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

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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

 

 

Pumpkin Chia Pudding

20190312_153651What comes to mind when you think of a good snack? Do you envision lots of fruits and veggies, or are you more interested in processed convenience foods? We all know chips, candy, cookies, and ice cream are easier to reach for when hunger strikes, but if you want to be lean and healthy you need to make cleaner food choices. It can be a challenge discovering how to keep hunger at bay while living a fit lifestyle, but if you’re a foodie like me that still wants to succeed, you need to change your mindset towards eating. Even though processed snacks have to go, it doesn’t mean you’re no longer allowed to snack.

20190312_153925To stay fit and healthy while still enjoying food, start by arming yourself with nutritious snacks that can stand in for any sweet, savory, or crunchy craving that may arise. Take, for example, this pumpkin chia pudding. This recipe is super easy to make & will satisfy any sweet tooth without packing on the pounds. Unsweetened almond milk provides the pudding a low-calorie, dairy-free base, chia seeds give a fiber boost, while warm and aromatic pumpkin pie spice provides a nice depth of flavor to complement the pumpkin.

20190312_153809Even though pumpkin is a fall flavor and we are currently entering spring, this recipe is simply too good not to share. I initially developed it back in the fall when pumpkin was still in season, but thanks to canned pumpkin you can enjoy one of fall’s best flavors year round in this gluten-free, dairy-free, low-sugar, healthy snack. If you do opt to buy canned pumpkin over roasting your own fresh pumpkin, just be sure it is organic pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. If you have a sweet tooth and love anything pumpkin, I recommend you give this recipe a try. It’s a sweet treat that won’t hinder your progress to being lean!

PUMPKIN CHIA PUDDING

(Yield: 6 Servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Plain Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • ½ cup Pitted Dates
  • 1/3 cup Chia Seeds
  • ¾ cup Unsweetened Pumpkin Puree (fresh or canned)
  • ¾ tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Cinnamon Sugar; for garnish (if desired)

 

Preparation:

  1. In a large jar or container with a lid, combine milk, dates, & chia seeds. Cover, shake well, & chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but no longer than 8 hours.
  2. Remove chilled mixture from the refrigerator & place in a blender. Process mixture on high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, & salt. Blend again until thoroughly combined. Divide among 6 (4 oz.) meal prep jars or store in one larger container. Refrigerate at least 1 hour more before serving. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

Nutrients Per Serving: 4 oz. Pudding

Calories: 104 Calories, Protein: 3 g.,

Total Fat: 4 g., Sat. Fat: 0.5 g.,

Fiber: 5 g., Sodium: 83 mg.,

Sugars: 9 g., Carbs: 16 g.,

Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

 

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

Gluten-Free Chewy Apple Pie Bars

20190108_174442Hello everyone! To all of my followers, I know it’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me. I’ve been extremely busy this past year with the creation of my new small business & it has unfortunately kept me from doing any content for this website. Thankfully, now that I’ve gotten into a rhythm in my business, I’m back to share content with you once again.

I will admit my content going forward will have a slight shift in focus. I will still be posting up baked goods as always, however they will be more nutritious in nature. As my life has changed to a healthier lifestyle, this website will have to change along with it. I hope you will all enjoy what is to come. I’m extremely excited to be back & I hope to expand this website even larger in the future…so stay tuned!

20190108_174231For my first post back, I’m sharing with you the first healthy snack bar I ever created. The story behind this recipe coincides with the beginning of my journey to losing fat & getting healthier. At the time I started my journey, I did not have the finances to buy all of the fancy snack bars you find in health food stores, so what I did was I created my own from home. Later I would come to find out, as I became more educated in nutrition, that I wasn’t just saving money, I was also avoiding a lot of harmful ingredients that get hidden in processed health food products. So if you want to enjoy healthy snacks, even if you’re not on a budget, the best way to go is make them yourself.

20190108_174413These chewy apple pie bars are the perfect make & take snack. They are freezable, gluten-free, vegetarian, & come together quickly. Taking only about 10 minutes of prep time, you can pop one in your lunch box or gym bag for a sweet snack on the go in no time. When you arm yourself with nutritious snacks, you can always keep hunger at bay!

Chewy Apple Pie Snack Bars

*Makes 12 Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Pitted Dates
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Dried Apple Slices
  • 1 cup Unsalted Walnuts
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Ground Ginger
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Nutmeg

 

Preparation:

  1. Line a 4 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large food processor, combine the dates, apples, and walnuts. Process until a fine crumbs form, about 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Continue to process until mixture is very soft and easily holds together when pinched, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Press dough into prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm. Cut into 12 snack size bars (2 x 1¼ in. each). Wrap each bar individually and keep refrigerated (5 days) or freeze (1 month).

 

Nutrients Per Serving: 1 Bar

Calories: 119, Protein: 2 g.,

Total Fat: 6 g., Sat. Fat: 0.5 g.,

Fiber: 16 g., Sodium: 23 mg.,

Sugars: 12 g., Carbs: 16 g.,

Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

 

 

No-Bake Banana Cranberry Protein Bites

20180207_102046If you have been a regular follower of this website you probably already noticed some changes to my content as of late. Since the inception of this blog, I have made some rather drastic lifestyle changes, which has undoubtably impacted my ability to bring a continuous influx of content. Previously I would make all kinds of desserts because my family would eat them and nothing would ever go to waste. Over the past year and a half, I have been focused on eating healthier, exercising, and avoiding all the sweets I used to indulge in. Although I still prepare sweets for special occasions, I have found it difficult to prepare desserts that I know will go to waste. I am trying to find outlets to take the items I would prepare so I can continue bringing familiar content and making sure nothing goes to waste, but in the meantime I will be focusing on content that is still sweet but may be a bit healthier than your liking.

20180207_102125With that said, I recently developed this plant-based protein bite to satisfy my sweet tooth and fuel my active lifestyle. As many of you well know, I have Crohn’s, which is a digestive disease. Although I tested negative for lactose intolerance, I have noticed that I feel better when I avoid using too many dairy products. For athletes, fitness enthusiasts, or anyone like myself that has digestive issues and food sensitivities, you will come to love the power of plant-based protein. Researchers have found that plant-based protein appears to be a more tolerable source of protein, and causes fewer incidences of negative effects on the gut. In a study that followed athletes that do not tolerate dairy very well, plant-based protein caused less bloating and gastrointestinal problems than whey protein.

In addition to the digestive benefits of plant-based protein, it also offers variability to your nutritional regimen. This is especially important if you are a big meat-eater like myself! So if you ever become serious about considering the use of plant-based proteins, just be sure to always first analyze any product for its amino acid profile. This profile will ensure it is a complete protein!

20180207_102108Of course you can always make your own plant-based protein products. A great place to start would be these moist and delicious protein bites. They will satisfy your hunger, sweet tooth, energy, and nutritional needs. The balance of high-quality proteins, carbs, and fats, as well as blood sugar balancing ingredients make these bites so healthy. I love to have them as a quick breakfast or a post workout snack. Although I prefer to make them into bites, they can also be cut into small bars or fun shapes like triangles. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month or in the freezer for up to three months.

No-Bake Banana Cranberry Protein Bites

Ingredients:

  • 2 Bananas; mashed
  • ½ cup Creamy Natural Peanut Butter
  • ½ cup Raw Coconut Nectar
  • 2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ½ cups Oat Flour
  • 1 cup Old-Fashioned Oats; whole
  • 1 cup Buckwheat Flour
  • ½ cup Kasha
  • ¾ cup Dried Cranberries
  • ½ cup Shredded Coconut
  • 1/3 cup Chia Seeds
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt

Preparation:

  1. In a food processor, place the bananas, peanut butter, coconut nectar, and vanilla. Pulse until mixture is well-combined and creamy.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, place the oat flour, oats, buckwheat flour, Kasha, dried cranberries, coconut, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt. Mix together until just combined.
  3. Pour the mixture from the food processor into the large bowl. Use a rubber spatula or your hands to mix ingredients until they are combined together thoroughly.
  4. Line a 9-x-9 inch pan with parchment paper, allowing excess to hang over two of the sides so that the bars can easily be lifted from the pan once set. Using your hands, press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. You can use a rubber spatula to smooth out the surface.
  5. Place the pan in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour. This will allow the bars to firm up and hold their shape when cut. Once chilled, you can cut into squares, bars, triangles, or bites/nuggets.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: GINA HUDSON
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018

 

Easy Chocolate Chia Pudding

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

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

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

Easy Chocolate Chia Pudding

Ingredients:

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

Formula:

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

 

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

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018