Apple Pie with Oat Pecan Topping

A few weeks ago we officially hit winter, yet I can honestly say I’m not ready. From as far back as October, the weather here in central Florida has been all over the place. It has either been too hot, too cold, or even rainy for days in a row, despite it supposedly being the dry season. There was honestly never a day where I could enjoy the flavors of autumn and have it feel like it was actually autumn outside. But since fall happens to be my favorite season, I decided to celebrate it today with my ultimate fall comfort dessert, apple pie. Apple’s seasonality may peak in fall, but thankfully you can always find this fruit’s warm, inviting colors year round in practically every store. This means, no matter the time of the year, you can always serve a delicious apple pie. To free me from the guilt associated with possible year round pie consumption, I’ve spent the past two months cleaning up and testing this recipe so that it can fit into any healthy lifestyle.

While apple pie is certainly not the worst dessert for your health, there is definitely a lot of room for improvement. So to begin the process of making this pie healthier, I had to first look at what makes it so desired and how those elements affect nutrition. This would then give me a foundation of what I could cut and what I needed to retain in order to improve the nutrition content without sacrificing taste. A traditional apple pie aims to please with a rich, flaky pastry crust on both the bottom and the top to encase the filling. This may taste delicious, but it also translates to a lot of fat (typically from shortening), and empty calories from heavily processed white flour. To avoid the downsides of a typical crust while also saving time, I opted for a frozen whole-wheat crust from my local organic market. The crust is made from whole wheat pastry flour and safflower oil, which boosts nutritional content, adds a bit of extra flavor, and contains less protein than regular flour, thus preventing the crust from getting tough and chewy. Since a lot of the calories in an apple pie come from the crust, I chose to ax the top layer altogether and go with a Dutch-style blend of oats, pecans, and cinnamon. This adds a nice texture to the pie, removes unnecessary calories/fat, and eliminates any stress that dealing with pie dough creates.

Once the pie crust was in order it was time to tackle the filling. Since apples are the star of the recipe, choosing the right variety is key. In my eyes, the definition of the perfect apple is crisp yet soft while also having a proper balance of sweet and tart. The Golden Delicious variety fits all of this criteria, providing the familiar, comforting taste we all know and love while also being easy to find in any supermarket. As a bonus, since Golden Delicious apples are not overly tart, I was able to cut the amount of added sugar this recipe needed significantly without sacrificing a pleasantly sweet filling. I opted for raw cane sugar as my added sweetener over a liquid sweetener like honey or a non-cane source such as maple sugar. The reason for this is due to the role sugar plays in fruit pies. Sugar influences how the juices in the pie thicken, making raw, organic cane sugar the better option. In addition to the type of sugar, I also relied on the help of tapioca flour and the natural thickening agent in apples, pectin, to ensure that my filling was neither too jelly-like or watery. To prevent some of the other common issues apple pies often face, like burnt crust or raw apples, I made sure to keep the apple slices thin, only about 1/8 of an inch thick. This step ensures that the crust gets cooked properly and the apples get tender, yet still offer some resistance when pierced (we aren’t making apple sauce here). To put the final touch on the filling I needed to add depth of flavor. I kept it simple and added just a bit of spice with cinnamon. The result was a delicious, healthy new take on a classic.

Making an apple pie can be intimidating, especially one that is designed to be healthier, but it is really not as difficult as it seems. Like anything else in life, take your time and enjoy the process. This apple pie is worth every bit of effort, as it tastes just as good as a traditional recipe but slashes calories, fat, carbs, sodium, and cholesterol in half, greatly reduces sugar, and increases the fiber content of each slice. Pie making is very much a labor of love and your body will love you for treating it with this healthier take on apple pie!

Apple Pie with Oat Pecan Topping


Ingredients

  • 1 Prepared Whole-Wheat Pie Crust; fresh or frozen
  • 6 Golden Delicious Apples; peeled, cored, & thinly sliced (1/8 in. thick)
  • ½ cup Raw Cane Sugar
  • ¼ cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1¼ tsp. Ground Cinnamon; divided
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 oz. Unsalted Raw Pecans; chopped
  • ¼ cup Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Place prepared pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet. If using a roll-out variety of prepared pie crust, mist a 9 inch pie dish with cooking spray and then roll out dough into pie dish. Crimp sides down with a fork. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the apples, cane sugar, tapioca flour, vinegar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and salt until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together pecans, oats, and remaining ¼ tsp. cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Spoon apple mixture into crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle pecan mixture over the top of the apple mixture. Cover top of pie loosely with foil. Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350° and continue baking until liquid is bubbling, crust is golden brown, and apples offer only slight resistance when pierced, about 45 to 55 minutes. Remove foil and cool on a wire rack. To serve warm, cool at least 20 minutes. For a cleaner slice, wait at least 2 hours before serving.

Nutrition

Per Serving (1 Slice): 257 Calories; 3 g Protein; 8 g Total Fat; 1 g Sat. Fat; 5 g Fiber; 146 mg Sodium; 25 g Sugar; 46 g Carbs; 19 mg Cholesterol.

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2020

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Cookies

Every new year can be a new you! It’s a common phrase that gets slung around this time of year. A time when the calendar resets as does our motivation to become better than who we were the previous year. It is a time when we make resolutions, set higher goals, and create plans of action to achieve those goals. As much as this phrase applies to most people around the world come January 1st, it has never been a thing for me. Sure I have goals I want to achieve, but it has never taken a specific time of the year to motivate me. I have always been a person that once I set my mind to something I start acting upon it. I don’t say things like “I will start this tomorrow” or “I will wait until next week”. Once I have something in mind I won’t wait a single moment more to start executing it in some capacity. That is how I started this website, that is how I re-branded this website, and that will be how I continue to operate this website.

Now you may be wondering what all this has to do with some cookies? You see, back in 2016 I had my second daughter and I was totally happy to have expanded my family but I was also completely miserable. I was morbidly obese, fatigued all the time, and just all around blah. This website was my therapy. I relied on the taste of good food to comfort me and writing about it continued to remind me of the feeling I got while eating it. Problem is, that high was always short-lived and never solved the real issues I was facing. In an attempt to extend the good vibes, I would just create more and more content. It got to a point where each year I would spend the entire time between Thanksgiving and Christmas preparing countless cookie recipes to share on this website, which I would of course indulge in thereafter. It was an endless cycle of self-torture. That is until I decided to make a change. It may not have happened for the new year but it would go on to change every year thereafter.

Since August of 2016 I have lost over 120 pounds and am in the best shape of my life. As great as this process has been, midway through my journey I realized that I had lost something along the way, that being this website. Since I no longer relied on food as therapy I was no longer making unhealthy desserts all the time, therefore leaving me with nothing to write about. It took me several months of being on hiatus until I finally realized that I could start over with a new philosophy. Just as I had hit a reset button on my life I could also hit the reset button on this website. The old desserts I used to love but had come to see as the enemy would once again become my friends, only this time as inspiration. A new mission had been born. A mission to create clean, delicious, and nutritious desserts that would fit my new healthy lifestyle while also keeping this website alive for all of you.

This year I may not have spent weeks preparing countless batches of unhealthy cookies to present to you over the holidays, but I do bring you this gem. It is not the lightest of recipes, but it is a lot more nutritious than any other holiday cookies you will find, which is still a win in my book. To achieve a moist yet gluten-free cookie base, I started with a blend of almond and coconut flours. To add delicious flavor and a slightly chewy texture, I created a healthier salted caramel using coconut milk and Sucanat. Lastly, for an elegant presentation, I topped each cookie off with a candied pecan. If you seek an indulgent, yet clean treat, look no further than these chewy, salted caramel cookies!

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Cookies


Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
  • ¾ cup Sucanat plus 2 tbsp.; divided
  • ½ cup Raw Unsalted Pecans
  • ½ cup Coconut Milk
  • 3½ tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract; divided
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 2½ cups Almond Flour/Meal
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut Flour
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ cup Coconut Oil; melted
  • 2 tbsp. Raw Honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. To prepare candied pecans: Place a small saucepan on medium heat. Add maple syrup and 2 tbsp. Sucanat. Heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil and Sucanat dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and immediately add in pecans. Stir until pecans are fully coated. Spread pecans evenly on one of the prepared baking sheets. Set aside to cool, at least 5 minutes.
  3. To prepare caramel sauce: Place a small saucepan on medium heat. Add coconut milk and ¾ cup Sucanat. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Once mixture begins to boil, add 1½ tsp. vanilla and salt, stirring constantly. Cook caramel until thickened and a reddish brown color, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat, pour into a glass bowl, and set aside to cool for at least 5 minutes.
  4. To prepare dough: In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, and baking soda until well blended. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, honey, and 2 tsp. vanilla. Pour the contents of the small bowl (wet ingredients) into the contents of the medium bowl (dry ingredients) and blend with a fork until a dough forms. Add ½ cup of the caramel sauce to the dough and mix until well blended.
  5. Drop 1 tbsp. of dough at a time onto a large parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool on baking sheet. Once cool, use a spoon to dab the tops of each cookie with the remaining caramel sauce. Place one candied pecan on each cookie. Store in an airtight container for 3 days. Use extra candied pecans on salads, over yogurt, in oatmeal, or as a sweet snack.

Nutrition

Per Serving (1 Cookie): 242 Calories; 4 g Protein; 17 g Total Fat; 7 g Sat. Fat; 3 g Fiber; 123 mg Sodium; 15 g Sugar; 19 g Carbs; 0 mg Cholesterol

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: K. KLEIN
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

Pumpkin Pie Bread

During the holiday season, there are a few signature items that will come to the mind of almost anyone. Pumpkin pie happens to be one of those items. Whether you enjoy it at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or both, it is on the menu of most households at some point towards the end of each year. My family always enjoys pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, but this year I decided to shake things up and serve this delicious, healthier bread instead.

As much as I love a traditional pumpkin pie at the holidays, I also love to try new, cleaner items inspired by the flavors I already know and love. Luckily, cans of organic puree are very cost effective this time of year, allowing me to get rather creative and try some fun, pumpkin-centric dishes. Not just limited to desserts, pumpkin has found its way into my soup, pasta sauce, Greek yogurt, and morning oatmeal. Whether savory or sweet, I love me some good ole pumpkin. But you don’t need to be pumpkin’s #1 fan to love this bread. Other than the traditional pie, it really doesn’t get much more classic than this moist, sweet loaf of pumpkin bread.

Just like the tried and true methods of traditional pie recipes, this bread is infused with the flavors of warm fall spices and is perfect for the chilliest time of year. But besides being chilly outside it is also the busiest time of year. So if you find yourself strapped for time (who doesn’t), this recipe will be your best friend. In fact, it should be the spokesman for all quick breads, as it truly requires minimal time and energy. Simply combine dry ingredients, add wet ingredients, mix, and bake. The easiest snack, brunch treat, or dessert to have on hand, especially for those unexpected guests who suddenly drop on by. If you double the recipe, you can easily have an extra loaf to give as a gift at Christmas, or you can make individual muffins to place on the kids table for easy holiday snacking.

With all of the good qualities this bread already possesses, it’s hard to believe that it is also clean and works perfectly into the meal plans of those living a healthy lifestyle. Unlike traditional recipes, this pumpkin bread does not have hidden, unhealthy fats or loads of processed white sugar. Instead, it uses minimally processed Sucanat to satisfy sweet tooth’s while cutting the amount of sweetener needed from a whopping 1½ cups (on average), all the way down to just ¾ cup. By not overloading this bread with sugar, it keeps calories low and helps to mitigate the rapid spike and fall of blood sugar levels, which can cause you to crave more sugary foods or feel sluggish after eating them.

But just as it is important to remove unhealthy items from a recipe to make it better, it is also important to add back in the proper nutrition the recipe was initially lacking. To do this, I started by packing in as much pumpkin as I could. Doing so provides moisture for very few calories (only 30 per cup) and less fat, while still creating a tender texture. The addition of pumpkin also adds a good amount of beneficial nutrients, including potassium, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is particularly important, as it is an antioxidant responsible for fighting harmful inflammation that’s known to cause problems as small as wrinkles or as serious as chronic disease.

Once I had added enough pumpkin for flavor and nutrition, I moved on to the flour. Most recipes use all-purpose, which is heavily processed and contains less nutrients as a result. I opted for white whole-wheat flour, as it provides more nutritional value without altering the taste too much. In fact, add in the final quality of classic pumpkin bread, the rich, warm spices, and I bet you won’t even be able to detect the healthy tweaks. The molasses-like flavor profile of Sucanat complements the spices beautifully, making for a delicious, healthy bread sure to be a success at any holiday function!

Pumpkin Pie Bread


Ingredients

  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • 1¾ cups White Whole-Wheat Flour
  • ¾ cup Sucanat
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • ¾ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Large Egg Whites
  • 1 cup Pure Pumpkin Puree
  • ½ cup Whole Milk
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9 x 5 inch bread pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, Sucanat, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. In a separate large bowl, lightly whisk the egg and egg whites. Add in the pumpkin puree, milk, and oil, whisking until combined.
  3. Add the contents of the second bowl (wet ingredients) to the contents of the first bowl (dry ingredients) and stir gently until the flour is moistened. Transfer contents to the prepared pan and spread out smoothly.
  4. Bake bread in the center of the oven for 50 minutes, or until the top and edges have browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut in to 12 slices to serve. Keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 days, refrigerated for 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 month.

Nutrition

Per Serving (1 Slice): 169 Calories; 4 g Protein; 6 g Total Fat; 1 g Sat. Fat; 2.5 g Fiber; 213 mg Sodium; 13 g Sugar; 25 g Carbs; 17 mg Cholesterol

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

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

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

Almond Raspberry Peach Bars

The month of September has just begun and with it comes the harsh realization that summer is quickly coming to a close for another year. If you are a parent, it is likely your child has returned back to school, which means more time is likely to be spent at after school practices, events, or simply helping your kids with homework. With schedules much busier, it makes it even more important to have healthy breakfast or snack options on hand.

Although most of the country is jumping for joy at the introduction of all things fall flavored, I, on the other hand, am just not ready to dive in to everything pumpkin and apple. Sure, fall is my favorite season, thanks to all of the delicious flavors, but with it still being in the 90’s here in Florida, it is hard to let go of summer so easily. Since I still had a few peaches to use up and some raspberries I froze at peak season, I used this week’s meal prep to celebrate some great summer flavors one final time. Raspberries and peaches are favorites of mine during the summer months, so it was only natural that I would love a snack that contained both.

When deciding what to make as a base for these two flavors, I quickly narrowed it down to my two favorite meal prep options, muffins and bars. I usually prep one of the two each week as both are great grab & go options. I ultimately elected to prepare a bar, as I felt it would better showcase the beautiful fruit contained within. Bursting with beautiful red raspberries and diced peaches, these bars will make the perfect addition to your meal plan as a quick breakfast, afternoon snack, or dessert.

Almond Raspberry Peach Bars


Ingredients

  • ¾ cup White Whole-Wheat Flour
  • ½ cup Ground Almond Flour or Almond Meal
  • ¼ cup Coconut Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1½ cups Whole Buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp. Evaporated Cane Juice (Sucanat)
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Zest
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Raspberries; mashed
  • ½ cup diced Peaches
  • 2 tbsp. Slivered Almonds or Pecans; toasted & chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a 7 x 11 inch glass baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the whole-wheat flour, almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg. Stir in buttermilk, evaporated cane juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the raspberries and peaches.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with almonds or pecans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the bars to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut into 8 bars and serve.

Nutrition

Per Serving (1 Bar): 201 Calories; 6 g Protein; 11 g Total Fat; 2 g Sat. Fat; 5 g Fiber; 286 mg Sodium; 10 g Sugar; 22 g Carbs; 28 mg Cholesterol

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

Overnight Cinnamon Raisin & Banana French Toast Casserole

20190802_103345I don’t know about you but I LOVE breakfast!!! With a choice of eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, toast, biscuits, hashbrowns, or waffles, there is literally something for everyone. Or in my case, MANY somethings. The only problem I honestly have with breakfast is the time of day it is consumed. I have no shame in confessing that I’m not a morning person. I’ve always been a night owl since I was a kid and that hasn’t changed a bit into my adulthood. So what do you do if you love breakfast but hate waking up even earlier in order to make it? Well…you meal prep of course!

20190802_104436Meal prep, in my opinion, is ESSENTIAL for those needing to save time and wanting to stay healthy. It ensures you always have clean, nutritious foods on hand for those moments when you may not feel like preparing a meal, which for me, is usually at breakfast. To prevent the need for making a meal every morning, I usually just whip up a batch of muffins during meal prep, as it lasts me an entire week. This works for awhile but there comes a point when you need a change. This recipe was my answer for that needed change.

20190802_102438It all started with a bunch of spotted bananas and a loaf of raisin bread at its sell by date. If you know me personally, or have followed me for a while, you know I’m a big stickler when it comes to food waste. Sure I could have easily polished off the raisin bread on my own, but sadly, it would never fit my macros. Therefore, I had to find a way to use them both. That is when I came across a french toast casserole recipe and decided to modify the heck out of it to fit my nutrition goals.

20190802_103221The results were absolutely delicious. A big thumbs up from my husband and youngest daughter. They had no idea this was fit food. By exchanging refined white bread with whole-wheat cinnamon raisin bread, I was able to add nutrition and flavor. I then topped the first layer of bread with sliced bananas before covering with more bread and an egg/milk mixture. To add a touch of sweetness and texture, I sprinkled the top with an oat crumble before allowing the casserole to soak overnight. Quick, easy, delicious, and nutritious meal. If you love french toast but want to save time in the morning, you MUST give this recipe a try!

 

Overnight Cinnamon Raisin & Banana French Toast Casserole


Ingredients

  • ½ cup Old-fashioned Rolled Oats
  • ¼ cup White Whole-Wheat Flour
  • 5 tbsp. Light Brown Sugar; divided
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 3 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; melted
  • 14 slices Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread
  • 3 small Bananas; sliced
  • 6 large Eggs
  • 3 ¾ cups Whole Milk
  • 2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Directions

  1. Coat a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, flour, 3 tbsp. brown sugar, and salt until combined.  Add butter and stir until moistened. Set aside.
  3. Arrange 7 slices of bread in a single layer in the prepared pan (2 rows. 3½ slices per row). Top with banana slices in a single layer and then top with the remaining 7 slices of bread in a single layer.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. While continuing to whisk, slowly pour in the milk until combined. Whisk in the vanilla, cinnamon, and remaining 2 tbsp. of brown sugar. Pour mixture over bread and then sprinkle evenly with oat mixture. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove foil and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until bread is puffed up and egg mixture is set. A small amount of liquid in the center is okay as it will firm up as it cools. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Per Serving: (1 Square) 261 Calories; 10 g Protein; 10 g Total Fat; 4 g Sat. Fat; 4 g Fiber; 232 mg Sodium; 15 g Sugar; 33 g Carbs; 108 mg Cholesterol


 

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

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