Gluten-free Pear-Chocolate Chip Muffins

With my first post of the season, I would like to officially welcome everyone to fall! I feel like I should have said that back in August, since that is when all of the Halloween and fall merchandise hit the stores. For those who live in areas where the temperatures drop in early September, I suppose it’s not a big deal to have fall flavors pop up early. Here in the sunshine state, however, it still feels too much like summer, even into mid-October.

Thankfully, temperatures have finally gotten a little cooler lately, especially at night, helping boost those fall vibes. Even on the warmest days, I still couldn’t resist switching my protein coffee into fall mode the moment the pumpkin spice almond milk hit the shelves. Slowly but surely, the spirit of fall is sinking in, thus my transition into fall mode with my sweets.

This is my first fall-inspired sweet of the season. I know it does not use either of the traditional fall favorites, apples and pumpkins, but I did still choose a fall harvested fruit, the pear. I’m not big on eating pears raw because of my issue with their texture, but I love baking them into food for their flavor. These muffins showcase the pear flavor perfectly and when paired with dark chocolate chips….need I say more? Even better, these muffins are gluten-free and only cost 155 calories, making them a great on-the-go breakfast or healthy snack when a sweets craving strikes. I urge you to give them a try, especially when you begin to grow tired of everything pumpkin and apple this season!

Gluten-free Pear-Chocolate Chip Muffins


Ingredients

  • 3 cups Old-fashioned Rolled Oats; divided
  • 2 ¼ tsp. Ground Cinnamon; divided
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 ¼ cups Whole Buttermilk
  • 5 tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Pears; finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp. Dark Chocolate Chips (70% or higher)
  • ¼ cup chopped Pecans; unsalted
  • 2 tsp. Sucanat

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line two standard size muffin tins with paper liners (16 total). Fill remaining empty cups with 2 tbsp. water to prevent the tin from warping. Set aside.
  2. In a blender, pulverize 2½ cups oats into a fine flour. Transfer oat flour to a large bowl and add remaining ½ cup oats, 2 tsp. cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk egg. Add in the buttermilk, maple syrup, and oil. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in pears, chocolate chips, and pecans. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each liner three-quarters full. Set aside.
  4. In another small bowl, toss together Sucanat and the remaining ¼ tsp. cinnamon. Sprinkle 1/8 tsp. Sucanat mixture over batter in each liner. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.
  5. Allow muffins to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for 3 days or freeze and defrost when needed.

Nutrition

Per Serving: (1 Muffin): 155 Calories; 4 g Protein; 6 g Total Fat; 2 g Sat. Fat; 3 g Fiber; 130 mg Sodium; 9 g Sugar; 22 g Carbs; 14 mg Cholesterol

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

Orange Chocolate Veggie Muffins

20190408_130309Muffin 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.

20190408_130052As 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!

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Orange Chocolate Veggie Muffins


Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Skinny Frozen Banana Pops

20190326_114118Imagine for a moment that you’re passing through your kitchen and you notice a bunch of bananas becoming overly ripe. What do you do? Do you try to eat as many as you can before they go bad? Do you whip up some banana bread? Do you slice them up and freeze for smoothies? Or would you just simply toss them out? As you can see, there are many options for salvaging bananas, so hopefully your answer was not to just toss them out. I personally love bread and muffins, and if it was still fall or winter I would have made some. However, since we have officially hit spring, I thought it was time for a new way to prevent banana waste that would compliment the warming temperatures. So I did a little research, ran a few tests, & viola, these frozen banana pops were born.

IMG_20190322_170845_932As a foodie that’s doing my best to stay fit, I’m always on the hunt for foods I can give a cleaner, more nutritious makeover to. After a recent visit to the amusement park, I was reminded of my previous love for frozen, chocolate-covered bananas. Instead of giving up on these sweet treats altogether, I thought I’d try to make them healthier. With that said, bananas on their own are a rather healthy snack option. Containing both potassium and manganese, they pack a mineral punch. Potassium is an important nutrient because it helps keep your blood pressure regulated, while manganese is needed for the body to produce collagen. A protein found in skin, bones, tendons, and connective tissue, collagen is most known for improving the health of our skin, hair, and nails. Beyond keeping us youthful, collagen can also help relieve joint pain, prevent bone loss, and boost muscle mass.

20190326_114259With all the benefits a regular banana provides for the body, it honestly doesn’t take much to clean up a frozen banana pop. Therefore, I started my process by stripping the banana back down to its roots, before adding toppings that contain more nutritional value than chocolate alone. Dark chocolate, chopped nuts, and unsweetened shredded coconut all add nutritional value while making the banana feel more decadent. I also refrained from submerging the entire banana in melted chocolate and opted for sprinkles of chopped dark chocolate instead. To make the toppings adhere to the banana while providing a bit of protein and sweetness, I mixed a blend of unsweetened almond milk, all-natural peanut butter, and pure maple syrup. Once assembled, my version is only 169 calories a pop and are without all the harmful processed ingredients you’d find in store-bought frozen bananas.

20190326_114221So the next time you need to keep hunger at bay without ruining your diet, give these nutty and chocolaty frozen banana pops a try. They will satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling any of the guilt!

 

Skinny Frozen Banana Pops


Ingredients

  • 4 large Bananas; peeled & cut in half crosswise
  • 5 tbsp. Unsweetened Plain Almond Milk
  • ¼ cup Natural Creamy Unsalted Peanut Butter
  • 1 tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
  • ¼ cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • ¼ cup Finely Chopped Dark Chocolate
  • ¼ cup Chopped Pecans or Walnuts
  • 8 Wooden Pop Sticks

Directions

  1. Line a large sheet tray with parchment paper. Pour toppings (coconut, dark chocolate, chopped nuts) onto a large plate. Set aside.
  2. Gently push a wooden stick into the cut end of each banana. Place on prepared sheet tray & set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine almond milk, peanut butter, and maple syrup until smooth. Holding one banana pop over the bowl, spoon peanut butter mixture over the banana, making sure to cover all sides. Allow excess to drip back into the bowl.
  4. Over the plate of toppings, hold the covered banana and evenly sprinkle with shredded coconut, dark chocolate, and nuts. Lay the completed banana pop on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining bananas.
  5. Cover prepared bananas and freeze until firm, or at least 4 hours. Transfer to a zip-top freezer bag or container and store for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Per Serving (1 Pop): 169 Calories; 4 g Protein; 9 g Total Fat; 3 g Sat. Fat; 3 g Fiber; 11 mg Sodium; 12 g Sugar; 21 g Carbs; 0 mg Cholesterol

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

 

 

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!

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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

Skinny Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

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

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

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

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Skinny Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

Ingredients:

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

Preparation:

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

 

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018

 

Easy Chocolate Chia Pudding

20180201_145246Cold and flu season is in full force this year and it does not seem to be ending any time soon. Whether you turn on the news, go to social media, run into friends, or get a call from family, the topic of colds, flu, and feeling ill is going to be seen or heard. Luckily, I have yet to get sick this year (knock on wood). It is a great achievement considering I have Crohn’s Disease, which automatically puts me at a disadvantage in the fight against germs due to a weakened immune system. I attribute my ability to avoid illness to my healthy diet and lifestyle. I initially learned about nutrition in culinary school then again when I went back to school for my medical degree. Pair that with many years of research about my disease and I have learned a great deal about nutrition and how to naturally prevent illness and disease.

The first step is to understand the immune system/gut connection. A lot of people are unaware that about 70% of your immune system is in your gut. In your intestines there are hundreds of billions of bacteria living there. Most of the bacteria is good while some of it is bad. Once the bad bacteria begins to outnumber the good bacteria, that is when your immune system gets compromised and you are at more risk to get sick. The good news is you can have a lot of control over the ratio of bacteria by ensuring there is more good bacteria (aka probiotics) than bad bacteria. Now this does not mean I am recommending you run out and buy a probiotic supplement. You have many opportunities throughout the day to feed your gut immune-boosting foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, yogurt, spices, fresh herbs, and this easy and indulgent chocolate chia pudding.

20180201_145134Although a sweet and delicious dessert or snack, this pudding contains a quadruple threat of four specific ingredients (kefir, cinnamon, honey, cocoa) known to either feed the good bacteria or directly increase its quantity. Fermented foods like kefir are naturally rich in probiotics. Cinnamon, honey, and cocoa are all rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties. These properties help build up your immunity by lowering the release of arachidonic acid from the membranes that surround the cells. This process also helps lessen inflammation, which is the leading cause of many chronic health problems and diseases. If you want a sweet treat that will also benefit your health, give this easy pudding recipe a try!

Easy Chocolate Chia Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Plain 1% Kefir
  • ¼ cup Chia Seeds
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. Unsweetened Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tbsp. Raw Honey
  • Dark Chocolate Chips; for topping

Formula:

  1. In a medium bowl combine the kefir, chia seeds, vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and honey. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 12 hours).
  2. When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator and spoon into small bowls. Top each bowl with a few dark chocolate chips and serve.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: ERIN MACDONALD & TIFFANI BACHUS
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018

Salted Caramel Brownies

20171108_155227When one door closes another one opens, yet instead of focusing on the closed door, I ended up developing these delicious brownies. The journey began after a long weekend of performances for my daughter at our church’s annual festival, in which I had no time left to shop for food like I normally would. I did manage to squeeze in some time to brainstorm recipes I planned on developing for Thanksgiving, the first of which was to be a lighter & more portable spin on monkey bread. I knew I already had all the ingredients on hand, including the all important yeast.

20171108_155319Well fast forward a few days and I was ready to make monkey bread. I grabbed all my ingredients from the pantry, including the all important yeast, only to discover it had expired ages ago. Any other day I would have just put everything back and started over once I picked up some fresh yeast from the store. The reason I couldn’t do that this time was because my oldest daughter was so excited to bake something I just couldn’t say no.

IMG_20171108_1I quickly searched the pantry for ideas but all the recipes I had begun developing all required ingredients I had yet to purchase so I couldn’t start those either. I spotted some cocoa powder and immediately thought about brownies. I decided that brownies would be quick and easy for her to make and something I had everything on hand for. As an added bonus to my quick thinking, I could easily dress up the brownie base my daughter helped make with caramel, drizzled chocolate, and sea salt, making them decadent enough to share here with all of you. Crisis officially diverted!

20171108_155342So if you need a last-minute, crowd-pleasing dessert or something fun amd easy to make with your kids, these rich layered caramel brownies dusted in flakes of sea salt will not disappoint!

Salted Caramel Brownies

Brownie Ingredients:

  • 3.4 ounces (¾ cup) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¾ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ½ cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; melted
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ cup chopped Walnuts; toasted

Topping Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup (4 tbsp.) Unsalted Butter
  • ¼ cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Evaporated Fat-Free Milk
  • ¼ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate; coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. Coarse Sea Salt

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat an 8 x 8 inch metal pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. To prepare brownies, combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, brown sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine the 6 tbsp. melted butter, eggs, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture, stirring well to combine. Gently stir in the walnuts until just combined.
  3. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool brownies completely in pan on a wire rack.
  4. Once brownies have cooled completely, prepare the topping. In a small saucepan, melt 4 tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add ¼ cup brown sugar and milk; cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and Confectioners’ sugar. Stir with a whisk until mixture is smooth. Working quickly, spread caramel mixture over brownies, spreading evenly to coat all areas. Let stand 20 minutes or until caramel has set.
  5. Once caramel has set, place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 50% power for 1 minute, or until melted, stirring every 20 seconds. Once melted stir just until chocolate is smooth then drizzle over caramel topping. Immediately sprinkle with sea salt. Let stand until chocolate sets before cutting into squares.

 

 

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017