Mini Blueberry Muffins

Fat loss and muffins. Not a combination you would think could work, but I assure you it does. The battle of the bulge can be won, and you don’t even have to give up the foods you enjoy so long as you are sensible in your approach to them. For far too long I tried the elimination approach. I eliminated sweets, carbs, even entire meals yet it never worked. I was constantly yo-yo dieting, losing weight only to gain it back a short time later. I did this for years before I realized the solution was not eliminating foods, but understanding them, and then making them work as fuel for my body.

If you search Google for tips on how to lose fat, you will be bombarded with page after page of advice. Cut carbs. Avoid fat. High protein. High fat. Anything in moderation. You name it, you will probably find approaches for it. One of the most common recommendations you will find is to dump the sugar. This causes most people to cut out the obvious sources of sugar, like desserts, soda, lemonade, and sports drinks. What most people don’t account for is that sugar hides in the places you least expect it to, such as yogurt, cereal, salad dressings, and condiments. This means that even after giving up all your favorite sweets to cut out sugar, the likelihood you are still consuming far more than the recommended daily amount (no more than 6 tsp. for women and 9 tsp. for men) is high.

While I agree that sugar, whether processed or natural, should be avoided as much as possible, I do not agree with completely eliminating it altogether (hence these delicious muffins I present to you today). As long as you stay under the recommended guidelines for daily intake and your sources of sugar are natural ones, you can still be fit and healthy while consuming sugar. The problem our society faces today is extremism. We honestly lack self-discipline in many areas of our life, including food. What used to be treats a few decades ago have become the main component of our diets. With this constant consumption of sugar comes the constant production of the hormone insulin. As a result, excess blood sugar is packed into fat cells for storage, leading to the high incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes we currently face.

Therefore, if you want to avoid the dangers of sugar without giving up your sweet treats, learn to make them yourself. Stop buying the pre-packaged stuff and prepare your own. This simple strategy allows you to regain control over what you put in your body and once you take control you will see results. Since we have become so reliant on processed foods, learning to bake all of your treats can be daunting. That is why I came up with these quick and easy blueberry muffins. One bowl. One pan. No fancy equipment required. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro baker or a novice, these muffins will be done in no time at all without a sweat. Gluten-free, packed with a healthy balance of macronutrients, and sweetened naturally with honey, your body will feel fueled and sweet tooth satisfied despite their miniature size. Next time you plan your weekly meals, try incorporating this mini version of the classic sweet for a guilt-free snack!

Mini Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 cup Almond Flour/Meal
  • ¼ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 tbsp. Raw Honey
  • ½ tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¾ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • ½ cup Frozen Wild Blueberries (do not thaw)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Mist a mini muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper cups. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk almond flour/meal and baking soda. In a large measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together eggs, honey, vanilla, vinegar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour into flour mixture and mix until combined. Fold in blueberries.
  3. Fill prepared muffin tin with batter, placing about 1 tbsp. of batter in each muffin cup. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden.

Nutrition

Per Serving (1 Muffin): 54 Calories; 2 g Protein; 3 g Total Fat; 0 g Sat. Fat; 1 g Fiber; 16 mg Sodium; 2 g Sugar; 3 g Carbs; 0 mg Cholesterol.

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: E. MACDONALD & T. BACHUS
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2020

Rye & Oat Irish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! If you’re not of Irish heritage, today is probably just another ordinary day to you. To the Irish, however, it is beyond the social stereotypes (leprechauns, pots of gold, four leaf clovers). It is not a day created just for wearing green, but a day of celebration with good food, drinking, and dancing. Although I’m not purely Irish (mainly German & Scottish), I have always celebrated St. Patty’s day each year. Unfortunately, that will not be the case this year.

This year we are facing the COVID-19 scare and as a result it has caused my usual local Irish celebration spot to close. Although I won’t be able to indulge in the delicious taste of the traditional dish of the day, corned beef and cabbage, I can still bring a little bit of Irish food to our quarantined table. Therefore, without further delay, I introduce to you my healthier take on Irish Soda Bread. One of my favorites growing up was Irish Soda Bread. It is a delicious bread that gets its name from its preparation method. Instead of rising from traditional yeast, Irish bread uses baking soda instead. Although there are a few different methods for making traditional Irish soda bread, I chose to go the clean route so it will fit my current nutrition goals.

If you know me, you know every food I eat must be made from clean (no-GMO/organic) ingredients. The food must also be made of healthy ingredients that are able to fit into my macro balance for the day. This bread, although not quite traditional, checks off all of those requirements. It is primarily made up of a rye and oat flour blend that is naturally sweetened with raw honey. The addition of rolled oats incorporates more heart healthy fiber and unsweetened cranberries lend a delightful pop of tartness. It is a clean and healthy bread that can be used as a side to coffee for breakfast, a snack with tea in the afternoon, or a late night, guilt-free nibble. With everyone staying home to stop the spread of the virus, you will surely have plenty of free time to bake up this bread. If you still want to enjoy some Irish food without any of the guilt this St. Patty’s Day, try your hand at making this quick and easy soda bread!

Rye & Oat Irish Soda Bread


Ingredients

  • 2½ cups Rye Flour; divided
  • 1½ cups Oat Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¾ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 egg; beaten
  • 1¾ cups Buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp. Raw Honey
  • 3 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats; divided
  • ½ cup dried unsweetened Cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 2¼ cups rye flour, oat flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, honey, and oil. Add to the dry mixture and stir until a dough forms. Add ½ cup oats and cranberries. Mix until well combined. The dough will still be slightly sticky.
  4. On a cleans surface, sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup rye flour. Scrape dough onto floured surface and knead a few times to incorporate the flour. Knead until dough is soft but still slightly sticky.
  5. Form dough into a long oval shape and place on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the remaining 2 tbsp. of oats. Using a sharp knife, cut a shallow “X” in the middle of the dough.
  6. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a slight hollow sound is made when bread is tapped. Allow bread to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition

Per Serving (1 slice): 208 Calories; 7 g Protein; 6 g Total Fat; 1 g Sat. Fat; 7 g Fiber; 231 mg Sodium; 9 g Sugar; 34 g Carbs; 17 mg Cholesterol.

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: H. BAINBRIDGE
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2020

Spiced Maple Overnight Oats

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Weekday mornings are crazy for me. Between getting the kids up and ready to go, making sure my husband gets to work on time, and getting my training in for the day, there is little time for anything else, much less preparing a big, balanced breakfast. Thankfully, I learned how to meal prep each week, which makes breakfast a breeze on these hectic days. I know many hear the words “meal prep” and cringe at the thought of it. Sure, planning for each and every meal and snack ahead of time can seem daunting and time consuming, but I assure you it is truly a life-saver, especially for those following a healthy lifestyle.

Without weekly meal prep, I would never have healthy foods, like these delicious oats, on hand. Prior to my weekly meal-prepping habits, I would usually skip breakfast altogether. On days I felt too hungry to skip, I would grab breakfast from various fast-food establishments, which was both costly and unhealthy. Even worse, I used to justify these poor choices with the excuse that I just didn’t have enough time. This, however, was a poor excuse. An excuse that led me to be unhealthy and unhappy for way too many years. Fact is, there’s no reason you can’t eat foods with optimal nutrition, even on the busiest of mornings. All you need to do is introduce a few small and simple food-prepping habits into your weekly schedule and you can enjoy clean, nutritious foods for every meal and snack. One of my favorite options for breakfast are these spiced maple overnight oats.

A breakfast of nutrition champions, overnight oats are easy to prepare, can be made up to 5 days in advance, and are simple to pack on-the-go. As with any oat-based breakfast, overnight oats are also particularly satisfying, as they are packed with heart-healthy insoluble fiber that keeps you feeling full until lunch. As if all those reasons weren’t convincing enough, there are countless ways to flavor them. You could literally make a different style of overnight oats every week for a year and never repeat the same flavor combination. This is important because it fends off boredom, aka the motivation killer of healthy eating.

In order to bust any flavor boredom I might have before it arrived, I switched my previous month’s oat recipe to this maple spice one. A simple combination of cinnamon, cardamom, maple syrup, and vanilla extract provides a comforting warmth and natural sweetness to the unsweetened almond milk that’s used for soaking. Once allowed to soften overnight, the oats can be topped with fresh fruit and nuts to complete the meal. My favorite options are banana slices, raspberries, sliced strawberries, and unsalted, finely chopped pecans, however you can top with anything you like. I also recommend preparing in small mason jars for storage and travel ease. So start your day with a quick, tasty, and nutrient-dense breakfast by giving this glamorized version of oatmeal a try!

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Spiced Maple Overnight Oats

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Plain Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 cup Old-Fashioned Oats
  • 1 tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Cardamom
  • Fresh Sliced Fruit (optional garnish)
  • Toasted Unsalted Pecans; finely chopped (optional garnish)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together almond milk, oats, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamom.
  2. Divide mixture into 2 glass jars (or small bowls). Add more almond milk to each jar, if needed, so that oats are covered in liquid.
  3. Cover jars and refrigerate overnight (or at least 2 hours).
  4. To serve, top with fresh fruit (banana, strawberry, raspberries) and sprinkle with pecans.

Nutrition

Per Serving (1 Jar): 207 Calories; 7 g Protein; 4 g Total Fat; 0.5 g Sat. Fat; 5 g Fiber; 106 mg Sodium; 7 g Sugar; 35 g Carbs; 0 mg Cholesterol.

 

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2020

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

It’s game day here in the states! Super Bowl LIV! More than just a championship game for the sport of football, the Super Bowl has actually become an American tradition. It is a day when most of the country, whether fans of the sport or not, host watch parties with family and friends. It doesn’t matter if you come to cheer on your favorite team, watch the commercials, or simply count down the minutes to halftime, all attendees will likely have one thing in common…an over-consumption of FOOD. Spending the day devouring endless snacks and throwing alcohol back may sound like good fun for most, but for those like me trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle, it is especially difficult.

Although I’ve become rather good at saying no to unhealthy foods, sweets will always remain my weakness. In order to get through tougher days like today, I like to arm myself with healthier options. It is easy to walk into a party thinking you will not eat any of the food, but after taking in the delicious smells and spending hours watching those around you indulge in it all, it can be difficult to remain strong no matter how determined you are. That is why I always prepare clean, nutritious options to share. Not only do I give myself food to eat so that I do not starve or give in to temptation, but I also help spread better snack options to all attendees.

This year, I chose to make these gluten-free dark chocolate peanut butter bars as my super game day snack. A gluten-free crust layered with a crunchy peanut butter filling and finished off with a dark chocolate chip topping will quench any sweet craving when it strikes. A decadent dessert with zero-guilt and no “health food” taste. Anyone that is a peanut lover or is obsessed with chocolate will find satisfaction with these bars. So if you are looking for a last minute, healthier Super Bowl sweet, look no further than these bars!

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Cane Sugar; divided
  • ½ cup Brown Rice Flour
  • ¼ cup Almond Flour
  • ¼ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; chilled & cut into cubes
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp. Natural Unsalted Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
  • ¼ cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • 1/3 cup Dark Chocolate Chips; 70% or greater

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Mist an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, blend 3 tbsp. cane sugar, brown rice flour, almond flour, and cocoa powder until combined. Add butter and pulse until a fine crumb forms, about 7 pulses. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake until set, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer), beat eggs, peanut butter, vanilla, salt, and remaining 5 tbsp. sugar on medium-high, until fluffy and doubled in volume, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in shredded coconut. Spread mixture over cooked crust. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove pan from oven and top with chocolate chips. Bake an additional 3 to 5 minutes more, or until filling has set.
  4. Cool bars completely on a wire rack. To serve, lift edges of paper and transfer to a board. Cut into 25 squares and serve.

Nutrition

Per Serving (1 bar): 100 Calories; 2 g. Protein; 6 g. Total Fat; 3 g. Sat. Fat; 1 g. Fiber; 24 mg Sodium; 6 g. Sugar; 9 g. Carbs; 22 mg Cholesterol

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: M. WREN
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2020

Apple Pie with Oat Pecan Topping

A few weeks ago we officially hit winter, yet I can honestly say I’m not ready. From as far back as October, the weather here in central Florida has been all over the place. It has either been too hot, too cold, or even rainy for days in a row, despite it supposedly being the dry season. There was honestly never a day where I could enjoy the flavors of autumn and have it feel like it was actually autumn outside. But since fall happens to be my favorite season, I decided to celebrate it today with my ultimate fall comfort dessert, apple pie. Apple’s seasonality may peak in fall, but thankfully you can always find this fruit’s warm, inviting colors year round in practically every store. This means, no matter the time of the year, you can always serve a delicious apple pie. To free me from the guilt associated with possible year round pie consumption, I’ve spent the past two months cleaning up and testing this recipe so that it can fit into any healthy lifestyle.

While apple pie is certainly not the worst dessert for your health, there is definitely a lot of room for improvement. So to begin the process of making this pie healthier, I had to first look at what makes it so desired and how those elements affect nutrition. This would then give me a foundation of what I could cut and what I needed to retain in order to improve the nutrition content without sacrificing taste. A traditional apple pie aims to please with a rich, flaky pastry crust on both the bottom and the top to encase the filling. This may taste delicious, but it also translates to a lot of fat (typically from shortening), and empty calories from heavily processed white flour. To avoid the downsides of a typical crust while also saving time, I opted for a frozen whole-wheat crust from my local organic market. The crust is made from whole wheat pastry flour and safflower oil, which boosts nutritional content, adds a bit of extra flavor, and contains less protein than regular flour, thus preventing the crust from getting tough and chewy. Since a lot of the calories in an apple pie come from the crust, I chose to ax the top layer altogether and go with a Dutch-style blend of oats, pecans, and cinnamon. This adds a nice texture to the pie, removes unnecessary calories/fat, and eliminates any stress that dealing with pie dough creates.

Once the pie crust was in order it was time to tackle the filling. Since apples are the star of the recipe, choosing the right variety is key. In my eyes, the definition of the perfect apple is crisp yet soft while also having a proper balance of sweet and tart. The Golden Delicious variety fits all of this criteria, providing the familiar, comforting taste we all know and love while also being easy to find in any supermarket. As a bonus, since Golden Delicious apples are not overly tart, I was able to cut the amount of added sugar this recipe needed significantly without sacrificing a pleasantly sweet filling. I opted for raw cane sugar as my added sweetener over a liquid sweetener like honey or a non-cane source such as maple sugar. The reason for this is due to the role sugar plays in fruit pies. Sugar influences how the juices in the pie thicken, making raw, organic cane sugar the better option. In addition to the type of sugar, I also relied on the help of tapioca flour and the natural thickening agent in apples, pectin, to ensure that my filling was neither too jelly-like or watery. To prevent some of the other common issues apple pies often face, like burnt crust or raw apples, I made sure to keep the apple slices thin, only about 1/8 of an inch thick. This step ensures that the crust gets cooked properly and the apples get tender, yet still offer some resistance when pierced (we aren’t making apple sauce here). To put the final touch on the filling I needed to add depth of flavor. I kept it simple and added just a bit of spice with cinnamon. The result was a delicious, healthy new take on a classic.

Making an apple pie can be intimidating, especially one that is designed to be healthier, but it is really not as difficult as it seems. Like anything else in life, take your time and enjoy the process. This apple pie is worth every bit of effort, as it tastes just as good as a traditional recipe but slashes calories, fat, carbs, sodium, and cholesterol in half, greatly reduces sugar, and increases the fiber content of each slice. Pie making is very much a labor of love and your body will love you for treating it with this healthier take on apple pie!

Apple Pie with Oat Pecan Topping


Ingredients

  • 1 Prepared Whole-Wheat Pie Crust; fresh or frozen
  • 6 Golden Delicious Apples; peeled, cored, & thinly sliced (1/8 in. thick)
  • ½ cup Raw Cane Sugar
  • ¼ cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1¼ tsp. Ground Cinnamon; divided
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 oz. Unsalted Raw Pecans; chopped
  • ¼ cup Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Place prepared pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet. If using a roll-out variety of prepared pie crust, mist a 9 inch pie dish with cooking spray and then roll out dough into pie dish. Crimp sides down with a fork. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the apples, cane sugar, tapioca flour, vinegar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and salt until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together pecans, oats, and remaining ¼ tsp. cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Spoon apple mixture into crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle pecan mixture over the top of the apple mixture. Cover top of pie loosely with foil. Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350° and continue baking until liquid is bubbling, crust is golden brown, and apples offer only slight resistance when pierced, about 45 to 55 minutes. Remove foil and cool on a wire rack. To serve warm, cool at least 20 minutes. For a cleaner slice, wait at least 2 hours before serving.

Nutrition

Per Serving (1 Slice): 257 Calories; 3 g Protein; 8 g Total Fat; 1 g Sat. Fat; 5 g Fiber; 146 mg Sodium; 25 g Sugar; 46 g Carbs; 19 mg Cholesterol.

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: J. O’HARA
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2020

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Cookies

Every new year can be a new you! It’s a common phrase that gets slung around this time of year. A time when the calendar resets as does our motivation to become better than who we were the previous year. It is a time when we make resolutions, set higher goals, and create plans of action to achieve those goals. As much as this phrase applies to most people around the world come January 1st, it has never been a thing for me. Sure I have goals I want to achieve, but it has never taken a specific time of the year to motivate me. I have always been a person that once I set my mind to something I start acting upon it. I don’t say things like “I will start this tomorrow” or “I will wait until next week”. Once I have something in mind I won’t wait a single moment more to start executing it in some capacity. That is how I started this website, that is how I re-branded this website, and that will be how I continue to operate this website.

Now you may be wondering what all this has to do with some cookies? You see, back in 2016 I had my second daughter and I was totally happy to have expanded my family but I was also completely miserable. I was morbidly obese, fatigued all the time, and just all around blah. This website was my therapy. I relied on the taste of good food to comfort me and writing about it continued to remind me of the feeling I got while eating it. Problem is, that high was always short-lived and never solved the real issues I was facing. In an attempt to extend the good vibes, I would just create more and more content. It got to a point where each year I would spend the entire time between Thanksgiving and Christmas preparing countless cookie recipes to share on this website, which I would of course indulge in thereafter. It was an endless cycle of self-torture. That is until I decided to make a change. It may not have happened for the new year but it would go on to change every year thereafter.

Since August of 2016 I have lost over 120 pounds and am in the best shape of my life. As great as this process has been, midway through my journey I realized that I had lost something along the way, that being this website. Since I no longer relied on food as therapy I was no longer making unhealthy desserts all the time, therefore leaving me with nothing to write about. It took me several months of being on hiatus until I finally realized that I could start over with a new philosophy. Just as I had hit a reset button on my life I could also hit the reset button on this website. The old desserts I used to love but had come to see as the enemy would once again become my friends, only this time as inspiration. A new mission had been born. A mission to create clean, delicious, and nutritious desserts that would fit my new healthy lifestyle while also keeping this website alive for all of you.

This year I may not have spent weeks preparing countless batches of unhealthy cookies to present to you over the holidays, but I do bring you this gem. It is not the lightest of recipes, but it is a lot more nutritious than any other holiday cookies you will find, which is still a win in my book. To achieve a moist yet gluten-free cookie base, I started with a blend of almond and coconut flours. To add delicious flavor and a slightly chewy texture, I created a healthier salted caramel using coconut milk and Sucanat. Lastly, for an elegant presentation, I topped each cookie off with a candied pecan. If you seek an indulgent, yet clean treat, look no further than these chewy, salted caramel cookies!

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Cookies


Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
  • ¾ cup Sucanat plus 2 tbsp.; divided
  • ½ cup Raw Unsalted Pecans
  • ½ cup Coconut Milk
  • 3½ tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract; divided
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 2½ cups Almond Flour/Meal
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut Flour
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ cup Coconut Oil; melted
  • 2 tbsp. Raw Honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. To prepare candied pecans: Place a small saucepan on medium heat. Add maple syrup and 2 tbsp. Sucanat. Heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil and Sucanat dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and immediately add in pecans. Stir until pecans are fully coated. Spread pecans evenly on one of the prepared baking sheets. Set aside to cool, at least 5 minutes.
  3. To prepare caramel sauce: Place a small saucepan on medium heat. Add coconut milk and ¾ cup Sucanat. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Once mixture begins to boil, add 1½ tsp. vanilla and salt, stirring constantly. Cook caramel until thickened and a reddish brown color, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat, pour into a glass bowl, and set aside to cool for at least 5 minutes.
  4. To prepare dough: In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, and baking soda until well blended. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, honey, and 2 tsp. vanilla. Pour the contents of the small bowl (wet ingredients) into the contents of the medium bowl (dry ingredients) and blend with a fork until a dough forms. Add ½ cup of the caramel sauce to the dough and mix until well blended.
  5. Drop 1 tbsp. of dough at a time onto a large parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool on baking sheet. Once cool, use a spoon to dab the tops of each cookie with the remaining caramel sauce. Place one candied pecan on each cookie. Store in an airtight container for 3 days. Use extra candied pecans on salads, over yogurt, in oatmeal, or as a sweet snack.

Nutrition

Per Serving (1 Cookie): 242 Calories; 4 g Protein; 17 g Total Fat; 7 g Sat. Fat; 3 g Fiber; 123 mg Sodium; 15 g Sugar; 19 g Carbs; 0 mg Cholesterol

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: K. KLEIN
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

Pumpkin Pie Bread

During the holiday season, there are a few signature items that will come to the mind of almost anyone. Pumpkin pie happens to be one of those items. Whether you enjoy it at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or both, it is on the menu of most households at some point towards the end of each year. My family always enjoys pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, but this year I decided to shake things up and serve this delicious, healthier bread instead.

As much as I love a traditional pumpkin pie at the holidays, I also love to try new, cleaner items inspired by the flavors I already know and love. Luckily, cans of organic puree are very cost effective this time of year, allowing me to get rather creative and try some fun, pumpkin-centric dishes. Not just limited to desserts, pumpkin has found its way into my soup, pasta sauce, Greek yogurt, and morning oatmeal. Whether savory or sweet, I love me some good ole pumpkin. But you don’t need to be pumpkin’s #1 fan to love this bread. Other than the traditional pie, it really doesn’t get much more classic than this moist, sweet loaf of pumpkin bread.

Just like the tried and true methods of traditional pie recipes, this bread is infused with the flavors of warm fall spices and is perfect for the chilliest time of year. But besides being chilly outside it is also the busiest time of year. So if you find yourself strapped for time (who doesn’t), this recipe will be your best friend. In fact, it should be the spokesman for all quick breads, as it truly requires minimal time and energy. Simply combine dry ingredients, add wet ingredients, mix, and bake. The easiest snack, brunch treat, or dessert to have on hand, especially for those unexpected guests who suddenly drop on by. If you double the recipe, you can easily have an extra loaf to give as a gift at Christmas, or you can make individual muffins to place on the kids table for easy holiday snacking.

With all of the good qualities this bread already possesses, it’s hard to believe that it is also clean and works perfectly into the meal plans of those living a healthy lifestyle. Unlike traditional recipes, this pumpkin bread does not have hidden, unhealthy fats or loads of processed white sugar. Instead, it uses minimally processed Sucanat to satisfy sweet tooth’s while cutting the amount of sweetener needed from a whopping 1½ cups (on average), all the way down to just ¾ cup. By not overloading this bread with sugar, it keeps calories low and helps to mitigate the rapid spike and fall of blood sugar levels, which can cause you to crave more sugary foods or feel sluggish after eating them.

But just as it is important to remove unhealthy items from a recipe to make it better, it is also important to add back in the proper nutrition the recipe was initially lacking. To do this, I started by packing in as much pumpkin as I could. Doing so provides moisture for very few calories (only 30 per cup) and less fat, while still creating a tender texture. The addition of pumpkin also adds a good amount of beneficial nutrients, including potassium, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is particularly important, as it is an antioxidant responsible for fighting harmful inflammation that’s known to cause problems as small as wrinkles or as serious as chronic disease.

Once I had added enough pumpkin for flavor and nutrition, I moved on to the flour. Most recipes use all-purpose, which is heavily processed and contains less nutrients as a result. I opted for white whole-wheat flour, as it provides more nutritional value without altering the taste too much. In fact, add in the final quality of classic pumpkin bread, the rich, warm spices, and I bet you won’t even be able to detect the healthy tweaks. The molasses-like flavor profile of Sucanat complements the spices beautifully, making for a delicious, healthy bread sure to be a success at any holiday function!

Pumpkin Pie Bread


Ingredients

  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • 1¾ cups White Whole-Wheat Flour
  • ¾ cup Sucanat
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • ¾ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Large Egg Whites
  • 1 cup Pure Pumpkin Puree
  • ½ cup Whole Milk
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9 x 5 inch bread pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, Sucanat, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. In a separate large bowl, lightly whisk the egg and egg whites. Add in the pumpkin puree, milk, and oil, whisking until combined.
  3. Add the contents of the second bowl (wet ingredients) to the contents of the first bowl (dry ingredients) and stir gently until the flour is moistened. Transfer contents to the prepared pan and spread out smoothly.
  4. Bake bread in the center of the oven for 50 minutes, or until the top and edges have browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut in to 12 slices to serve. Keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 days, refrigerated for 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 month.

Nutrition

Per Serving (1 Slice): 169 Calories; 4 g Protein; 6 g Total Fat; 1 g Sat. Fat; 2.5 g Fiber; 213 mg Sodium; 13 g Sugar; 25 g Carbs; 17 mg Cholesterol

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: J. O’HARA
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019