Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

As everyone has switched over into Christmas mode, I’m still holding on to all things fall. My coffee remains pumpkin spice flavored and my taste buds crave anything with apple. This led me to buy a really big bag of apples at the market, simply because they are in season and dirt cheap. The day after this purchase, while enjoying my morning coffee, I pondered what I could make with said big bag of apples. It was then that I remembered coffee cake, which is an entire category of cake devoted solely to enhancing the coffee drinking experience. My two favorite flavors of fall happen to be pumpkin and apple, so what better way to celebrate the last days of the season than by pairing them together in coffee and its accompanying cake.

Now you may be wondering how someone who promotes living a fit, healthy lifestyle can still drink coffee and eat cake. Well…I’ll let you in on a little secret….YOU STILL CAN! Sure I use almond milk instead of cream and sugar and my sweets recipes are so altered I would make my old pastry chef professors cry, BUT I still get to enjoy what I love while being fit, which is what this journey is all about. For me, there is no point of being fit if you can’t enjoy life and for the longest time I honestly thought I could enjoy neither. I used to think coffee and desserts were only allowed for special occasions or circumstances. Thankfully, I eventually learned that these foods CAN still be in my life, so long as they are made with all natural ingredients and use special prep techniques to better fit my nutrition plan. So with that same knowledge in tow, I set out to make a moist, sweet cake that was far healthier than traditional coffee cake recipes.

When I began my journey to reboot coffee cake, the first thing I realized is how deceptive this treat really is. Most people view coffee cake as the better cake option, probably because, you know, it’s not slathered in rich, buttercream icing and decorated with sugary sprinkles. Yet, as shocking as it may seem, coffee cakes are actually PACKED with sugar. Most traditional recipes average around 80 grams of sugar per serving, which is more than 3 times the amount of added sugar the average person should be consuming in a day. Yikes. Thankfully, I’m well aware that you can heavily cut back on added sugar & still end up with a satisfyingly sweet treat, therefore that is where I started. To begin the sugar deload, I first replaced traditionally used granulated sugar with Sucanat. My go to sugar is almost always Sucanat, not only because it’s minimally processed, but because it has a rich, molasses-like flavor. This flavor allows me to use less sugar while adding more complexity than granulated sugar ever would. So with the sugar problem addressed, the next problem I needed to solve was the topping.

The most common type of coffee cake topping is a simple two ingredient glaze made of powdered sugar and milk, which gets drizzled on top once cooled. As easy as this icing is to make, finding a healthier alternative wouldn’t be. Since there is no natural equivalent for processed powdered sugar, I needed an alternative. With no other natural sugars able to provide the same smooth glaze, I was honestly very tempted to just skip it. But as much as I wanted to, I knew I couldn’t just skip out on the topping altogether because an unadorned cake is plain and makes for a rather boring presentation. After a bit of trial and error, I remembered something that we used A LOT in culinary school…simple syrup. Just as its name suggests, simple syrup is created by dissolving sugar in water. Instead of the typical white, granulated sugar, I heated evaporated cane juice in the water for a cleaner syrup. I then beat the syrup into cream cheese for a smooth glaze that looks just like the original, but is a whole lot healthier and tastier. The rich and tangy cream cheese in the glaze is a perfect compliment to the sweet and tart apples and spicy cinnamon. Enjoy it for breakfast or to celebrate a beautiful fall afternoon. Coffee can be optional!

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake


Ingredients

  • 1¼ cups Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1¼ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 2/3 cup Sucanat
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; room temperature
  • 2 large Eggs; room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Whole Milk; room temperature
  • 1¼ cups peeled & chopped Apple (about 2 Apples)
  • 3 tbsp. Organic Cane Sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Water
  • ¼ cup Cream Cheese (full fat); room temperature

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8-x-8 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray (select a brand that uses no propellents). Line base of pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set bowl aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the Sucanat with the butter on medium speed until mixture is fluffy and begins to stick to the sides of the bowl (about 1 minute). Add one egg and beat on medium-low speed until just incorporated. Repeat with second egg.
  4. With machine on low speed, add one third of flour mixture and mix until just combined. Add one third of milk and again beat until just combined. Repeat process twice more, alternating between flour and milk additions. Remove bowl from machine and stir in apples by hand.
  5. Tranfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top over with a spatula. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto a plate and gently peel off parchment. Invert cake back onto wire rack and cool completely.
  6. While cake cools, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine cane sugar and 3 tbsp. water. Stir until sugar dissolves, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a heat-proof container to cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, until smooth and fluffy, using an electric mixer on high speed. Add one quarter of the sugar mixture and beat until smooth. Add remaining sugar mixture in three more additions, beating until smooth between each addition.
  7. Pour glaze over cooled cake in long, diagonal stripes to make a crosshatch pattern. Serve immediately. Cake can be stored at room temperature for 1 day or in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Nutrition

Per Serving (1 Slice): 257 Calories; 4 g Protein; 12 g Total Fat; 7 g Sat. Fat; 3 g Fiber; 273 mg Sodium; 20 g Sugar; 34 g Carbs; 72 mg Cholesterol

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

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

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies

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


Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add oats, carrots, cranberries, walnuts, coconut flakes, cinnamon, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well to combine.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Skinny Coconut Lime Bars

20190610_161750Welcome to summertime! A period of the year when the sun’s out longer, temperatures seem to get hotter by the day, kids have finished school, and a taste for the tropics spreads throughout the country. Although the official start of summer is still over a week away, summer vibes are already in full swing.

20190610_161621As many hit the roads or hop on planes to make the most out of their summer vacations, my family will be having fun locally this year. After all, we already live in a tourist mecca that gives us much to see and explore in our own backyard so why not utilize it. We will be frequenting Walt Disney World and the beaches voted best in the U.S., so nothing to complain about. We do plan to vacation next year so I have a year to daydream of all the fun places I want to explore next.

20190610_161422If you’ll be like me, dreaming of destinations rather than experiencing it first hand, try venturing out to places unknown with your taste buds. A great way to experience other places in the world without traveling is through a culture’s food.

For example, if getting whisked away to the islands is your dream, then try making these skinny coconut lime bars. Enjoy the flavors of the tropics, zesty lime and creamy coconut, all without wrecking your hard-earned summer bod. So kick back, put the lime in the coconut, and whisk it all up into a delicious, sweet summer treat!

 

Skinny Coconut Lime Bars


Ingredients

  • ½ cup Coconut Flour
  • ½ cup White Whole-Wheat Flour
  • 1¼ cups Pure Maple Flakes; divided
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt; divided
  • ¼ cup Coconut Oil; room temperature
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 tbsp. Lime Zest; finely grated
  • ½ cup Fresh Lime Juice (about 5 limes)
  • ¼ cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut; lightly toasted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Mist an 8×8 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper, using a length of paper long enough to partly cover the sides of the pan for easy removal. I recommend not skipping this step as it will be more difficult to get the bars out of the pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine coconut flour, white whole-wheat flour, ¼ cup maple flakes, & 1/8 tsp. sea salt. Stir to break up any lumps. Use a pastry cutter to blend in oil until the mixture resembles a coarse crumb. Press evenly into prepared pan. Bake until crust is golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine eggs, remaining 1 cup of maple flakes, lime zest, lime juice, shredded coconut, & remaining 1/8 tsp. sea salt. Whisk until well combined, about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour egg mixture over baked crust and return to the oven. Bake until filling is set, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Once bars have cooled, run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen. Grab the excess parchment paper and lift the bars out of the pan. Place on a cutting board and cut into 16 squares to serve.

Nutrition

Per Serving (1 Bar): 119 Calories; 3 g Protein; 6 g Total Fat; 4 g Sat. Fat; 2 g Fiber; 56 mg Sodium; 8 g Sugar; 14 g Carbs; 47 mg Cholesterol

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: M. WREN
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!

PhotoGrid_1554743438319

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

 

 

Cherry Breakfast Muffins

20180605_111234When morning hits, do you rush to the kitchen for something to eat or are you just rushing to get out the door? I admit there was a time I would always be rushing to get out the door, never leaving myself any time to eat an adequate breakfast. Although I’m still always rushing, thanks to the snooze button, I now always make sure I never leave without a bite to eat.

The importance of breakfast is highly overlooked, and those who skip it happen to be the ones who need it the most. If you’re always waking up groggy and sluggish, a boost of balanced nutrition first thing in the morning will get your engine going and help you be more productive throughout the day. Additionally, those who opt for breakfast tend to make healthier food choices and eat less overall throughout the day, leading to a healthier weight and life.

20180605_110128Despite knowing all the benefits of breakfast, it happens to be the one meal most people still feel okay skipping. This is largely due to the fact that people do not feel like waking up and cooking a meal. If this describes how you feel, please don’t think there aren’t any options. These cherry breakfast muffins are a perfect example of the many ways you can enjoy a healthy bite to eat without making a mess in the kitchen before the sun rises. Breakfast muffins, overnight oats, yogurt parfaits, pre-made, frozen breakfast sandwiches and burritos are all healthy, easy options for breakfast in a hurry, without having to turn to processed, pricey, and typically unhealthy meal replacement shakes.

What I personally love about these cherry muffins is they provide balanced, natural nutrition that’s easy to eat on the go or pack away as a snack. Healthy ingredients like wheat germ, whole-wheat flour, olive oil, and dried cherries allow each muffin to provide a healthy dose of protein (5 g.) and fiber (3 g.), while remaining relatively low in calories (202) and fat (1 g.) than a typical coffee shop muffin. Without losing the great taste of their full fat cousins, these muffins provide enough protein and fiber to keep you full and satisfied.

20180605_115939For those who happen to be a gym rat or fitness enthusiast, you have the option of doing what I do and spiking this recipe with a scoop of protein powder. The addition boosts each muffin to 20 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and enough essential nutrients to adequately power a more active lifestyle. If you do elect to utilize this method, keep in mind that the nutritional content of each serving will solely depend on the brand you use. The powder I use is a certified organic, plant-based blend (no whey or soy) that is free from questionable chemicals and unnatural ingredients. It contains 15 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and 1 billion CFU of probiotics per serving.

Whether you choose to nutritionally enhance these muffins with your own protein powder or leave them as is, you can expect them to take about 30 minutes to prepare from start to finish, with approximately 10 minutes of hands on time. This recipe will yield 12 muffins, with each serving consisting of 1 muffin. You may store these muffins in an airtight container for 3 days, in the refrigerator for one week, or in the freezer for 3 months. If you elect to give these muffins a try, I promise they will never disappoint as a delicious, quick and easy breakfast, snack, or dessert!

 

Cherry Breakfast Muffins

 

Ingredients:

  • 6.75 ounces (1 ½ cups) White Whole-Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Dried Cherries
  • ½ cup Toasted Wheat Germ
  • ½ cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Allspice
  • 1 cup fat-free Milk
  • ¼ cup light Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Egg

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Coat liners with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, place the flour, cherries, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and allspice. Stir with a whisk until combined, then make a well in the center of the mixture.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the milk, oil, and egg together. Pour the milk mixture into the well of the flour mixture and stir until all ingredients are just moistened.
  4. Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove muffins from the pan and place on the wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

 

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018