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

(Yield: 8 Servings)

 

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

 

Preparation:

  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.

 

Nutrients Per Serving: 1 Banana Pop

Calories: 169 Calories, Protein: 4 g.,

Total Fat: 9 g., Sat. Fat: 3 g.,

Fiber: 3 g., Sodium: 11 mg.,

Sugars: 12 g., Carbs: 21 g.,

Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

 

 

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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

Easy Coconut Cardamom Macaroons

20171215_124810With the holidays comes a lot of shopping, a lot of baking, and a lot of rushing to get it all done. Although you envision a table full of different types of desserts, time may not always be on your side. If you need a easy cookie recipe to bulk up your offerings without wasting too much precious time than look no further than these coconut cardamom macaroons.

20171215_124340Flavored with vanilla and cardamom, these macaroons have an exotic sweet flavor that will surprise the taste buds of those expecting a traditional coconut macaroon. The coconut gives them their chewy, dense texture and the combination will be a surprisingly simple addition to your dessert table!

20171215_124430As a bonus to great ease and flavor, each cookie is only 3 grams of fat and 82 calories, making them a smart yet indulgent choice for the health conscious. This recipe will yield approximately 15 cookies. If you are baking the macaroons ahead of time, be sure to cool them completely on a wire rack then store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Easy Coconut Cardamom Macaroons

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Egg Whites
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Cardamom
  • 1 ½ cups flaked Sweetened Coconut

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Place egg whites in a medium bowl and lightly beat with a whisk. Add sugar, vanilla, salt, and cardamom and stir well with a whisk until foamy. Add coconut and toss well to combine.
  3. Loosely pack coconut mixture into a 1 tablespoon size measuring spoon. Turn out coconut mixture onto the prepared baking sheet (about 15 cookies). Bake for 20-23 minutes or until evenly golden. Remove from oven and cool on the pan for 3 minutes. Remove cookies from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Enjoy!

 

 

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: ANN TAYLOR PITTMAN
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017

Coconut Cream Pie

20170418_110650When I think of no-bake pies, coconut cream is hands down my favorite (lemon being a close second). I have fond memories of the sprawling collection of pies my grandparents would serve at every holiday. Whether it be Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter we would always have a banana cream, pumpkin, chocolate ambrosia, mincemeat, and coconut cream pie. The pies would always be ordered from a local buffet called Bishop’s. Unfortunately, Bishop’s has long been closed and I have not had a coconut cream pie quite the same since. When the craving would call there is always a variety in the supermarket freezer section but they are never the same as freshly made.

20170418_110205I recall when I was a pre-teen (about 17 years ago), I attempted to make a coconut cream pie from scratch. I remember the taste being off and I never attempted to make it again since I could always count on the holidays to quench my craving. Since moving away from my hometown and the closure of Bishop’s I decided to make another attempt as an adult and serve this pie for Easter.

20170418_110216I believe my mistake all those years ago was from using coconut extract to flavor the filling. This time I decided to steep coconut in a blend of half-and-half and milk as my base for the filling. I strained out the raw coconut with cheesecloth, resulting in a smooth, flavorful custard that harbors a bit fewer calories and saturated fat. Add a homemade whipped cream topping and you have a dreamy mile-high coconut cream pie worth every second spent in the kitchen!

Coconut Cream Pie

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen (9 inch) Deep-Dish Pie Crust
  • 2 cups 1% Low-Fat Milk
  • 1 cup Half-and-Half
  • 1 ½ cups flaked Sweetened Coconut
  • 1 tsp. pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 4 large Egg Yolks
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter

Whipped Cream Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ cup flaked Sweetened Coconut; toasted

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven according to package directions of the pie crust. Bake the pie crust according to the package directions for a chilled/no-bake pie. Cool crust completely on a wire rack.
  2. Meanwhile, combine milk and half-and-half in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add 1 ½ cups coconut and vanilla extract. Bring milk mixture to a simmer then immediately remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a bowl. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth and squeeze over the bowl to release any extra moisture. Discard the coconut solids.
  3. Whisk together the 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks in a large bowl. Gradually add the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and add the butter. Stir until smooth. Place the pan in a large bowl filled with ice for 6 minutes, stirring to cool. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour to set.
  4. While the pie chills prepare the whipped topping. Chill a large bowl and the beaters of a hand mixer in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Whip the cream in the chilled bowl with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Be sure you do not over mix! Chill until the pie filling is set.
  5. To assemble the pie, spread the whipped cream over the set custard filling. Top with the toasted coconut just before serving. Enjoy!

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: KATHY KITCHENS DOWNIE
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017

Skinny Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_20160627_113132Chocolate chip cookies are a simple, traditional treat that almost guarantees to please every sweet tooth. Although chocolate chip cookies are wonderful as is, they also make a great base for additions that can lure in the adventurous or be made to cater any specific taste. Toasted coconut is one of these many options that is quite hard to beat. There is just something about the combination of chocolate and coconut that tastes divine together (hence my love of Mounds candy bars). In fact, if a Mounds candy bar were turned into a cookie, this would be it.

20160627_154819Given that these cookies feature two ingredients (coconut & dark chocolate) that are not as bad for your health as once thought, they make the perfect guiltless treat. Sure, as with any treat that lacks essential nutrients, they are in fact deemed a treat. However, not all treats are created equal and these certainly will not set you back as bad as many others without sacrificing taste. By toasting the coconut before adding it to the batter, the cookies take on a unique texture of both crisp and chewy. When you are not getting hit with bursts of intense dark chocolate flavor, the cookie has a hint of nuttiness lent from the toasted coconut. So if you want a spin on a classic, try this cookie and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Note:

  • This recipe yields approximately 20-25 cookies, providing you use a level tablespoon to measure. You can make the cookies bigger or smaller, however keep in mind there will be changes to texture, baking time, and nutritional information.

Skinny Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup Flaked Sweetened Coconut
  • 4.5 oz. (1 cup) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt
  • ¾ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • ¼ cup Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 oz. Premium Dark Chocolate Baking Chips (such as Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange coconut in a single layer on a small baking sheet. Bake coconut for 5-7 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring once. Set aside to cool. Keep oven preheated to 350°.
  2. Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk until blended. Place sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Beat with stand or hand mixer on medium speed until well blended. Beat in the vanilla and egg. Turn the speed down to low and add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Gently stir in the toasted coconut and chocolate by hand.
  3. Coat baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray and drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart. Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until edges just begin to brown, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cookies rest on pan for 5 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(1 Cookie)

 

skinnycoconutchocolatechipcookiesNutritionLabel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weight Watchers: 3 Smart Points, 2 Points Plus, or 2 Traditional Points

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: JACKIE MILLS
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

Triple Coconut Cupcakes

2016-05-15-15.42Spring is a time when the heartier flavor profiles of fall and winter (namely spices and chocolate) are replaced with lighter desserts more fitting of the season. The spring and summer months typically cause us to crave lighter flavor profiles such as citrus and berry based desserts. We also tend to crave colder items since the days are hotter and we do not want to be warmed up by our sweets in the same way we do during fall and winter. Many turn to ice cream to keep them cool and satisfy a sweet tooth. Despite the many flavor possibilities of ice cream, it can quickly become tiresome.

20160515_152257-1To keep things simple in the kitchen I try to make desserts that bake up quick, like cookies or cupcakes. Coconut always reminds me of warmer weather but many recipes fail to deliver on intense coconut flavor. The ones that do deliver are often more extensive in preparation than I care to take on this time of year. Therefore, I designed this simplistic recipe with the light flavors and textures of spring that can be whipped up quickly, leaving plenty of hours for some fun in the sun.

Triple Coconut Cupcakes

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 box White Cake Mix
  • 1 1/3 cups Coconut Milk
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • ½ cup Shredded Sweetened Coconut

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz.) container Frozen Whipped Topping (such as Cool Whip); thawed (or you can substitute an equal amount of homemade whipped cream)
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) package Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix (such as Jello Brand)
  • ¾ cup Milk
  • 1 tsp. Coconut Extract
  • ½ cup Shredded Sweetened Coconut; toasted

Preparation:

  1. To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Spray bottoms of two 12-count cupcake tins with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, coconut milk, water, and egg whites. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in the coconut by hand until just combined.
  3. Pour batter into prepared cupcake tins, filling each cup half full. Bake cupcakes until light golden brown, approximately 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. For the frosting: In a medium bowl, combine the pudding mix, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped topping/whipped cream until no streaks remain. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator while the cupcakes cool, at least one hour.
  5. Assembly: Once the cupcakes have cooled completely you can frost the cupcakes. Remove the frosting from the refrigerator and spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake. Sprinkle frosting with toasted coconut and serve. Cupcakes may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

Dreamy Coconut Cookie Cups

20140128_162242Today was a rather dreary day and that made it perfect for staying in and baking. After a relatively busy day yesterday full of appointments revolving around my little one and grocery shopping, I was ready for a mellow day. After making breakfast for my little family I took on a recipe called Dream Bars. I decided to reinvent it into a more convenient, portable treat.

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Sure they may not seem like much but they sure do taste delicious. Surprisingly, despite how simplistic they may appear, these little guys can cause some problems. First off, most of the traditional Dream Bar recipes out there were just too sweet, even for my very forgiving sweet tooth. To overcome this, I wanted to overcome the sweetness with nuts. By toasting the nuts until crunchy, it cut through even the toughest of residual sweetness.

20140128_162051

Perhaps my favorite part of this treat is the coconut topping. Of course my favorite things always end up being the most problematic… go figure!!! Shredded coconut on its own would just dry out, burn, and become gross. To keep the shredded coconut moist and delicious I soaked it in cream of coconut, which not only kept it moist but added richness and the perfect concentration of sugar that results in a caramelized topping without being overly sweet.

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To further balance out the sweetness it is key to dial back the sugar in not only the topping but also the crust. By making the crust thicker and resemble a shortbread cookie instead of the typical thin, weak base, the nuttiness is more prevalent and keeps the sugary topping at bay. Speaking of sugar, I’m sure Domino Sugar would be hating on me for discouraging the over usage of its product since back in the day it was the bar version of this recipe that was used as a marketing tool to sell their sugar to housewives. Sorry Domino, please forgive me 🙂

20140128_162017

I will admit this isn’t my strongest post, but it was never meant to be. It was meant to be an experiment, a way to refresh a recipe created in the Great Depression into something modern for our crazy, hectic world we now reside. It is not glamorous or gourmet. It is homey, practical, and satisfying. Probably why it has stuck around for so many years and had so many back-of-the-box variations. If it made some of the harshest moments of American history a bit more dreamy, than it is okay in my book!!!

Note: Formula yields 18 cookie cups. Cookie cups can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 5 days.

Dreamy Cookie Cups

Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • ¾ cup Dark Brown Sugar; packed
  • ½ cup Pecans
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 10 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; cut into pieces & chilled

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups Shredded Coconut
  • 1 cup Cream of Coconut
  • 2 Eggs
  • ¾ cup Dark Brown Sugar; packed
  • 2 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla-Nut Extract
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Pecans; toasted & chopped

Formula:

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To make the crust, process flour, sugar, pecans, and salt in a food processor until pecans are coarsely ground. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press mixture firmly into the bottoms of each muffin tin. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the topping. Combine the shredded coconut and cream of coconut in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Stir in the pecans, then spread over the cooled crusts, dividing evenly among each cookie cup. Dollop heaping tablespoons of the coconut mixture over the filling and spread into as even a layer as possible.
  4. Bake the cookie cups until deep golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM MARIA DEL MAR SACASA

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2014