Healthy Baking Hacks

Do you love baking but find yourself having little self control over the final product? I know I do! Again, you know how I feel about treating yourself occasionally…and I don’t know about you…but if there is a way I can eat nutrient-dense desserts on a regular basis, I’m gonna do it!

Today  I am sharing with you some baking replacements for oil, eggs, flour, and sugar. Feel free to message me if you have any more suggestions! I’d love to hear them.

One reason I like to replace oils in baking is because it cuts back on overall calories. There are 9 calories in every 1 gram of fat–making it very calorically dense. We need fat in our diets, however I choose to get it elsewhere in my diet (like in salad dressings, fish, avocado, and cheese). I like to find sugar alternatives too because we really shouldn’t be exceeding 25 grams of added sugars daily. If I can make a dessert using natural sugars, then I am a happy camper!

There are several baking hacks I have used over the years and some do work better than others. Today I am going to share with you some of my favorites and in a few weeks, I will do a cooking demo using some of these hacks.

healthy baking hacks

  1. Black beans to replace flour

Many of you have heard of black bean brownies (and if you’ve been following me for a while, you remember my black bean thumbprint cookies). I’ve made black bean brownies several times and they are husband approved. You can also use black beans to replace flour in cakes and cookies. Generally, use 1 15-ounce can of black beans (drained and rinsed) to replace 1 cup of flour in a recipe. Keep in mind recipes vary, but this is a general guide.

2. Unsweetened applesauce to replace eggs

While I am not opposed to eggs, this hack is done a lot to make recipes vegan. Also, I find that adding eggs to recipes with little flour and sugar tend tasting very “eggy”…which is not a flavor  I am a fan of. Generally, use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce to replace 1 egg in a recipe.

3. Unsweetened applesauce to replace oil

Using applesauce will not only help as a binder but also as an oil replacement. Adding applesauce as 1:1 ratio with oil will still give your baked goods a moist consistency. For example, use 1 cup of applesauce to replace 1 cup of oil.

4. Canned unsweetened pumpkin or sweet potato to replace oil

Another oil replacement, using canned pumpkin puree or sweet potatoes in a 1:1 ratio in a recipe will make your baked good full of fiber and natural sweetness. From experience, pumpkin and sweet potato work best in chocolate recipes adding an extra sweetness to 100% dark cocoa powder. Again, for example use 1 cup of pumpkin or sweet potato puree to replace 1 cup of oil.

5. Greek Yogurt to replace oil.

A benefit of greek yogurt to replace oil is that it adds extra complete protein to your baked good. Imagine eating dessert for a snack! Using greek yogurt will give your baked good extra protein so that your blood sugars gradually increase instead of spiking up super high all at once. Use 1/4 cup of greek yogurt to replace 1/2 cup of oil.

6. Ripened bananas as sugar replacement

This is my favorite baking hack! I have used this idea in recipes from simple sugar free banana bread to chocolate chip cookies.  The natural sweetness satisfies the sugar craving. Utilize ripened bananas as a 1:1 ratio to replace sugar.

7. Oatmeal flour to replace white flour.

This one is so simple if you have oatmeal on hand in your pantry. Oatmeal is high in fiber and is a complex carbohydrate meaning it keeps you fuller longer than regular white flour. In a blender, add 1 cup of oatmeal and blend until a fine, flour like consistency. Then add your oat flour as a 1:1 ratio to replace flour.

8. Dates as natural sweetener

Medjool dates are my favorite to use. Dates work well ground up and mixed with nuts to replace pie crusts or just pureed and added to a cake or cookie batter for sweetness. Be sure to pit your dates and taste before baking. Dates are very sweet, so generally less is more for this sugar replacement.

9. Avocado to replace butter

Confession: I have NEVER tried this, but have seen several instagram foodies try this method. Replace half the butter in a recipe with half a mashed avocado and it will add healthy fats to your baked goods. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats which lower LDL cholesterol levels.

10. Prune puree to replace butter

Have you ever had prune cake? You can’t even taste them! Especially when combined with chocolate. Prunes help replace oil and give the baked good a moistness, but also add a touch of sweetness to the batter as well without more sugar. To replace 1 stick of butter, add 1/3 cup of prune puree to a recipe.


Have you ever tried any of these baking hacks? I hope you find this helpful next time you wanna make a nutrient dense dessert. Remember, if you ever try any of my creations or nutrition/fitness hacks, make sure to tag me on instagram @betterwithkatdetter_rd. Be on the lookout for a Kat’s Kitchen using some of these hacks to air in a few weeks.


Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing,

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

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Kat’s Kitchen: Avocado Egg White Sandwich

Welcome back to Kat’s Kitchen!  This week we keep going with the breakfast on the go theme and make an easy breakfast sandwich that is simple, satisfying, nutrient dense, and only takes 5 minutes or less to make!

Below is my cooking demonstration video–enjoy! Underneath the video is a full list of ingredients and directions for reference.


Egg White Avocado Sandwich

  • Servings: 1 serving
  • Difficulty: Easy Peasy!
  • Print


  • 1/4 cup of egg whites (or 1 whole egg)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup fresh, raw spinach
  • 1 English Muffin (I used Dave’s Killer Bread, you could use 2 slices of toast instead)
  • 1/2 ripe avocado


  1. In a microwave safe bowl, add spinach and seasoned egg whites (or whole egg) and microwave for 2 minutes or until cooked to liking.
  2. Toast bread of choice (I like Dave’s Killer brand, Ezekiel brand, or homemade). Mash 1/2 avocado onto toast. Add egg and spinach mixture on top of avocado. Place other half of bread on top.
  3. Enjoy at home before heading out the door or make it to-go! Enjoy!

This picture shows the Egg White Avocado Sandwich using Dave’s Killer Loaf bread–probably my favorite bread to use for this sandwich!

I hope you enjoyed this video and have found another option to beat the boredom of breakfast. Cooking at home does not have to be difficult or time consuming. Make sure to share and follow me on social media for more wellness, nutrition, and fitness posts!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

Jump-starting Your Fitness Routine

Have you made one of your goals to be more active this year but are having a hard time figuring out where to begin?

Today I am going to share with you a few ideas on how to get into the fitness world. Luckily, there are so many diverse options for people of all ages. The beauty of exercise is that if you don’t like one form of exercise (example: running), then you can choose a different type of exercise that you may love (example: dancing). Consistency is key! Find something you love and stick to it.

Ideas on Jump-starting Your Fitness Routine

  1. Join a Gym

This may seem too simplistic, but it is oftentimes an easy way to spark the fitness journey. Gyms have tons of equipment for both cardio and strength training as well as areas for stretching and body weight exercises. Most gyms also have personal trainers available for an additional fee that can create a workout plan specifically for you.

img-5017 (1)

     2. Group Fitness Classes

With a gym membership, there are usually a variety of group fitness classes available: Zumba, Dance Fitness, Spin, Yoga, Pilates, Silver Sneakers, HIIT, Weight lifting…the options are endless. These types of classes are a great gateway to fitness–I am speaking from personal experience. When I was 14, I joined a Zumba class and HATED it…after going a few times, I decided it was a fun way to exercise–and now I’ve been instructing for the past 7.5 years. Now I enjoy various forms of exercise outside of group fitness classes.

Dance Fitness
Group fitness dance class back in my Underground Fitness days–it was so much fun! (P.S. I am the one in orange on stage) 🙂

    3. At Home Workouts

Let’s say you aren’t into the gym scene–I get it…monthly membership fees plus an initial sign up free can get costly…you can get great workouts in the beauty of your own home! Using either body weight or dumbbell free weights, you can still stay active. Stay tuned for various videos (next month) showing my favorite at home workout exercises to help tone muscles as well as strengthen that heart.

Photo-bombed by Banzo Bean the cat.

   4.  Pinterest Workouts

This is my FAVORITE tool for finding new workout routines. Tons of people pin their fitness websites and there are so many types of workouts to choose from: body weight, dumbbells, kettle bells, at home, at the gym–I have a notebook full of Pinterest workouts to help me when I don’t know what to do for my workout.

    5. Livestream Classes

This is another exercise form you can utilize in the privacy of your own home. This works for some people–I am a Dance2Fit livestream member paying only $20 a month for unlimited Dance2Fit classes with Jessica James. They are so much fun, full of energy, and a total body workout. This isn’t like any other type of dance class–it combines HIIT techniques with toning and cardio to hip hop music. It’s an easy way for me to  sweat and burn calories whenever I want to! No traveling needed.

I am a Dance2Fit livestream member (see link above)–$20 a month, unlimited Dance2Fit classes WHENEVER I want! And I promise you will sweat!

   6. Online Fitness Challenges

These are so much fun! I did one last fall called Fall Fit with Sarah and Jessica, and it was a 6 week program with 4 workouts per week ranging from 30 minutes to 1 hour with suggested cardio and abs. There were 2 versions: at home and gym workout–I bought the at home workout that was 100% no equipment needed using only body weight. It was affordable, doable for all fitness levels, and it helped me get stronger. There are so many online fitness challenges that are promoted, and it is another great tool to utilize in jump starting your fitness routines.

   7.  Workout Partner

This is one of the best ways to work out because you have an accountability partner-someone to encourage you to workout when you don’t feel like it…someone to go through the whole process with you…someone who feels the same struggles physically that you may be experiencing. It also helps fight the boredom when you go walking/running or weight lifting, and can make group fitness classes more fun when you’ve got a buddy with you.

Half Marathon Buddy
My pal Kristy and I trained together for 12 weeks for the Loma Linda Holiday Half Marathon a few years ago. Without her, I wouldn’t have made it!

   8. Staying Active in General

We are human, life gets in the way and we may not make it to the gym or have the time to do an at home workout…or your power may go out and you don’t have TV/internet to complete your online fitness challenge (speaking from experience!)…that is okay! My biggest advice is to stay active all week long. It doesn’t have to be an organized workout plan It can be as simple as going for a walk with your dog, a light bike ride with your spouse, or even chasing your kids in the front yard. The main idea is that you move your body a little bit every day–not just for your workout “gainz” but also for your mental health and overall well-being.

BobKat Walk
Staying active doesn’t have to mean going to the gym–my husband and I stayed active this past Christmas by going for a light walk at our local park.


Now, it’s your turn to decide what you wanna try first! Try one of these suggestions and see how it goes for you. Every body is different, and we all like different things. I LOVE dancing, so naturally dance fitness style classes are my jam. Pick something and stick with it most days of the week–and every now and then pick something different to spice up your workout routine to not get stuck in a rut.


Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter
Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd
Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter








Kat’s Kitchen: Banana Berry Oatmeal

Are you always on the run in the morning and find yourself grabbing sugary, processed breakfast items because you simply don’t have enough time to make a nutritious and delicious meal?

OR are you eating the same nutritious and delicious meal every morning because you aren’t sure what else will give you energy and satiety (feeling of fullness) all morning long?

You’re in luck!

Today is the FIRST launch of Kat’s Kitchen mini cooking series that I hope you all find helpful. Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, and I hope you find my recipes easy, affordable, and delicious! Feel free to share on social media! 🙂


Below is my banana berry oatmeal cooking demo. Underneath the video you will find a detailed ingredients and directions list.

Banana Berry Oatmeal

  • Servings: 1 serving
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 banana-the riper the better
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup UNSWEETENED almond milk
  • 1 dash of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of berries (I used raspberries and blueberries)
  • 1/4 cup of English Walnuts, raw
  • 2 tablespoons powered peanut butter (you could use natural peanut butter or protein powder of choice)


  1. In a microwave safe bowl, mash 1 banana until smooth. Add in oatmeal, almond milk, and vanilla and stir until combined.
  2. Place bowl of oats in a microwave for 2 minutes or until oatmeal reaches desired consistency.
  3. Once cooked to liking, add in powdered peanut butter (mix well), berries, and walnuts.
  4. Enjoy in your home for a quick brekky or put oats in a to-go container and enjoy at work or school!


I hope you all liked the mini cooking show. This month video series is all about “on the go” breakfasts. Tune in January 23 for another Kat’s Kitchen cooking demo.


Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter

Youtube: Live Better with Kat Detter

Building Nutritious Meals

Happy 2020! Regardless on whether you chose to make a bunch of unrealistic resolutions or a few attainable changes, I think we can all agree that incorporating more nutritious foods to our diet is a win/win.

***If you missed my last post on “Ditching New Years Resolutions”, go take a look so you can set healthy, measurable, and attainable goals this year.

In 2018, I became more of  “meal planner” but not so much a “meal prepper”….mainly because I did not want to get stuck eating the same thing 3 days in a row. A goal of mine is to prep a bit more so I have foods easily accessible on the go or when I am in a bind.

So, how do you build a good, nutrient-dense meal??


First, you must plan the meal.

  • In building a meal, you want to make sure there is a balance of protein, carbs, and fat. Below are some good ideas of each category (note: this is just a brief list of items I use most often but there are many more options!)

Lean Protein

Complex Carb

Healthy Fat

Boneless, skinless chicken Quinoa/Brown Rice Avocado
Turkey (breast, tenderloin, ground) Banza Pasta (made from chickpeas) or 100% Whole Grain Pasta Salad dressings with olive oil base (pay attention to added sugars)
Fish (Tuna, Salmon, Mahi Mahi, etc.) 100% Whole Grain Bread or tortilla (I love Dave’s or Ezekiel brand) Cheese (feta, cheddar, blue cheese, etc.)
Tofu Sweet Potato/Butternut Squash/Pumpkin Flax seeds/Nuts (cashews, walnuts, almonds)
Eggs Red Skin/Golden Potato with skin Peanut Butter
Beef (tenderloin, ground [85/15% fat]) Oatmeal Oils: Canola, olive, avocado
Beans, Legumes Beans/Lentils *note: fish is considered a healthy fat as well
Plain Greek Yogurt Beets
Peanut Butter Corn
  • Start by choosing 1 item in each category.


Protein Complex Carb Healthy Fat
Boneless, skinless chicken Brown Rice Avocado
  • Now that you’ve decided on what protein, carb, and fat you want, pick your veggies! For me, the more veggies the merrier–and if you are feeling even more spunky, you could forgo the complex carb and just have extra veggies. The list below are ideas of non-starchy vegetables, again, not limited to these veggies–there are so many to choose from!

Non-Starchy Vegetables







Leafy Greens (spinach, arugula, romaine, kale)

Collards/Swiss Chard


Brussels Sprouts

Bamboo Shoots

Green/Wax Beans

Bell Peppers


Zucchini/Yellow Squash


  • The next order of business is deciding your cooking method. There are many options here, but my favorites include steamed, baked, stir fried, grilled and sauteed. You can even use a variety of cooking methods at one meal. Let’s say you want to have baked chicken and sweet potatoes…all of that takes time in the oven, so while that is baking, you can saute some broccoli and green beans for some fiber and veggie action.
  • Make a grocery list and head to the store! I do my grocery shopping typically on Friday’s–but I only like to make 1 trip per week, so make sure you make a list! See my blog on The Grocery Haul  for more grocery shopping tips.
  • The best part about planning your meals is that you can make some extra for your lunches the next day! Get your spouse involved, too! We all can benefit from home cooked healthful meals.

Below are some sample meal ideas.

  1. Grilled lightly seasoned tuna, roasted red potatoes, and sauteed asparagus-veggies sauteed in canola oil or oil/fat of choice.
  2. Baked Tofu nuggets, quinoa, and sauteed mixed veggies (broccoli, mushrooms and zucchini go well together)-veggies sauteed in canola oil or oil/fat of choice.
  3. Smoked salmon, whole grain bread, avocado and spinach–open faced or as a full sandwich depending on hunger ques.
  4. Black beans, corn, sauteed zucchini, onions, spinach with avocado.
  5. Peanut butter, cooked oatmeal, walnuts, mashed banana with blueberries
  6. Greek yogurt, slivered almonds, and berries.
  7. Eggs or egg whites veggie omelette with sauteed spinach, mushrooms, and asparagus with avocado on the side.
  8. Browned, seasoned ground turkey, banza pasta, feta cheese, sauteed bell peppers, onions, and zucchini. You could add some pesto or no sugar added pasta sauce of choice.
  9. Grilled steak, baked sweet potato, and mixed greens salad with shredded carrots, raw onions, diced cucumber and 1-2 tablespoons of salad dressing of choice.
  10. Shredded chicken, brown rice, avocado and baked Brussels sprouts and steamed broccoli.
  11. Shredded chicken, avocado, BIG mixed greens salad with spinach, romaine, feta cheese, cucumbers, olives, onions, and shredded carrots.


Tip #1: Make half of your plate veggies.

Vegetables are full of fiber that promote satiety (feeling full) so you won’t be tempted to take in more calories that you need at one meal. More fiber will also likely improve digestion, too–just make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day. Vegetables also contain vital vitamins and minerals needed for physiological processes in the body, so make sure you’re eating those veggies!

Tip #2: When choosing a fat, you do not have to only choose one.

You can choose multiple fats–just be mindful of serving sizes. For example, if I want avocado and cheese on my salad, I will only use about 1/4 of the avocado and maybe 1 ounce of cheese to satisfy.

Tip #3: In prepping for the week, you do not need to cook everything on Sunday and pack it in cutesy little containers…

That can promote meal boredom and frankly may not taste as good 3 days later…my tip is to use the weekend as a food prep day instead-chop up your veggies and store them properly so they stay as fresh as possible until you’re ready to cook them. You could even place chicken breasts in a slow cooker on low for 4 hours so you have easily accessible shredded chicken to throw on salads or sandwiches for the week.

Tip #4: When cooking in bulk, make your food plain.

Let’s say you do decide to cook in bulk on Sunday for the week…cook your food plain initially, and when you add your food to your lunch containers, add in flavor of choice. For example, if I have chicken, quinoa, and broccoli for 3 lunches this week, I will cook it all at once and add different sauces to each container. Some of my favorites include coconut aminos teriyaki sauce, buffalo sauce, and pesto. This will help me fight meal boredom.

Tip #5: I already touched on this a little, but be sure to cook extra food for easy lunches for the next day.

You’re already cooking, so may as well make enough for you and your significant other to have lunch covered for the next day. Not only will it likely be a more nutrient dense option, but you will also save money by not going out to eat.


Hopefully you are feeling inspired and have some new ideas on meal planning and food prepping. I am going to challenge myself to do better in that department–and I challenge you too!

Do you have any meal planning or food prepping tips? Feel free to share!


Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

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