bite size portions. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator and chill the bites until firm, about 15 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: PAMELA GRAHAM
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2015

Reese’s Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

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On a recent shopping trip, I was on a buy one get one free spree. Among the items I happened to get from the BOGO sale was Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups. I have had a hankering for peanut butter and chocolate lately after treating myself to a small Peanut Butter Brownie Blizzard from Dairy Queen one day on a long, hot drive home. Problem is I live too far from the nearest DQ to be going their often to fix my craving and also motherhood has left me strapped for much time outside of feeding and entertaining my infant daughter. So in order to balance the craving and the time restraint, I realized I hadn’t made a childhood simple favorite in quite some time… Rice Krispie Treats.

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With a little tweeking to the original back of the box formula, these Reese’s Rice Krispie Treats feel nostalgic but fresh and dressed up at the same time. If you love original Rice Krispies and have a tendency of snatching a pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the candy aisle at the supermarket, then you will truly enjoy these.

 

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Reese’s Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats 

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. Butter, unsalted
  • 1 (10 oz.) bag Marshmallows
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter Chips, divided
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 5 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
  • 1 cup Dry-Roasted Peanuts
  • 1 bag Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups, each peanut butter cup halved

 

Formula:

  1. Grease an 8 inch square baking pan (if you want a fewer number of treats that are tall, thicker squares) or a 13×9 inch baking pan (if you want a larger number of treats that are flatter). Melt butter in a large pot over low heat. Add marshmallows, ½ cup peanut butter chips, and salt. Cook while stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
  2. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Rice Krispies and peanuts until well incorporated. Scrape mixture into prepared pan and press into the bottom and corners with a greased rubber spatula. Allow to cool completely, about 1 hour.
  3. Melt the remaining peanut butter chips. Drizzle the melted chips over the cooled treats. Sprinkle the halved Peanut Butter Cups on the top of the treats. Allow to cool about 15 minutes more. Cut into squares and serve.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM JEREMY SAUER

 

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

Creamy Walnut Fudge

Ahhh candy making… the most delightful idea to the home baker because we all know how yummy candy is and how great it would be to make it whenever you crave it and make it exactly how you want it without having to conform to the candy aisle options at the local supermarket. Sadly, candy making adventures for most end up a sticky scorched mess rather than that dreamy homemade snickers bar or in this case… fudge. Of course there are always some tricks of the trade out there which can make things a heck of a lot easier.

 The most obvious but often overlooked is the simple task of stirring the fudge constantly to prevent scorching. I know how easy it is to give in to that female desire to multitask but it never ends well. You stir the pot and walk away for what seems like two seconds only to return to a scorched sticky mess glued to the bottom of the pan and smoking up the kitchen. No matter how tempted…DON’T let the fudge leave your sight while it is over the heat. Second trick is in the filling. Many recipes will call for heavy cream but the problem with heavy cream is its susceptibility to heat. In the matter of seconds, if the cream becomes too hot, it will separate and then there is no going back and waste is never delightful in this day and age. The trick is to use evaporated milk, which is more stable over heat and it especially caters to the home baker who isn’t exactly sure of the warning signs when cream is too hot, well until it is too late and already separated… we all know how it goes. It has happened to us all, professional or hobby enthusiast.

The final problematic aspect to fudge is achieving the fluffy, light texture. For most, fudge either finishes too loosely or is to dry and flaky…never just right. The secret, believe it or not, is Marshmallow Fluff. Marshmallow Fluff is cheap, provides the necessary light and fluffy texture without having to beat the fudge into submission and cause a sore arm for the rest of the day. Another added perk of the fluffy white stuff is its prevention of the sugar crystallizing, which if allowed to happen, would turn that dreamy smooth texture into a gritty mess reminiscent of a day at the beach. Grit is never good even at the beach, and especially not in your fudge! To ensure that all of this cautiousness results perfect fudge far better than store-bought… I suggest you invest in an instant read candy thermometer. Much of the problems involving fudge and its wide range of bad results really begins with the question of when to remove the confection from the heat. Many home bakers judge by eye because they either don’t own a thermometer or  the formula is vague and never mentions a proper temperature. With any candy making venture, I always prefer to leave ego aside and grab that trusty thermometer for good measure. The candy thermometer is like another pair of eyes. When you’re not sure the thermometer is there to monitor the situation and give you the go ahead for the proper time to remove the fudge from heat. If undercooked, the fudge will never solidify. If overcooked, the fudge will turn crumbly. There is a very small window between the two extremes and the happy number to look for is 234°-235°. When the mixture hits that number, pull it off the heat as fast as you can then let it cool slightly before adding the chocolate. If you don’t wait to add the chocolate until it has at least cooled to about 200°, you run the risk of separating the chocolate.  Despite all of fudge’s possible complications, nothing is sweeter than producing your own favorite flavored fudge. Although the following formula adds walnuts, don’t limit yourself to the possible flavorings you could add. You could try other nuts, such as pecans if you don’t prefer walnuts or maybe you’re a oreo fanatic. Fudge doesn’t discriminate…so play with your favorite flavors and enjoy!!!

Creamy Walnut Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 (12 oz.) can Evaporated Milk
  • 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter
  • 2 cups Walnuts, toasted & coarsely chopped
  • 1 (8 oz.) jar Marshmallow Fluff
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 12 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
  • 8 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate, chopped

Formula:

  1.  Line a 13×9 in. pan with aluminum foil. Bring the sugar, milk, and butter to a boil in a large pan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is light tan in color and registers 234°-235° on an instant read thermometer.
  2. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the walnuts, Marshmallow Fluff, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Allow the mixture to cool to 200°.
  3. Once slightly cooled, mix in the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and refrigerate, uncovered, until firm, at least 4 hours.
  4. Once set, remove the fudge from the pan and cut into uniforms squares or desired shapes. Fudge can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one month.

Special Thanks to: Marshmallow Fluff ® & Diane Unger-Mahoney

(Mentions of Marshmallow Fluff® are ©2011 Durkee-Mower Inc.)

All remaining content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2012