Cherry Breakfast Muffins

20180605_111234When morning hits, do you rush to the kitchen for something to eat or are you just rushing to get out the door? I admit there was a time I would always be rushing to get out the door, never leaving myself any time to eat an adequate breakfast. Although I’m still always rushing, thanks to the snooze button, I now always make sure I never leave without a bite to eat.

The importance of breakfast is highly overlooked, and those who skip it happen to be the ones who need it the most. If you’re always waking up groggy and sluggish, a boost of balanced nutrition first thing in the morning will get your engine going and help you be more productive throughout the day. Additionally, those who opt for breakfast tend to make healthier food choices and eat less overall throughout the day, leading to a healthier weight and life.

20180605_110128Despite knowing all the benefits of breakfast, it happens to be the one meal most people still feel okay skipping. This is largely due to the fact that people do not feel like waking up and cooking a meal. If this describes how you feel, please don’t think there aren’t any options. These cherry breakfast muffins are a perfect example of the many ways you can enjoy a healthy bite to eat without making a mess in the kitchen before the sun rises. Breakfast muffins, overnight oats, yogurt parfaits, pre-made, frozen breakfast sandwiches and burritos are all healthy, easy options for breakfast in a hurry, without having to turn to processed, pricey, and typically unhealthy meal replacement shakes.

What I personally love about these cherry muffins is they provide balanced, natural nutrition that’s easy to eat on the go or pack away as a snack. Healthy ingredients like wheat germ, whole-wheat flour, olive oil, and dried cherries allow each muffin to provide a healthy dose of protein (5 g.) and fiber (3 g.), while remaining relatively low in calories (202) and fat (1 g.) than a typical coffee shop muffin. Without losing the great taste of their full fat cousins, these muffins provide enough protein and fiber to keep you full and satisfied.

20180605_115939For those who happen to be a gym rat or fitness enthusiast, you have the option of doing what I do and spiking this recipe with a scoop of protein powder. The addition boosts each muffin to 20 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and enough essential nutrients to adequately power a more active lifestyle. If you do elect to utilize this method, keep in mind that the nutritional content of each serving will solely depend on the brand you use. The powder I use is a certified organic, plant-based blend (no whey or soy) that is free from questionable chemicals and unnatural ingredients. It contains 15 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and 1 billion CFU of probiotics per serving.

Whether you choose to nutritionally enhance these muffins with your own protein powder or leave them as is, you can expect them to take about 30 minutes to prepare from start to finish, with approximately 10 minutes of hands on time. This recipe will yield 12 muffins, with each serving consisting of 1 muffin. You may store these muffins in an airtight container for 3 days, in the refrigerator for one week, or in the freezer for 3 months. If you elect to give these muffins a try, I promise they will never disappoint as a delicious, quick and easy breakfast, snack, or dessert!

 

Cherry Breakfast Muffins

 

Ingredients:

  • 6.75 ounces (1 ½ cups) White Whole-Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Dried Cherries
  • ½ cup Toasted Wheat Germ
  • ½ cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Allspice
  • 1 cup fat-free Milk
  • ¼ cup light Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Egg

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Coat liners with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, place the flour, cherries, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and allspice. Stir with a whisk until combined, then make a well in the center of the mixture.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the milk, oil, and egg together. Pour the milk mixture into the well of the flour mixture and stir until all ingredients are just moistened.
  4. Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove muffins from the pan and place on the wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: MAUREEN CALLAHAN
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018

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Skinny Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

20180309_182917Although we are well into the second week of March, I want to rewind for a moment to last month. February is traditionally dedicated to heart health and love and in honor of that theme I created this delicious, sweet treat that is healthier for your heart. I initially served these to my family for Valentine’s Day but have recently made them again as a high protein treat for post workouts. No matter if you add protein powder or just want a healthier treat, these cupcakes are perfect for serving yourself and your loved ones long after the 14th of February.

20180309_182958To make these cupcakes “skinny”, I replaced the traditional use of butter with mashed banana. To sneak in some whole-grains, I swapped whole-wheat flour for the typically used all-purpose. Before baking, each cupcake received a natural pop of red color from a few raspberries placed on top of the batter. This recipe makeover results in a delicious 88 calorie cupcake with no saturated fat, 2 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fiber. A sweet treat to share without any of the guilt!

20180309_182110Note: If you want to make these into protein cupcakes, add a scoop of your favorite chocolate or vanilla protein powder. This will result in each cupcake containing approximately 91 calories, 0 grams saturated fat, 4 grams protein, and 2 grams fiber, depending on the brand of powder. This recipe will produce approximately 24 cupcakes.

20180309_182724

Skinny Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup White Whole-Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Cane Sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ¾ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¾ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 Large Egg
  • ½ cup Mashed Banana (about 1 Medium)
  • ½ cup Warm Water
  • ¼ cup Milk
  • ¼ cup Light Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ¼ cups Raspberries (about 72)
  • 1 scoop Chocolate or Vanilla Protein Powder (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 24 regular size muffin cups with paper liners. Spray each paper liner with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and protein powder (if using). In a different bowl, whisk together the egg, mashed banana, water, milk, oil, and vanilla. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until combined.
  3. Scoop batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup ¾ full. Drop 3 raspberries in the batter of each cup. Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: JESSIE SHAFER
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018

 

Gluten-Free Pomegranate Apple Protein Muffins

20171128_144623Mornings are not my friend. In fact, I don’t think there has ever been a day in my life where I have been a morning person. Since I am most definitely a night owl, it only makes sense that I do not want to spend time in the kitchen making breakfast.

20171128_144819To avoid skipping breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day, I whip up these amazing muffins on meal prep day. Then I have a quick and easy on-the-go treat that contains all the vital nutrients the body needs. On days that I do not have to be somewhere in the A.M., I will make a larger breakfast and enjoy these muffins as a post-workout snack.

20171128_144837I know it is easy for the brain to be fooled by the word “muffin” that these little gems are not healthy, but do not compare processed, overly sweet bakery muffins to these. Each of these muffins only contains 149 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat, 2 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein. Oat flour stands in for traditional wheat flour, making each muffin gluten-free and lower carb. There is no refined sugar added for sweetness, only raw, organic honey, which keeps the sugar content very low (only 10 grams). They are even vegetarian friendly! I like to make a large batch and store in the freezer, that way they do not spoil and you can pull one out as needed and warm it up quickly in the microwave. Quick, easy, satisfying, and made with flavors of the season. Enjoy!

 

Gluten-Free Pomegranate Apple Protein Muffins 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Oat Flour
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/3 cup Chopped Walnuts; raw & unsalted
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • ¾ cup Milk
  • 5 tbsp. Raw Unfiltered Honey
  • ¼ cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple; peeled, cored, & diced
  • 1/3 cup Pomegranate Seeds

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a 12-count muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the walnuts and whisk again. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, then stir in the milk, honey and yogurt. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in apple and pomegranate seeds. Do not overmix. The mixture will be lumpy.
  3. Fill each muffin cup liner three-quarters of the way full with batter. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center. Let cool in tin for 10 minutes, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: HEATHER BAINBRIDGE
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Muffins

20171113_142923Muffins are a tasty treat with so many flavor possibilities that almost anyone can find at least one type to enjoy. Muffins are also a great convenience food, especially for those looking for a healthy snack or quick on-the-go breakfast. Unfortunately, they tend to get a bad reputation, all thanks to the hordes of mass-produced, processed impostors sold in stores. When you make your own at home, however, you can enjoy all the tasty goodness with real, wholesome ingredients you should be eating, like mashed fruit, Greek yogurt, nuts, and healthy oils.

20171113_143004I initially developed these peanut butter banana protein muffins to make one of my favorite breakfast options, peanut butter banana toast, more portable for busy mornings. When I have to get my hubby to work or my oldest daughter to school and no one feels like getting out of bed, these become a breakfast savior. I just pull them from the refrigerator or freezer, heat them up in the microwave for 15 seconds, and before you know it breakfast is served and out the door we go. For mornings that I have time to make breakfast, these become a great snack. If you are health conscious, these muffins are a delicious, flourless pre- or post-workout snack, due to the high protein content (peanut butter & Greek yogurt) and healthy carbs (oat flour) needed to fuel, repair, and rebuild the body. These muffins can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about 4 days. You can freeze any that you have not used within that time period for up to 3 months.

20171113_142937I know some of you may still be skeptical. How can enjoying a delicious, sweet little muffin for breakfast or a snack be healthy? Well if you are still not convinced maybe the following example will help you understand a little better. Let’s pretend you normally have two slices of whole-wheat peanut butter banana toast for breakfast (I usually only have one but many typically have two slices). Two slices of whole-wheat bread, 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter, one banana, and two teaspoons of honey will easily add up to almost 500 calories. One of these flourless muffins has less than 150 calories, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 5 grams of Protein, 2 grams of Fiber, 20 grams of carbs, and only 7 grams of sugar. I know it sounds too good to be true but it really is a healthier and super easy option. For those who are not concerned if they are healthy, I guarantee you will enjoy them just like you would any other sugar laden muffin!

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Oat Flour (process 2 cups Old Fashioned Oats in a food processor until fine)
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs; divided
  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. Greek Yogurt; divided
  • ¼ cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Bananas; divided
  • 2 tbsp. Natural Unsalted Peanut Butter

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. To prepare batter, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg and oil. Stir in the ½ cup of yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  3. Mash 2 ½ bananas and fold into the mixture until just combined and no white streaks of banana remain. The mixture will still appear lumpy.
  4. To prepare the filling, mash the remaining ½ banana in a small bowl. Stir in the remaining 1 egg, 2 tbsp. yogurt, and peanut butter until well combined.
  5. Fill one-third of each muffin liner with batter. Dollop 1 tsp. of filling into each liner. Divide the remaining batter evenly among the liners to cover the filling. Bake muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the muffin. Let muffins cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove muffins from the tin and finish cooling on a wire rack.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: HEATHER BAINBRIDGE
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017

Skinny Tuscan Lemon Muffins

20170521_161331Summer is just around the corner and that means longer, hotter days and kids running around the house 24/7 (if you are a parent). Although summer is supposed to be a more relaxed time of year it can actually be more hectic, especially if you are an adult with school age children. With the summer schedule already (or about to be) in full gear, it is good to have versatile recipes that are quick and easy to prepare and light on the palate.

20170521_161513Muffins are my preferred versatile recipe item, mainly because they were the first thing I learned to bake on my own as a kid. They are quick and easy to prepare, leave minimal clean-up, and have a seemingly infinite amount of flavor combinations so you never get bored. Today, I elected to work with the flavors of Italy, hence the name Skinny Tuscan Lemon Muffins. A combination of classic Italian ingredients (lemon, ricotta, and olive oil) creates a tart and satisfying muffin. The combination of ricotta cheese and olive oil make this muffin insanely moist, like a mini lemon pound cake. For striking lemon flavor, lemon zest and juice was not enough. To get lemon flavor that shines through everything else, I added lemon extract with the zest and juice. If you don’t like a heavy lemon flavor you can always omit the extract. Lastly, each muffin is finished with a heavy sprinkle of turbinado sugar to lend a crunchy textural contrast.

20170521_161429I highly recommend giving these muffins a try, especially this summer. They are great fresh out of the oven, at room temperature, or reheated. If you want to keep some on hand for quick snacks they can be frozen for longer storage and reheated in the microwave or simply left out to thaw on the counter to room temperature. If you elect to keep them at room temperature right after baking, make sure you store them in an airtight container and do not hold for more than 3 days (although they will likely never last that long). Enjoy these muffins at breakfast with coffee, grab one out the door before work/school, enjoy one as a sweet afternoon snack with tea, or fulfill a late night sweet craving. The possibilities are seemingly endless!

 

Skinny Tuscan Lemon Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 7.9 ounces All-Purpose Flour (about 1 ¾ cups)
  • ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ¾ cup part-skim Ricotta Cheese
  • ½ cup Water
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Grated Lemon Zest
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ tsp. Pure Lemon Extract
  • 1 large Egg; lightly beaten
  • Turbinado Sugar (Sugar in the Raw); for topping

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or fill tray with muffin-cup liners and coat liners with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, water, oil, zest, juice, lemon extract, and egg. Add ricotta mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
  4. Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over batter in each muffin cup. Bake 15-16 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tin then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool completely or serve warm.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(1 Muffin)

NutritionLabel

 

Weight Watchers: 7 Smart Points, 4 Points Plus, or 4 Traditional Points

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: MAUREEN CALLAHAN
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017

Maple Frosted Pecan Spice Cupcakes

20161212_113728The temperatures have officially dropped for the year and much of the country has a dusting (or few feet) of snow on the ground. We may not have snow here in Florida but the temps have dropped enough that I still get the instinct to stay inside bundled up in blankets and make something warm to keep me cozy. This time of year I usually start making cookies as part of my Christmas cookies series with the hopes of helping those looking for ways to add a new type of cookie to the traditional holiday offerings. I promise those recipes are coming soon but I had to fulfill a wish from my 3-year-old who kept asking for cake.

20161212_113623Anyone with a toddler or preschooler knows a slice of cake is extremely messy so I typically offer cupcakes instead. This typically cuts down on the mess minus a few crumbs here and there. I chose to keep with the holiday spirit and select a cake that combines all of the aromas associated with this time of year. Nothing gets me in the holiday spirit more than cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves permeating the air with their wonderful aroma as the cake bakes. Throw on some Christmas music and voila you have holiday cheer in your house without having to make the dreaded (at least in my house) sugar cookies.

20161212_113521What takes this cake to the next level is the frosting. I will warn you this frosting is not the easiest to work with but it is totally worth the effort. The maple adds the perfect complement to the spice cake and makes it feel as if you purchased them from a fancy pastry shop. If the frosting starts to set up on you too quick add a few drops of cream or water until it reaches a spreadable consistency once more. A toasted whole pecan on top adds the finishing touch and a delightful crunch!

Maple Frosted Pecan Spice Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Spice Flavored Cake Mix (or your favorite spice cake recipe)
  • 1/3 cup Chopped Pecans; toasted
  • ½ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • ¼ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ¼ cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • Dash of Salt
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 18 Whole Pecans; toasted

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Fill a 12-cup and a 6-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Prepare cake mix according to box (or recipe) directions. Once batter is prepared, gently fold in the chopped pecans until just combined. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each liner ¾ full with batter. Bake cupcakes until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool.
  3. While the cupcakes cool prepare the frosting. In a saucepan place brown sugar, heavy whipping cream, maple syrup, butter, and salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring only until the sugar dissolves. Cook mixture for 3 minutes without stirring. Remove mixture from the heat and scrape into a large bowl. Add the powdered sugar and beat with a hand mixer on high-speed for 2 minutes (or until mixture has cooled slightly and thickened). Beat in the vanilla.
  4. Using an offset spatula, move quickly to frost each cupcake. If the frosting sets before you have completed all of the cupcakes add a few drops of cream or water until the frosting is back to a spreadable consistency (the frosting will set faster if your cupcakes have completely cooled). Place a whole pecan on the center of each frosted cupcake. Serve.

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: KATHY FARRELL-KINGSLEY
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

Halloween Spooky Spiderweb Cupcakes

20161027_142714Halloween is upon us and this year the holiday has more emphasis than ever for my family. We already have the tradition of going to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins and then carving them the day before Halloween. We also take our daughters to one of the area theme parks for safe trick or treating. However, this year Halloween happens to be my oldest daughter’s current obsession (she is 3). Everything has to be Halloween related and if it isn’t she wants nothing to do with it. She only wants to watch Halloween themed cartoons, listen to Halloween music, read Halloween themed books, and wear Halloween themed clothes. She is so obsessed that she even refused to change out of her dirty pumpkin shirt and candy corn pants even after she took a bath. They had to magically disappear into the laundry, which was preceded by about 10 minutes of a meltdown until she finally accepted wearing her seahorse pajamas.

20161027_142657Needless to say once this Halloween is over I am either going to be relieved or more stressed out if she doesn’t move on and replace the Halloween obsession with Thanksgiving and Christmas excitement. Every year I usually make a themed dessert but with our usual traditions and the fact that there is a new addition to the family this year, it is more and more difficult to complete them. That is why I came up with this easy Halloween themed cupcake. You can use any flavor cupcake you would like and you can elect to use a box mix or make your own from scratch. I chose a lighter based cupcake to provide contrast for the dark chocolate frosting. I recommend using only chocolate for the frosting and not using a different flavor because the dark color provides a good contrast for the spider rings and white web. However, if you can only find black spider rings, you could easily use a dark cupcake base, white frosting, and make the spider webs black. The combination is up to you as the recipe is rather versatile for your preferences. I do recommend using your own recipes as the quality of the product will come out better but if you are in a pinch you can always use box cake mix and prepared frosting. If you do prepare your own cake mix and frosting just make sure that it is enough to yield 24 cupcakes. I also recommend locating a spiderweb design through an online search to use as a guide when piping the spider webs onto the parchment paper. Happy Halloween!!!!!!!

20161027_143228Halloween Spooky Spiderweb Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Pillsbury Halloween Funfetti Cake Mix (or your favorite cake batter recipe)
  • 1 container Duncan Hines Whipped Chocolate Frosting (or your favorite frosting recipe)
  • 24 Orange Plastic Toy Spider Rings
  • 1 box Wilton’s Royal Icing Mix
  • Parchment Paper
  • Piping Bags
  • Star & Round Decorator Tips

Preparation:

  1. Prepare royal icing mix according to package directions. Fill a small piping bottle or bag fitted with a small round piping tip with icing. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Draw at least 24 spider webs on parchment paper, either freehand or following an image found online. I suggest making a few extra spiderwebs in case some break as the webs are extremely fragile. Once piped, set pan aside to dry overnight.
  2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside. Prepare cake mix according to package directions or prepare your own cake mix from scratch to make 24 cupcakes. Fill cupcake liners half full and bake according to box/recipe instructions, usually about 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Once cupcakes have cooled, fill a piping bag fitted with a large star tip with frosting. Pipe rosettes on the top of each cupcake. Carefully place the spiderweb into the frosting near the back of the cupcake. Place a toy spider ring into the frosting below the spiderweb to look as if the spider is moving towards the web. Repeat for each cupcake. Serve

 

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016