The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of chaos. I feel like summer just started, yet here we are, about to officially welcome fall. Time seemed to pass by in the blink of an eye because the past several weeks have been busier than usual for me. A few weeks ago my oldest daughter returned to school (first grade) and my youngest daughter started her first year of school (pre-K). Next up was the return of Hellenic Dance practice for my oldest and then we had family come to visit. Directly after that we spent several days bracing for a hurricane that thankfully avoided us almost entirely. The kids were off school for a few days so once they went back and schedules resumed normal operation, I quickly began work on building new workout routines/meal plans for my fitness groups, which happened to include coming up with this delicious, healthy cookie recipe.
Since my gears are still currently in the process of switching from summer to fall, I wasn’t quite ready to nose dive into everything fall flavored. I wanted to make something that used the warm spices of fall, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, but did not make apple and pumpkin the star of the show. I had a jar of organic pureed carrots that I wanted to use up before it expired so that became my starting point. This quickly led me to a craving for carrot cake, but I certainly had no ambition to make a cake with everything going on. The kids were begging for cookies so I thought, why not try making a carrot cake cookie.
To keep things plant-based and gluten-free, I started with a base of mashed bananas and oats. Rich and sweet, ripe bananas are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, like potassium. Bananas also lend a creamy texture while binding the dough together, thus avoiding the need for eggs. To add more moisture and nutrients to the dough, I used a jar of organic pureed carrots. Although you could certainly use finely shredded carrots, I prefer to use pureed. Not only does it save a step during prep and clean-up, but it also blends more smoothly into the cookie batter, which improves the texture of the final product while preventing kids and/or husbands from detecting its presence. The best part is it doesn’t even take much of the orange root veggies to add a significant nutrition boost. The relatively small amount of pureed carrots provides numerous antioxidants and nutrients, with soaring amounts of beneficial beta carotene and vitamin A.
Therefore, if you love sweets and need a clean cookie that will fit into your meal plan/macros, this recipe is for you. When consumed as part of a nutritionally balanced diet, these cookies are a treat you can feel good about eating!
Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies
- 2 Ripe Bananas
- 2 cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
- 4 oz. Jar Organic Pureed Carrots
- 3 tbsp. Dried Unsweetened Cranberries
- 3 tbsp. Chopped Unsalted Walnuts
- 2 tbsp. Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
- 1½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- 1¼ tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
- ¼ Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add oats, carrots, cranberries, walnuts, coconut flakes, cinnamon, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well to combine.
- Wet fingers and scoop ¼ cup of mixture into your hands. Form into a ball and place onto prepared baking sheet. Gently flatten with hand. Continue with remaining batter.
- Bake cookies for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Place baking sheet on a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Extras can be frozen in freezer bags until ready to serve. Enjoy!
Nutrition Per Serving: (1 Cookie): 91 Calories; 2 g Protein; 2 g Total Fat; 0.5 g Sat. Fat; 3 g Fiber; 3 mg Sodium; 3 g Sugar; 15 g Carbs; 0 mg Cholesterol
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: A. VALPONE
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS
ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019
Muffin or cupcake. Cupcake or muffin. There really isn’t much difference between the two these days in regards to calorie, fat, and sugar content. In order to appease the increasing needs of our modern age sweet tooth, more and more muffins get drizzled with sugary icings or sprinkled with rich, buttery streusels than ever before. To put it simply, most muffins are just cupcakes pretending to be good for you. They have become less like their healthier, quick bread ancestors and more like their calorie bomb, cupcake cousins. The muffins that I’m sharing with you today, however, are not those kind.
As a momma to two picky eaters, I often have to utilize human’s instinctive desire for sweets to my advantage. My kids hate anything veggie on their plates at dinner time, but throw it into a dessert, like these muffins, and they are none the wiser. Even my husband had no idea there were veggies hidden inside when I sent him off to work with one for a quick, on-the-go breakfast. Speaking of breakfast, these high fiber, low calorie, vegetarian-friendly muffins don’t just make for an easy afternoon snack or indulgent dessert, they’re also a nutritious breakfast treat when you’re short on time. Since practically everyone is short on time these days, whether you’re a parent, working professional, student, or all of the above, these muffins can easily be worked into a busy schedule. The recipe is quick to prepare and freezable, allowing you to prep them in advance at your convenience. If you want to add more veggies to you or your child’s diet while enjoying a “treat”, add these muffins into your next weekly meal rotation!
Orange Chocolate Veggie Muffins
- 1 cup White Whole-Wheat Flour
- ¾ cup Oat Flour
- 2 tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp. Instant Espresso Powder
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- ¾ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
- ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- ½ tsp. Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
- 1 large Egg
- ¾ cup Whole Buttermilk
- 3 tbsp. Raw Honey
- 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp. Pure Cane Sugar
- 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup shredded Zucchini
- ½ cup peeled & shredded Carrots
- 1 tbsp. Orange Zest
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine white whole-wheat flour, oat flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, ¾ tsp. nutmeg, ½ tsp. cinnamon, baking soda, & sea salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg. Stir in the buttermilk, honey, oil, cane sugar, & vanilla. Add the contents of the small bowl to the contents of the large bowl. Stir together until just combined. Fold in the zucchini, carrots, and orange zest.
- In prepared muffin tin, fill each cup ¾ full with batter. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Place in a freezer bag and store in the refrigerator up to 1 week or in the freezer for 1 month. Enjoy!
Nutrition Per Serving (1 Muffin): 134 Calories; 4 g Protein; 4 g Total Fat; 1 g Sat. Fat; 2 g Fiber; 158 mg Sodium; 8 g Sugar; 22 g Carbs; 17 mg Cholesterol
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: H. BAINBRIDGE
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS
ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019
Spring is officially here. The plants are in full bloom, spring breakers are flooding the area, and the Easter holiday is just around the corner. I must say I do love the smell of Orange Blossoms in full bloom, which scents the air of citrus when I walk out my door. It is most definitely the best perk of living outside the city and near the orange groves. The thing I hate most about spring happens to be the spring breaker tourists, which remind me of the long few months ahead of tourists. I shouldn’t much complain about tourists I suppose, as they do keep me busy in business equaling more hours and a larger paycheck. However I can’t get myself to like the onslaught of invaders crowding the Florida roadways with maps on the steering wheel driving twenty miles under the speed limit looking for the nearest Disney World signs and causing me to leave for work and school hours in advance just to get anywhere on time. Perhaps the best part of spring is Easter as I love all holidays. I love the food, I love the cute Easter bunny toys and bags and chocolates. It is with the Easter bunny in mind that this cupcake has come about. What better way to lure the Easter bunny to your home then with his favorite food inside it… the carrot. Carrot Cake is traditionally…well a cake cut into squares and covered in a thick layer of cream cheese frosting. But in order to make it more accessible for mom or dad err I mean the Easter Bunny to eat on the go after hiding countless Easter eggs and baskets around the house, I present to you the Carrot Cupcake.
These little Easter delights are a mouthful of moist and richly spiced cake with a fluffy sweet cream cheese frosting. The Easter bunny would never know these cupcake versions of the 1970’s cake fad were once considered health food as they are so deliciously satisfying as a junk food treat. By adding chopped walnuts and raisins, they are also more interesting and a bit more eclectic when put against the traditional cake. Even though the Carrot Cupcakes are reminiscent of a bake sale offering for children they are most definitely a grown up treat. So to all the Easter Bunnies out there this year…enjoy a treat designed just for you!!!
- 8 tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled
- ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
- ¼ cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 ¼ cup Flour
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ½ tsp. Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. Nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. Cloves
- ¾ tsp. Baking Powder
- ½ tsp. Baking Soda
- ½ # Carrots, peeled and grated/processed
- ½ cup Raisins, chopped
- ½ cup Walnuts, toasted & chopped
- Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350°. Line a standard sized muffin tin with cupcake liners. Cream the butter and sugars together in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the eggs. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the muffin tin for 5 minutes then remove and cool completely on a wire cooling rack. Once cool frost cakes with a thick and even layer of cream cheese frosting (formula follows).
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, softened but slightly cool
- 1 cup Confectioner’s Sugar
- 4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened, cut into pieces
- ¾ tsp. Vanilla Extract
- In the bowl of an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, cream the butter and confectioner’s sugar together until it appears light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese one piece at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition (you should have about four pieces). Add the vanilla and mix gently until no lumps remain.
- Using an offset spatula, gently spread a thick layer of frosting over the cooled cupcakes.
Special Thanks To:
Peter Mendoros – Photography
All content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2012