Skinny Apricot Granola

20190215_160551In order to succeed at anything in life, you need to make a plan. Staying fit and healthy is certainly no exception to this rule. I admit, it can seem overwhelming to achieve, but one way to keep yourself on track is by prepping clean, nutritious meals & snacks in advance. This ensures you’ll always have healthy food on hand. Sure, if you’re not used to meal-prepping, it’s easy to believe the process is too laborious and costly, but in reality it doesn’t have to be. I have saved so much money in the past year while simultaneously improving my health, and it’s all thanks to meal prep.

20190215_160926One of my favorite items to prep is this skinny apricot granola. Although it’s one of the first foods I ever prepped when I began my fitness journey, I still make it to this very day. Why??? Well it’s just that GOOD! Granola and I are clearly going to be BFF’s for life, because its super simple to prep and has countless options so I never get bored eating the same thing all week. Just by keeping this granola on hand, I’m always equipped with a quick and healthy snack, dessert, or even breakfast.

You may wonder why I find this so important. It’s just granola after all, but it really is a big deal for me because it has prevented one of the biggest issues I had in the past…skipping meals. Most people think if they eat less they will weigh less, but that wasn’t the case.  I skipped meals, I didn’t snack, and I was the heaviest I’d ever been. I either didn’t have the time or I was too fatigued to cook. This in turn led to years of obesity, as the metabolism slows when you chronically skip meals. Now that I prep items like this granola, I no longer feel sluggish all day because it prevents me from skipping breakfast on days I’m strapped for time. It prevents me from turning to unhealthy snacks and desserts when cravings strike.

20190215_160756If the old me sounds like you…if you tend to skip meals a lot or snack on unhealthy items, try making a batch of this delicious granola. Simply sprinkle on your favorite yogurt for a quick and easy snack, layer between yogurt and heaps of fresh fruit for a quick dessert parfait, or just enjoy it straight up with milk or a milk alternative for breakfast. The possibilities are endless. I hope you give them a chance or come up with variations of your own!

 

Skinny Apricot Granola

*Makes 10 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 2 cups Sliced Unsalted Almonds
  • ¼ cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 tbsp. Coconut Oil; melted
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp. Ground Allspice
  • ½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • ½ cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes; toasted
  • 2 cups Dried Apricots (unsweetened & sulfite-free); cut into ¼ in. cubes

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add oats, almonds, maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. Toss to coat well.
  3. Spread granola out on prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, toss well, and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  4. Place cooked oat mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add coconut and apricots. Toss together until combined. Transfer to storage containers.

 

Nutrients Per Serving: About 1/3 cup Granola

Calories: 292 Calories, Protein: 8 g.,

Total Fat: 9 g., Sat. Fat: 3 g.,

Fiber: 7 g., Sodium: 7 mg.,

Sugars: 10 g., Carbs: 46 g.,

Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: A. SYMINGTON
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

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Gluten-Free Chewy Apple Pie Bars

20190108_174442Hello everyone! To all of my followers, I know it’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me. I’ve been extremely busy this past year with the creation of my new small business & it has unfortunately kept me from doing any content for this website. Thankfully, now that I’ve gotten into a rhythm in my business, I’m back to share content with you once again.

I will admit my content going forward will have a slight shift in focus. I will still be posting up baked goods as always, however they will be more nutritious in nature. As my life has changed to a healthier lifestyle, this website will have to change along with it. I hope you will all enjoy what is to come. I’m extremely excited to be back & I hope to expand this website even larger in the future…so stay tuned!

20190108_174231For my first post back, I’m sharing with you the first healthy snack bar I ever created. The story behind this recipe coincides with the beginning of my journey to losing fat & getting healthier. At the time I started my journey, I did not have the finances to buy all of the fancy snack bars you find in health food stores, so what I did was I created my own from home. Later I would come to find out, as I became more educated in nutrition, that I wasn’t just saving money, I was also avoiding a lot of harmful ingredients that get hidden in processed health food products. So if you want to enjoy healthy snacks, even if you’re not on a budget, the best way to go is make them yourself.

20190108_174413These chewy apple pie bars are the perfect make & take snack. They are freezable, gluten-free, vegetarian, & come together quickly. Taking only about 10 minutes of prep time, you can pop one in your lunch box or gym bag for a sweet snack on the go in no time. When you arm yourself with nutritious snacks, you can always keep hunger at bay!

Chewy Apple Pie Snack Bars

*Makes 12 Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Pitted Dates
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Dried Apple Slices
  • 1 cup Unsalted Walnuts
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Ground Ginger
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Nutmeg

 

Preparation:

  1. Line a 4 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large food processor, combine the dates, apples, and walnuts. Process until a fine crumbs form, about 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Continue to process until mixture is very soft and easily holds together when pinched, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Press dough into prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm. Cut into 12 snack size bars (2 x 1¼ in. each). Wrap each bar individually and keep refrigerated (5 days) or freeze (1 month).

 

Nutrients Per Serving: 1 Bar

Calories: 119, Protein: 2 g.,

Total Fat: 6 g., Sat. Fat: 0.5 g.,

Fiber: 16 g., Sodium: 23 mg.,

Sugars: 12 g., Carbs: 16 g.,

Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

 

 

Plum-Almond Buckle

20180730_112740In Florida, it pretty much feels like summer year round. With the exception of a few weeks in the winter, the temperature doesn’t give much indication to the season we’re currently in. One way we stay in touch with the seasons, like the rest of the country, is via the produce that’s being harvested.

20180730_112610I don’t know about you but there’s something about a juicy stone fruit that screams summer. Peaches are my favorite variety, but with plums only 0.99¢ a pound, I could’t pass up the opportunity to snatch a bunch to bake with. Available from May to October, plums hit their peak harvest in July. There are over 2,000 varieties worldwide, with more than 100 types in the U.S. alone, making for plenty of options at your local farmstand throughout the summer and into early fall.

20180730_112124Although lusciously juicy and sweet to eat out of hand, plums provide a complex flavor and texture to any dish they’re added to. The sweet flesh and tart skin of plums are particularly fantastic in desserts, with this plum buckle being a perfect representation of that fact. In case you aren’t familiar, a buckle is a dessert where fruit is placed on top of a layer of cake batter, which rises to the top while baking and then buckles when cool. Buckles are quick and easy to prepare, which means you can whip this dessert up fast for that unexpected BBQ or have it on the table for dinner in no time!

 

Plum-Almond Buckle

 

Ingredients:

  • 7.6 oz. (about 1 & 1/3 cup) White Whole Wheat Flour
  • ¾ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ Salt
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; softened
  • ½ cup plus 1 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. grated Lemon Zest
  • 1 ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 large Egg
  • ½ cup lowfat Buttermilk
  • 3 Plums; halved, pitted, & sliced ½ in. thick
  • 2 tbsp. Sliced Almonds

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the butter, ½ cup sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla. Beat mixture at medium speed until creamy. Add egg and beat until combined. Alternatively add the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, blending just until combined.
  4. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan. Arrange sliced plums on top of batter. Sprinkle evenly with almonds and the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
  5. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool cake in the pan on a wire cooling rack before serving.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018

Skinny Cranberry Macadamia Butter Cookies

20180616_125839When you think of the terms skinny and cookie, you don’t typically associate them together. For those trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, however, it is imperative to find recipes that do just that. In a constant battle to avoid unhealthy foods yet allow the occasional sweet treat, sometimes we have to get creative. These cookies are a product of that creativity.

20180616_125954Inspired by a classic, the old-fashioned peanut butter cookie, these treats replace peanuts with a Hawaiian favorite, macadamias. To make these cookies not only unique but also healthy, I began by completely eliminating butter from the recipe. That’s right, no butter, no oil. The base of the dough is actually created by pureeing the macadamias into a nut butter, similar to the role peanut butter plays in a peanut butter cookie. The natural oil from the macadamias is enough to hold the dough together and keep it moist, allowing butter to be left out of the equation entirely. So don’t be fooled into thinking I forgot to add it to the ingredient list just because the title has the word “butter” in it (and yes…this conversation has happened before).

20180616_130407Although removing butter from the recipe will drastically cut the calorie and fat content of the cookies, it doesn’t necessarily make them healthy. To boost the nutrition content of the cookies, I elected to swap out all-purpose flour and replace it with white whole-wheat flour. Lastly, I added some dried cranberries to provide a boost of antioxidant power and chewy texture. The bits of cranberries not only provide a nutritional boost to each cookie, but a tartness that really complements the sweet and subtle flavor of the macadamias. These cookies are thick, satisfying, taste fantastic, and they’re far more nutritionally balanced than a traditional cookie (74 calories, 2 g. fat, 1 g. protein, 1 g. fiber per serving). If you love peanut butter cookies and want to taste a more exotic take on the original, give these delightful little bundles a try!

20180616_130112*NOTE: This recipe should yield approximately 30 cookies. Each serving consists of 1 cookie.

 

Skinny Cranberry Macadamia Butter Cookies

 

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup Macadamia Nuts
  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ½ cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 ¼ cups White Whole-Wheat Flour
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • ½ cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1 tbsp. Granulated Sugar

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place macadamias in a food processor and pulse until smooth, approximately 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. DO NOT move on to step three until the texture is smooth like creamy peanut butter, otherwise the dough will be dry and crumbly.
  3. Combine macadamia butter, ½ cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl). Beat with a stand (or hand) mixer on medium speed until combined. Add vanilla and egg and beat well.
  4. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat until combined. Stir in cranberries. Chill dough for 10 minutes.
  5. Divide chilled dough into 30 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball. Place remaining tablespoon of sugar in a small bowl. Lightly roll the top of each cookie ball in the sugar and place, sugar side up, on the prepared baking sheet, leaving an inch between each cookie. Gently press down on the top of each dough ball to flatten.
  6. Bake cookies, 1 sheet pan at a time, for 9 minutes or until golden. Remove cookies from pan and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining cookies & enjoy.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018

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

Walnut Fudge Brownies

20180520_030512When a chocolate craving screams out for your attention, nothing is easier or more comforting than a brownie. Even if the craving hits at night, just a quick raid of the pantry will likely provide all the ingredients needed to create the perfect pan. Without a doubt, brownies are my go to sweet when I need a delicious treat but don’t have the energy or time to make something more elaborate.

20180520_110531Whether made as a post-dinner treat or after school snack, brownies are highly customizable to satisfy any and all tastes. They can be void of add-ins to keep them simply fudgy or they can be filled and topped with a multitude of different flavor and texture profiles to suit any occasion or craving. Even though there’s much fun to be had creatively with brownies, I elected to stick to a classic, the fudgy walnut. One, if not THE most popular brownie variation, this recipe takes the intense richness even further with high-quality cocoa, melted chocolate, and chocolate chips.

20180520_030629If you decide to give these fudgy treats studded with crunchy walnuts a try, they will take you about 15 minutes to prep and about 30 minutes in the oven. Once cooked, store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, you have the option of cutting the brownies into a traditional size or into smaller, bite-size portions. A traditional size will yield you approximately 9 large brownies while the bite-size portions will yield approximately 20 servings. The bite-size portions are perfect for those needing to serve a large crowd or those who live a healthy lifestyle and want to indulge without growing a bulge. If you elect to cut the brownies into small portions, each serving will contain approximately 186 calories, 4 g. saturated fat, 4 g. protein, 24 g. carbs, 3 grams fiber, 30 mg cholesterol, 1 mg iron, 74 mg sodium, and 23 mg calcium. I used white whole-wheat flour to make these healthier for my lifestyle, however you can substitute all-purpose flour if you do not mind a change in the above nutrition facts. No matter how, why, or when you choose to enjoy these brownies, I know you will not be disappointed by this revived and healthier take on a classic!

20180520_110737

Walnut Fudge Brownies

 

Ingredients:

  • 3.4 ounces White Whole-Wheat Flour (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¾ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ½ cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips; divided
  • 1/3 cup Fat-Free Milk
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; melted
  • 1 tsp. pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Eggs; lightly beaten
  • ½ cup Chopped Walnuts; divided
  • Cooking Spray

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9 inch square metal baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine ½ cup of the chocolate chips and milk. Microwave the mixture on high for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir in the butter, vanilla, and eggs.
  4. Add the milk mixture, remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips, and ½ cup of walnuts to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of walnuts. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve.

 

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018

Almond Butter Snack Bars

20180511_185312Time. There never seems to be enough of it, and if you’re always on the move or always busy, it’s a guarantee you’ll be looking for something quick to snack on. Don’t settle for unhealthy processed food or overpriced snack bars when you can quickly make your own moist, healthy, and delicious ones at home for less.

20180511_185130It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginning cook or well advanced in the kitchen, these bars are quick and simple to make. Invest a short amount of time preparing them each week and you’ll be rewarded with a week’s worth of healthy snacks, on-the-go breakfasts, or dessert bars at a fraction of the cost you’d pay for processed, pre-made fare. They are only $1.15 per serving if you bake them in a 9×9 inch baking pan, which will yield approximately 16 bars. If you try to compare the quality to anything in the stores, I guarantee you’ll be paying at least $3-5 per serving, making these bars extremely budget-friendly!

20180511_185024If you do elect to give this recipe a go, be sure to store the bars in an airtight container. They will keep in the refrigerator for one month or up to three months in the freezer. Simply leave a bar out at room temperature for a few minutes to warm up before you devour it or give a quick zap in the microwave if you’re short on time. At 9 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, these bars will satisfy your hunger, give you energy to keep up with your busy lifestyle, and ensure you’re meeting your nutritional needs. Each bar contains high-quality protein, carbs, and fats, as well as blood-sugar balancing ingredients to keep you in tip top shape. So find some time to unwind and have fun preparing a delicious and good for you treat!

 

Almond Butter Snack Bars

 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup raw Agave Nectar
  • 2/3 cup Almond Butter
  • 2 tsp. pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Oat Flour
  • 1 cup Old-Fashioned Oats; whole
  • 1 ¾ cups soaked & dehydrated Buckwheat Groats or Kasha
  • 1/3 cup Chia Seeds
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt

 

Preparation:

  1. Line a 9×9 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving excess hang out two of the ends so the bars can easily be lifted from the pan.
  2. Place the agave, almond butter, and vanilla in a bowl. Stir mixture rapidly until well-combined and creamy.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the oat flour, oats, buckwheat/kasha, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt. Mix together until just combined.
  4. Pour the almond butter mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture. Mix together until thoroughly combined.
  5. Using your hands (make sure they are super clean or use gloves), press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Use a rubber spatula to smooth out and ensure the entire pan has an even surface.
  6. Cover and place the pan in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour to allow the bars to firm up and hold their shape for cutting. Bars can be left at room temperature up to 3 days but are best kept in the refrigerator (1 month) or freezer (3 months). If freezing, be sure to cut bars before storing in freezer.

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: GINA HUDSON
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018