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

Summer Fruit Galette

20180717_110614Summer is in full swing, which means more sun, fun, and a bounty of fresh, colorful produce to choose from. If you head over to your local farmer’s market or chain grocer, you’re sure to find an abundance of in season fruits and vegetables right now. Not only is there a larger variety of produce, but prices are likely to be significantly lower thanks to plentiful harvests.

20180717_111219The past several weeks have been cherries galore on sale, which is why my last post, Easy Cherry Upside-Down Cake, happened to feature them. This week it was BOGO raspberries and peaches. When I see great deals like these I can’t pass them up. I usually have no idea what to do with the ingredients at the time but I figure it out later. That was the case with this recipe. I had a bunch of peaches and raspberries with little time to myself to make anything. I needed something quick, easy, and would leave the fruit as the star of the show. This summer fruit galette was the answer.

20180717_110927What I love about this rustic dessert is the peaches and raspberries get to stand center stage. Usually in a pie it’s all crust and the fruit gets lost in between. With a galette, the fruit is showcased beautifully and the preparation couldn’t be easier. My 5 year old and one year old daughters even had a blast helping prepare this so if there is a rainy day or your kids love to bake, spend time together as a family making this galette. Oh and did I mention clean up is a breeze. I can count the amount of dishes I had on one hand which makes for an even happier baking experience. So the next time you see a bunch of summer fruit on sale, don’t hesitate to grab it and whip up this easy fruit galette for a quick dessert to accompany dinner or your next summer cookout!

Summer Fruit Galette

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 roll Refrigerated Pie Crust (2 rolls per box)
  • 1 pound Peaches; pitted, halved, & sliced into ½ in. wedges
  • 6 oz. Raspberries
  • 1/3 cup Sugar plus 1 tsp.; divided
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Juice
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp. Fat-Free Milk

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 13 inch circle. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine peaches, raspberries, 1/3 cup sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Mix well.
  4. Mound filling in center of prepared crust, leaving a 3 inch border. Fold edge of dough up and over filling, pleating as necessary. Brush edge of dough with milk and sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar.
  5. Bake galette until filling is tender and crust is browned, approximately 35-40 minutes. Slide galette (with parchment paper) onto a wire rack to cool. Cut into wedges and serve.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018

Easy Cherry Upside-Down Cake

20180707_105854Summer means school’s out, barbeques light up, and ample time is spent outdoors enjoying the fantastic weather. With longer days and warmer temps, entertaining becomes easier and sometimes unexpected if people decide to drop over. If you’re ever looking for a dessert that’s quick to prepare for last minute summer get togethers or easy enough to make and take for a picnic, look no further than this delicious cake.

20180707_110006Featuring in season cherries, you’ll get a taste of summer bursting through every bite. I make this with my favorite organic cake mix, Miss Jones, for convenience, however you can also make it with your own homemade cake recipe if you have more time. Dark, sweet cherries taste best, however you can use any variety of cherry available to you or even mix and match. The juices released from the cherries make for a moist, flavorful, and easy cake!

20180707_105802NOTE: Fresh or frozen cherries can be used in this recipe. If using frozen cherries, be sure to thoroughly thaw and drain the cherries before proceeding with the recipe as directed.

Easy Cherry Upside-Down Cake

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; melted
  • 1/3 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 4 cups pitted fresh Bing Cherries
  • 1 box Vanilla Cake Mix

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place butter in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Place pan in oven until butter is melted. Remove from oven and swirl melted butter around pan to evenly coat.
  2. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over melted butter. Arrange cherries in a single layer over brown sugar. Set pan aside.
  3. In a large bowl, prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour prepared batter into pan. Spread batter evenly over cherries.
  4. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  5. Loosen cake from edges of pan with a knife and then invert cake onto a serving platter or sheet pan. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

 

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

Rhubarb Apple Pie

20180525_184415The arrival of spring is a time much welcomed by those hit with the winter blues. It’s a time when warmer days allow you to pack away the jackets and begin purchasing a new bounty of fresh produce. Strawberries are probably the most popular spring pick, which is why I’m here to tell you about rhubarb.

20180525_184941Beginning in April and continuing through the summer, rhubarb is at its peak. It looks a lot like a stalk of celery, and even has the same stringy texture, but one bite of this plant and you will never forget how tart it is. To this day I still remember my first bite of raw rhubarb, and my decision to hate it for a long while after. I was very young, probably around 5 years old, when my dad picked a stalk from the plant in our backyard and offered I try it. I remember him stressing for me not to ever eat the leaves as they are poisonous, but his words would not be necessary. Merely taking one bite of that freshly picked stalk would keep me from wanting to go near the plant. Later that summer, however, I did ultimately give rhubarb a second chance, but in the form of a pie.

20180525_184822As tart as rhubarb is fresh, once it’s cooked the flavor gets drastically toned back to a delightful balance of sweet and tart. Once I realized this, I was in love, and every year thereafter I would look forward to the time the rhubarb would make its seasonal debut. My dad usually let rhubarb stand alone as the star of the pie, but I prefer it to share the title with other fruits. Two of the most popular pairings for rhubarb are strawberries and apples. Since strawberries are in season at the same time as rhubarb and their sweet flavor profile helps balance rhubarb’s tartness, it’s only natural they would be a favorite combination option. For me, however, there is just something delicious about the combination of cinnamon, sugar, fresh sliced rhubarb, and equally tart, sliced Granny Smith apples. But no matter which fresh fruit combination you choose, I guarantee you’ll have the makings of a perfect pie.

*NOTE: If you elect to give this pie a try, you can expect to spend about 30 minutes of time preparing it. From start to finish the pie should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes and will yield 12 servings. If you have trouble finding fresh rhubarb or would like to make the pie when it’s not in season, you can substitute frozen rhubarb for the fresh. If you do opt for frozen rhubarb instead of fresh, be sure to thoroughly thaw and drain it before using as directed in the recipe, otherwise you will end up with a loose filling and soggy crust. If you’re considering serving this pie to guests, I recommend pairing with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

 

Rhubarb Apple Pie

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 refrigerated or frozen 9 inch Pie Shell
  • 3 ½ cups (about 1 ¼ pounds) Sliced Rhubarb
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples; peeled, cored, & sliced
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 3/8 tsp. Salt; divided
  • ½ cup White Whole-Wheat Flour; plus 3 tbsp.
  • ½ cup Old-Fashioned Oats
  • ½ cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 6 tbsp. Cold Unsalted Butter; cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup Chopped Walnuts

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Place pie shell on a baking sheet & set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon, ¼ tsp. salt, and 3 tbsp. flour. Toss to combine. Spoon the mixture into the pie shell and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, place the remaining flour (½ cup), remaining 1/8 tsp. salt, oats, and brown sugar. Cut butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in walnuts. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the rhubarb filling.
  4. Bake pie for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375° (do not remove pie) and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. If crust begins to get too brown, shield it with foil. Once baked, place pie on a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing & serving. Enjoy!

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: JULIANNA GRIMES
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018