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

(Yield: 12 Servings)

 

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

 

Preparation:

  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.

 

Nutrients Per Serving: 1 Square

Calories:  261, Protein: 10 g.,

Total Fat: 10 g., Sat. Fat: 4 g.,

Fiber: 4 g., Sodium: 232 mg.,

Sugars: 15 g., Carbs: 33 g.,

Cholesterol: 108 mg

 

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

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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

(Yield: 16 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

 

Preparation:

  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.

 

Nutrients Per Serving: 1 Bar

Calories: 119 Calories, Protein: 3 g.,

Total Fat: 6 g., Sat. Fat: 4 g.,

Fiber: 2 g., Sodium: 56 mg.,

Sugars: 8 g., Carbs: 14 g.,

Cholesterol: 47 mg

 

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!

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Orange Chocolate Veggie Muffins

(Yield: 12 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

 

Preparation:

  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!

 

Nutrients Per Serving: 1 Muffin

Calories: 134 Calories, Protein: 4 g.,

Total Fat: 4 g., Sat. Fat: 1 g.,

Fiber: 2 g., Sodium: 158 mg.,

Sugars: 8 g., Carbs: 22 g.,

Cholesterol: 17 mg

 

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019