Triple Berry Cobbler (Refined Sugar & Flour FREE)

It’s berry season! Which means strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are typically on sale at the grocery store every.single.week and this makes me very happy!

IMG-3782

In the hot summer months, I have the luxury of owning blueberry bushes–so I can stock up on a bunch for the year! However, around this time every year, my frozen blueberry stash depletes…and I have to buy frozen or fresh at the grocery store. Luckily for me they’ve been on sale lately!

Berries are rich in antioxidants which battle the “free radicals” in the body to fight off the development of inflammation + chronic disease. Berries are also a good source of polyphenols (a naturally occurring chemical found in plants)–more specifically anthocyanins (blue/purple pigmentation in plants), micro nutrients and fiber. Studies have shown that these components are associated with improved cardiovascular health with “improved LDL oxidation, lipid peroxidation, total plasma antioxidant capacity, dyslipidemia, and glucose metabolism”. 1

There are endless ways to enjoy berries!

  • Fruit Salad
  • Homemade Fruit Salsa served with Cinnamon Pita Chips
  • Mixed Berry Smoothie
  • Mixed Berry Yogurt Parfait
  • Berries to top off an Ice Cream Sundae for dessert
  • Mixed Greens Salad + Berries
  • Berry Muffins
  • Berry Pancakes/Waffles (adding berries to the batter)
  • Banana-Berry Oatmeal 
  • Add on top of cereal
  • Eat on its own!

While berries are very enjoyable on their own, I love adding them to baked goods! Below you will find my refined sugar FREE Triple Berry Cobbler using only 3 Tablespoons of maple syrup in the whole.entire.thing to sweeten it up! Use whatever berry combination you like–I used strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. This will be the PERFECT patriotic dessert for Independence Day coming up!

  • Other Berry Options:
    • Raspberries
    • Acai Berries
    • Boysenberry
    • Elderberry
    • Black Raspberry
    • Mulberry

 

Triple Berry Cobbler

  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 3.5 cups Berries of choice (I used strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons PURE Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

Crumble Topping:

  • 1/2 cup Walnuts
  • 1/2 cup Almonds
  • 3 Tablespoons Flax Seed, ground
  • 3 Tablespoons Coconut Flakes, unsweetened
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1  teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Wash and chop strawberries. Rinse blueberries and blackberries. Add berries to a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Add cornstarch, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract and lemon juice to berries. Stir to combine well.
  4. Add berry filling to a greased baking dish. Set aside.
  5. In a high powered blender, add in all the crumble topping ingredients and blend until “crumbly” texture.
  6. Sprinkle crumble topping on top of berry filling. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until berries are bubbly.
  7. Allow to cool for at least 45 minutes to allow juices to thicken.
  8. Serve as is, with some vanilla ice cream, or whipped topping!

 

What are your favorite ways to enjoy berries?? Let me know!

 

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

References:
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068482/

Mexican Quinoa Bake

Do you ever get stuck in the same meal routine and want to mix things up? I know I do! Here are a few things I look for when it comes to building meals:

  1. Quick & Easy

    • Like most people, my husband and I both have a busy work week. After I get home and workout, I just want something fast that we both can enjoy.
  2. Nutritious

    • It would be so easy to buy convenience meals which are fine on occasion, but for our everyday meal, I want to have tons of veggies + complex carbs + healthy fats + lean protein to nourish our bodies. Especially since we are both so active, it is crucial to replenish those glycogen stores + rebuild the muscles that were torn during exercise.
  3. Satisfying

    • Bottom line: you want to be satisfied after a meal! Have enough food freedom to actually enjoy your food…listening to hunger cues to know what your body needs. I could eat a salad every night (and I do sometimes), but I would be highly unsatisfied if I ate it all the time.
  4. Cook Extras

    • My biggest time saver for you! Cook extras for lunch the next day. To be honest, if I cook everything on Sunday for my lunches + dinners for the week, I am bored by Wednesday…so that form of meal prep doesn’t work well with me. My goal is to always have veggies, grains, and meats prepped on Sunday so I can cook easily throughout the week. That way I can enjoy the same meal two or three times instead of eight times…

IMG-4108 (2)

This Mexican Quinoa Bake was a trial run for me on Sunday and I will definitely add it to my cycle menu! If you love beans + quinoa + cheese then you will LOVE this recipe. What I love about this recipe? It contains complex carbs + protein + fat all in ONE dish! All you gotta do is add a nice mixed greens salad or roasted veggies with it and you have a complete, satisfying, fiber-filled meal! As always, there are modifications you can do such as:

  • Add more veggies! I use spinach + onion in this recipe, but bell peppers, spicy peppers, mushrooms, zucchini/squash, or tomatoes would also be a great addition!
  • Skip the cheese: If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, you could always use nutritional yeast in place of cheese. *Why I like cheese in the recipe: more protein + flavor
  • Cut the recipe in half: If you are only cooking for 1, you probably won’t want to make the full 6 serving recipe.
  • Sodium: If you are watching your sodium, skip the taco seasoning and use only spices in powder form.
  • Use Different Beans: Truthfully, any bean would work well in this dish! If you wanna mix it up, you could do a mixture or sub the black beans out completely. Other bean ideas: pinto bean, garbanzo bean, kidney bean, navy bean, white bean, etc

 

Okay, now onto my original recipe 🙂

IMG-4105

Mexican Quinoa Bake

  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, dry
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 1/2 a medium sized onion
  • 1 cup of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 pack of Taco Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Valentina Hot Sauce (or hot sauce of choice)
  • 1 cup of shredded White Cheddar Cheese (3/4 cup in recipe, 1/4 cup topping)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan, add 2 cups of water + 1 cup dry quinoa and bring to a boil. Cook until quinoa has absorbed all of the water and is firm.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add quinoa, drained + rinsed black beans, onion, chopped spinach, taco seasoning, cumin, chili powder, hot sauce and black pepper. Mix well.
  4. Fold in 3/4 cup of cheese.
  5. In a lightly greased baking dish, add quinoa mixture. Top with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
  6. Serve with your favorite toppings such as: sour cream, Greek yogurt, hot sauce, salsa, green onion.
  7. Pair with  a nice mixed green salad for some extra fiber + micro nutrients + meal satisfaction.

 

I used MyFitnessPal to calculate recipe Nutrition Facts.

Nutrition Facts

Servings: 6

 
Calories 332
Total Fat 14 g
    Saturated Fat 7 g
    Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 40 mg
Sodium 656 mg
Potassium 464 mg
Total Carbohydrate 35 g
   Fiber 6 g
   Sugar 1 g
Protein 18 g
Vitamin A 20%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 34%
Iron 15%

 

Make sure you tag me in your creations ( @livebetterwithkatdetter )!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

 

Peanut Butter versus Almond Butter PLUS BONUS PB Granola Recipe

If you’re still not making homemade granola, what’s stopping you??

IMG-4041

I kid you not…it takes less than 5 minutes to whip up all the ingredients with minimal clean up! If you haven’t checked out my other two granola recipes, go take a look!

Maple-Almond Granola  

Almond Joy Granola 

All of my granola recipes have the same formula: 2 cups of oats, 1/2 cup nuts, 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed or chia seed, 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and either maple syrup or honey. Additional add ins based on preference: coconut flakes, dried fruit, chocolate chips, nut butters, etc.

This granola features one of my favorite things–peanut butter! Most recently, peanut butter has gotten a bad reputation as peanuts are not actual “nuts” but actually considered legumes. When we think nuts, our brain automatically thinks heart health, protein, and healthy fats…

Here is a comparison for you…

Almond Butter

So, as you can see…According to the USDA nutrition database, Peanut Butter and Almond Butter have very similar macronutrients: protein, total fat, and carbs.

From a micronutrients stand point, almonds are much higher in calcium, iron, and magnesium. However, peanuts have a richer source of niacin (a B vitamin important in cellular metabolism). Peanut butter is a little higher in saturated fat which has been shown to raise cholesterol levels, however, if you eat a balanced diet with plenty of fiber and limited saturated fat intake, peanut butter can fit into your healthy diet.

From a cost standpoint, natural peanut butter is a lot cheaper than almond butter. A 16 ounce jar of natural peanut butter (containing only peanuts + salt) costs about ~$2.50 (in North Carolina, prices may vary depending on grocery stores/states). For an 8 ounce jar of natural almond butter (containing only almonds + salt), it costs around ~$5.00 (in North Carolina, prices may vary depending on grocery stores/states). You get half the amount for double the price. While I do love almond butter, peanut butter is more affordable for me to consume on the regular. I’ll save the almond butter for special occasions! 🙂

 

Peanut Butter Granola

  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 3 Tablespoon Natural Peanut Butter (or sub nut butter of choice)
  • 2 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Mix oats, chopped walnuts, and chia seeds in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add coconut oil + peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for ~10 seconds or until coconut oil melts.
  4. Add oil + PB to oat mixture.
  5. Add maple syrup and mix well.
  6. Pour granola mixture onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  8. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.
  9. Store in air tight container.
  10. Enjoy with yogurt, fruit, smoothie bowls, or plain!

Regardless which nut butter you choose on the regular, know that they are both appropriate choices for a balanced, healthful diet. Pro Tip: Choose the natural nut butters that contain only nuts + salt (or no salt); many nut butters contain added sugars.

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

References:
  1. Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — NATURAL CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER, UPC: 011110016492. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45098931fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=natural+peanut+butter&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing= [Accessed 10 Jun. 2019].
  2. Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER SPREAD, UPC: 041318210453. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45214016fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=natural+peanut++butter&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing= [Accessed 10 Jun. 2019].
  3. Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — ALMOND BUTTER, UPC: 858864004029. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45059935fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=almond+butter&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing= [Accessed 10 Jun. 2019].

“Un-Cheese” Dip (Without the Cheese!)

Cheese is one of my favorite things (next to chocolate), and I probably eat some form of cheese most days of the week…cheddar, feta, mozzarella, bleu…I love them all!

One thing my husband and I love to do is order queso at a Mexican restaurant…I have no self control! We don’t do this very often, but when we do, I eat too much and usually feel bloated, wishing I had enjoyed it in moderation versus licking the bowl…

While I am not vegan, I do enjoy switching out animal based foods with plant based foods wherever I can! This recipe uses raw cashews, nutritional yeast, peppers, and tahini to create a similar alternative to dairy cheese dip.

IMG-3953

What’s Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a vegetarian dietary supplement rich in vitamin B-12 with a faint cheesy flavor–similar to Parmesan. It is a single-cell organism grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried with heat to make the yeast inactive (meaning it has no leavening properties).  According to the USDA Nutrition Database, 1/4 cup serving contains 60 calories, 8 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber and numerous vitamins and minerals including iron, niacin, vitamin B 12, and other B vitamins. Nutritional yeast is one of the few plant-based sources containing vitamin B 12 without fortification.

IMG-3948.JPG

What I love about this dip?

A typical serving of traditional queso at a restaurant is 2 tablespoons with 60 calories, 4 grams of fat (mostly saturated fat), 3 grams of protein and no fiber.

Traditional Queso Nutrition Facts (according to MyFitnessPal)

Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons
Calories 60
Total Fat 4 g
Sodium 200 mg
Total Carbohydrate 2 g
   Fiber 0 g
   Sugar 2 g
Protein 3 g

Vitamin A: 2%   Calcium: 8%

IMG-3954

My “Un-Cheese” Vegan Cheese Dip has just 64 calories per 1/2 cup serving with 3 grams of fat (mostly unsaturated, heart healthy fats), 3 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber. What a nutritional win!

  “Un-Cheese” Nutrition Facts (Tracked in MyFitnessPal)

Servings: 8 servings Serving Size: ½ cup
Calories 64
Total Fat 3 g
Sodium 149 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8 g
    Fiber 1 g
    Sugar 2 g
Protein 3 g

Vitamin A: 9%   Vitamin C: 20%   Calcium: 3%   Iron: 5%

 

You can eat over twice the amount of traditional queso when swapping to “Un-Cheese” dip with less saturated fat, sodium and more fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Iron. It’s a nutritional win!

You can get the full PRINTABLE recipe below. Make sure you tag me @livebetterwithkatdetter in you creations!

 

Un-Cheese Dip

  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1-4 ounce jar of pimentos
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs tahini
  • 1 can (15 ounce) of Rotel (I use mild because my palate is weak) 🙂
  • 2 cups of water, divided

Directions:

  1. Soak cashews in 1/2 cup of water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. After cashews have been soaked, add them to a high powered blender with pimentos, nutritional yeast, salt, onion powder, cornstarch, lemon juice, tahini, Rotal, and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of water.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add mixture to a sauce pan and simmer for ~10 minutes until un-cheese gets bubbly and thick.
  5. Serve with fresh veggies or your favorite dipping chip! Would also be good on salads and tacos.
  6. Enjoy!

 

I hope you love this dip as much as I do! While enjoying “the real stuff” is good every now and then, finding healthier, more nutrient dense options THAT TASTE GOOD is the way to go.

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

 

 

 

References:
  1. Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — LARGE FLAKE NUTRITIONAL YEAST, UPC: 039978025463. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45360902 [Accessed 6 Jun. 2019].
  2. Myfitnesspal.com. (2019). Calorie Chart, Nutrition Facts, Calories in Food | MyFitnessPal | MyFitnessPal.com. [online] Available at: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/mexican-cheese-dip-441450166 [Accessed 6 Jun.
  3. Myfitnesspal.com. (2019). Free Calorie Counter, Diet & Exercise Journal | MyFitnessPal.com. [online] Available at: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/view/67379228593837 [Accessed 6 Jun. 2019].

“WOW” Dance Fitness Choreography

Y’all know I LOVE all forms of exercise from running to HIIT to DANCE!

I’ve been instructing Zumba (instructor since 2014) and involved in dance fitness aerobics classes for 8 years. Dancing is honestly one of my favorite forms of cardio, so I hope you like the dance!

I  choreographed this warm up dance to “WOW” by Post Malone. **I DO NOT OWN RIGHTS TO THIS MUSIC. Used for instructional uses only.**

In my classes, I typically use this dance as a warm up, “breather” dance, or cool down. Feel free to use it in your classes, too OR dance on your own at home before your workout.

 

Special thanks to my friend, Bre, for dancing with me 🙂

If you’re in the Morganton, NC area and would like to try my Dance Fitness/Zumba class, come check out Peak Performance (150 Fiddlers Run Blvd, Morganton, NC 28655).

 

What’s your favorite form of cardio? Let me know!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter on IG, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube

Going Plant Based: Tofu

If you’re looking for another #meatlessmonday meal idea, look no further! This Ginger Tofu Stir Fry is SO good that you won’t miss that meat!

IMG-3967

Tofu is a bean curd made from soybeans used mainly in Asian and vegetarian cuisines. I was about 10 years old the first time I tried tofu and I HATED it…I didn’t like the texture, consistency, or taste…

Fast forward ~14 years and it is one of my favorite protein sources–and I truly believe it is all in how you prepare it. My favorite kind of tofu is extra firm which is found in most grocery stores. The key is straining the liquid out as much as possible. My most used method is placing the tofu block in a clean dish towel (or paper towels) and wedging between 2 small plates. For time effectiveness, I add a heavy canned food item on top to really squeeze out the excess moisture. I let this sit for at least 30 minutes to get as much water out as possible.

Once the moisture is out of the tofu, I cut it up and place it in my marinade. Adding 1 tablespoon of cornstarch really makes a difference in cooking tofu as well–it gives it a crunchier texture after its  been baked.

What’s good about tofu?

According to the USDA nutrition database, a 1/2 cup serving of tofu contains 94 calories, ~10 grams of protein, ~6 grams of fat, 2.32 grams of carbohydrates, 0.4 grams of fiber and numerous minerals including calcium and iron. While animal protein is a fine choice, tofu is lower in calories, saturated fat and contains fiber (which no animal protein source contains). A 2017 study published in Current Developments in Nutrition concluded that consuming ~3% less animal protein and replacing it with plant protein potentially results in 19% lower risk of death from a chronic illness. Incorporating more plant based proteins (and foods) into your diet may help decrease development of chronic diseases resulting in longevity.

 

On to the meal recipe! This Ginger Tofu Stir fry can be whipped up in no time as long as you have your ingredients prepped! Biggest tip: cut up all your veggies ahead of time so you can just throw it all into the wok.

IMG-3964

Ginger Tofu Stir Fry

  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Marinade:

  • 1 block of Extra Firm Tofu
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoon Ginger Dressing (I used Makoto’s brand-only 1 gram sugar per 2 T)
  • 1 Tablespoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground Black Pepper

Stir Fry:

  • 1.5 cups of Asparagus (washed and chopped)
  • 1 cup of Broccoli florets (washed)
  • 2 medium Zucchini (washed and chopped into half moons)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter (or oil of choice)
  • 1/4 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce

Directions:

  1. Squeeze out excess moisture from tofu (directions found above in blog post). Let sit for 30 minutes. Cut tofu block into cubes.
  2. Put tofu in mixing bowl and add cornstarch, ginger dressing, low sodium soy sauce and black pepper. Stir and let sit for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 15 minutes on each side.
  4. In the meantime, stir fry your veggies using a wok. Add butter and garlic to wok. Add asparagus in first (as it takes longest to cook). Then add broccoli and water, cover and allow to steam until tender. Add zucchini last, uncover to let moisture evaporate.
  5. Add low sodium soy sauce and let simmer.
  6. Add baked ginger tofu to stir fry. Serve over brown rice + cauliflower rice, or your favorite starch.
  7. Enjoy!

You can truly make this meal versatile by adding different veggies to it.

Some other suggestions:

  • bell pepper
  • mushrooms
  • onion
  • water chestnuts
  • baby corn
  • squash
  • cauliflower
  • bamboo shoots
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • bok choy

This meal is 100% hubs approved, so try it for your family the next time you wanna incorporate some plant based proteins! This recipe makes great left overs, too! 🙂

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

 

 

References:
  1. Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — Tofu, raw, regular, prepared with calcium sulfate. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show?ndbno=16427 [Accessed 3 Jun. 2019].
  2. Monique Tello, M. (2019). Eat more plants, fewer animals – Harvard Health Blog. [online] Harvard Health Blog. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eat-more-plants-fewer-animals-2018112915198 [Accessed 3 Jun. 2019].
  3. Micha, R., Peñalvo, J., Cudhea, F., Imamura, F., Rehm, C. and Mozaffarian, D. (2019). Association Between Dietary Factors and Mortality From Heart Disease, Stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes in the United States.