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

(Yield: 12 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

Preparation:

  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!

Nutrients Per Serving: 1 Cookie

Calories: 91, Protein: 2 g.,

Total Fat: 2 g., Sat. Fat: 0.5 g.,

Fiber: 3 g., Sodium: 3 mg.,

Sugars: 3 g., Carbs: 15 g.,

Cholesterol: 0 mg

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: A. VALPONE
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

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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

(Yield: 8 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

Preparation:

  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.

Nutrients Per Serving: 1 Bar

Calories: 201, Protein: 6 g.,

Total Fat: 11 g., Sat. Fat: 2 g.,

Fiber: 5 g., Sodium: 286 mg.,

Sugars: 10 g., Carbs: 22 g.,

Cholesterol: 28 mg

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: H. BAINBRIDGE
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

(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

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

 

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