THE BEST Black Bean Brownies

Hey, hey, friends! I’m so excited to share this recipe with you!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’ve posted a couple of “bean” brownie recipes…they can be found below:

Sweet Potato Black Bean Brownies
Chickpea Brownies
Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

However, because I love to experiment in the kitchen…I’ve created THE BEST black bean brownie recipe, and I just have to share. These are by far my favorite, and they happen to be refined sugar free!

THE BEST Black Bean Brownies

Well, kind of. Other than the dark chocolate chips (which the kind I used does have some added sugar), these babies are sweetened with dates. I love dates because they are high in fiber, various vitamins & minerals and completely satisfy my sweet tooth.

Other ways to enjoy dates:
While I highly encourage you to make these black bean brownies, there are many ways to enjoy this delicious fruit. Below are some ideas!
Healthier Chocolate Turtles
Vegan Raspberry Tart 
5 Ingredient Cookie Dough Bites
Add to any baked good
Chop & add to oatmeal
Stuff with peanut butter
Stuff with 3-4 dark chocolate chips
Add to smoothies
Enjoy PLAIN!

There are so many ways to enjoy dates, but using dates as the sweetener in these brownies really gives them a nice, fudgy texture and sweet flavor. Find the recipe below! Be sure to tag me in your creationg on social media! 🙂

 

THE BEST Black Bean Brownies

  • Servings: 12 brownies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained & rinsed
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
10 pitted dates
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (plus more for topping)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray baking dish with non stick spray or line with parchment paper.
2. In a high speed blender or food processor, add drained black beans + oats + applesauce +  pitted dates + eggs + cocoa powder + baking soda + baking powder + salt. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour brownie batter into a mixing bowl and add dark chocolate chips. Mix well.
4. Add brownie batter to greased or parchment paper lined baking dish. Top with more chocolate if desired.
5. Bake at 350 F degrees for 20-25 minutes.
6. Allow brownies to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Store in the refrigerator.

Additional add ins:
Walnuts or Pecans
Peanut Butter Swirl
Coconut Flakes
Sprinkles

 

Remember! If you’d like to receive my email newsletters for more easy + balanced eating ideas & food freedom tips, subscribe here! Tell your friends 🙂

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
IG: @balanced.nutrition.dietitian
FB: Live Better with Kat Detter
Tik Tok: @katrina.detter.rd
Twitter: @katrinadetterRD

 

 

Healthier Chocolate Turtles

Chocolate, caramel, nutty chewiness-ahh, the pure joy of a chocolate turtle!

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’m thinking all things chocolate-including my healthier chocolate turtles!

healthier chocolate truffles using dates as the caramel layer. Perfect healthier sweet treat

Now, I can’t take all of the credit. This past Christmas, my aunt made something very similar and I was amazed! Essentially refined sugar free, these turtles contain whole pecan halves, pureed dates, and dark chocolate to make the perfect sweet treat.

livebetterwithkatdetter.com

Healthier Desserts and Intuitive Eating?
These little dessert bites are refined sugar free and loaded with fiber and antioxidants, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy something with a little more sugar on occasion, too! With intuitive eating, you use gentle nutrition to guide your food choices based on what makes your body FEEL its best. Personally, I feel my best when I eat whole foods and low amounts of refined sugars, but I definitely enjoy a double dark chocolate fudge brownie from time to time. 🙂 Read all about intuitive eating here. It is 100% okay to choose a “healthier” choice for dessert…it all boils down to your relationship with food and your reasoning for food choices. 

Why Dates:
Dates are a great way to naturally sweeten your baked goods, energy bites, oatmeal, or just to treat your sweet tooth.

While these babies are perfect to satisfy a sweet craving, they are also very nutritious. Dates are good sources of fiber and antioxidants, making them great for digestion and fighting against chronic diseases. I recommend buying the medjool dates because they have a better texture and flavor than other pre-packaged pitted dates. PSA: Aldi has GREAT prices on medjool dates 🙂 

On to the recipe!

healthier chocolate truffles using dates as the caramel layer. Perfect healthier sweet treat
healthier chocolate truffles using dates as the caramel layer. Perfect healthier sweet treat

Healthier Chocolate Turtles

  • Servings: 18-20 turtles
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
18 Medjool dates (soak in warm water for 30 minutes)
warm water to thin (use as needed, about 1/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecan halves (~50 pecan half pieces)
3 ounces dark chocolate (or any other chocolate you like)
1 teaspoon coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Soak dates in warm water for at least 30 minutes. This will help soften the dates making them easier to puree.
  2. Remove the pit from the dates. Add pitted dates to high powered blender or food processor.
  3. Add warm water (as needed, using a little at a time), cinnamon and vanilla. Puree dates until smooth yet sticky consistency. *you want the puree to be thick so you can spoon on top of pecan halves. Set aside.

    healthier chocolate truffles using dates as the caramel layer. Perfect healthier sweet treat
    Puree dates, pecan halves, dark chocolate
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place clusters of pecans down (2 or 3 pecan halves per turtle).
  5. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the date mixture on top of the pecan clusters. Once dates are on top of pecans, freeze for at least 30 minutes.

    healthier chocolate truffles using dates as the caramel layer. Perfect healthier sweet treat
    2-3 pecan halves clustered with 1 tablespoon date puree on top. Freeze for at least 30 minutes
  6. While dates are freezing, melt chocolate. In a microwave safe bowl, add chocolate and coconut oil. Melt in microwave at 30 second intervals (stirring in between to prevent burning) until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

    healthier chocolate truffles using dates as the caramel layer. Perfect healthier sweet treat
    Top with melted dark chocolate or any other chocolate you prefer
  7. Remove pecans + dates from freezer. Spoon/drizzle dark chocolate ontop of each cluster. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

*Note: these turtles store well in the freezer! Make a batch and freeze for later day when you want a sweet treat!

 

What a perfect way to treat your Valentine (or Galentine)! No matter what sweet treat you choose to celebrate with, take time to enjoy this special time with your loved ones.

 

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Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
FB: Live Better with Kat Detter
IG: @balanced.nutrition.dietitian

Peanut Butter Granola (Refined Sugar Free + Gluten Free +Vegan)

Do you love granola?? I do! It’s one of my favorite foods to have at breakfast in a smoothie or yogurt parfait. And what’s better?? It’s so easy and affordable to make.

If one of your goals is to make more foods from scratch, meal prep/plan, or just cook more at home, this peanut butter granola recipe NEEDS to be on your list. I know I have shared lots of granola recipes on here, but trust me. This one is the best yet!

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Lots of store bought granola’s can be high in fat and sugar. This recipe uses 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to help bind the ingredients to make a good, chunky granola (they’re my fave!). Other fat sources are found in natural peanut butter–a heart healthy fat to keep your hormones happy and your body fueled for the day. Instead of traditional granulated sugar, I use maple syrup and monk fruit sweetener. The maple syrup also adds a binding agent to the granola ensuring we get those chunks we want!

Why Monk Fruit Sweetener?
Have you ever heard of monk fruit? Since the Keto Diet emerged, monk fruit sweetener has been “on trend” because research shows it does not spike blood sugar like table sugar, making it a good alternative sweetener for those with diabetes, PCOS, or other chronic diseases. According to Michigan State University, monk fruit sweetener is derived from a southeast Asian fruit called “luo han gu” and is chemically processed (usually combined with eryitritol) to form a calorie free sugar alternative. Like stevia, monk fruit sweetener is a lot sweeter than regular cane sugar, so you can use less in a recipe (although most packaging companies state monk fruit has a 1:1 ratio with table sugar).

**Disclaimer: While I do like using naturally derived sweeteners (like maple syrup, honey, stevia, sugar alcohols, monk fruit, etc) because I can use less in a recipe compared to table sugar, I also believe that all foods can fit into a healthy lifestyle when not used in excess. I would not recommend someone use any of these alternatives in excess but to focus more on whole, natural, plant based foods.

Now onto the recipe! 
This peanut butter granola recipe is comparable to my favorite store bought brand, but I like making granola from scratch because it’s economical, easy, and minimal ingredients.

A few tips to keep in mind:

  • If you do not have monk fruit sweetener, no fear! Use 1/3-1/2 cup of maple syrup (instead of 1/4 cup) to give the granola the sweetness + binding factor for the chunky granola
  • Feel free to use any oil you have on hand–I like using coconut or avocado oil (high smoke point to decrease production of free radicals).
  • To make granola chunky: Pack the granola into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick on parchment paper lined sheet pan. If the granola is not packing well, you may need to add more maple syrup or coconut oil. Bake at 325 F for 20-25 minutes, take out of oven and allow to cool completely. This is a crucial step to make the granola chunks.
  • Additional add ins: Once granola is cooled, you may add any toppings you like! Some ideas:
    • dark chocolate chips
    • raisins (or any dried fruit)
    • chia seeds
    • nuts (cashews, peanuts, almonds, etc)
    •  freeze dried fruit (like strawberries or apples)
  • To make a complete & balanced meal, add granola to protein smoothie bowls, Greek yogurt parfaits, or protein oats.

IMG-5681

Peanut Butter Granola

  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon of coconut oil
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup monk fruit sweetener
1/4 cup Maple Syrup (or 1/3-1/2 cup of not using monk  fruit)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add oats. Set aside.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, add cinnamon, vanilla extract, coconut oil, peanut butter, monk fruit, and maple syrup. Microwave for 30-45 seconds until smooth–OR heat over stove top.
4. Pour peanut butter mixture over oats and coat well.
5. Pour granola mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. For chunks, press granola into a rectangle, 1/4 inch thick.
6. Bake at 325 F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Allow granola to cool completely (1 hour).
8. Break granola into chunks and store in air tight container.
9. Enjoy!

 

What is your favorite flavor of granola? Let me know in the comments section! As always, tag me on IG @balanced.nutrition.dietitian if you try!

Remember! If you’d like to receive my email newsletters for more easy + balanced eating ideas & food freedom tips, subscribe here! Tell your friends 🙂

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
IG: @balanced.nutrition.dietitian
FB: Live Better with Kat Detter
Twitter: @katrinadetterRD

 

Sources:

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/sweetener-stevia-monk-fruit-sweeteners

Lower Sugar Cranberry Sauce

Happy [almost] Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays mainly because of the flavors! Pass me the sweet potato casserole, cornbread dressing, and my personal fave–cranberry sauce!

Growing up, every year I’d help my mom make our family’s traditional “Cranberry Salad” which consisted of cranberries, raspberry jello, mandarin oranges, apples, crushed pineapple, and pecans–delish!

While I still enjoy that dish from time to time, I enjoy this healthier version just as much, AND I can enjoy it all cranberry-season long, which lasts from mid-September to mid-November.

Cranberry Facts:

Have you ever heard that drinking cranberry juice can help treat UTI’s? According to US News dietitian Julie Upton,   cranberries contain a special polyphenol called  proanthocyanidins that interfere with certain strains of bacteria–meaning they may help treat urinary tract infections. In addition to that, cranberries are also a great source of antioxidants and fiber, making them great for digestion!

Cranberries are also naturally low in sugar (which is why they are so dang bitter!). Most products require some sort of sweetener to make these berries palatable. In my recipe inspired by Cookie + Kate, I use 1/3 cup of maple syrup, chopped apple, and fresh orange juice to sweeten it up a bit.

Ways to enjoy cranberry sauce:

  • Toast with cream cheese + cranberry sauce
  • Top yogurt + cranberry sauce
  • Mix in oatmeal
  • Eat it by the spoonful!

IMG-5570

Lower Sugar Cranberry Sauce

  • Servings: 6-8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 chopped apple (I used Pink Lady)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 zest of an orange
  • Juice of a whole orange

Directions:

  1. Pick through and wash cranberries.
  2. In a medium sized sauce pan, add cranberries, maple syrup and water. Bring to boil. Cook berries for 5-10 minutes until all berries have popped.
    IMG-5565
  3. Add in chopped apple, cinnamon, orange zest and orange juice. Stir together.
    IMG-5566
  4. Allow to cool. Cranberry sauce will thicken the more it cools.

 

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Let me know in the comments!

 

Be sure to tag me on social media in all of your creations using #livebetterwithkatdetter or @live.better.with.katdetter.

If you’d like to receive my FREE Monthly Wellness Newsletters, subscribe here! 

*What is this Monthly Newsletter? Every month is different, but they are all nutrition based and wellness oriented including in season foods, past relevant blog posts, fun food finds, and spiritual insight. 🙂

 

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
IG: @live.better.with.katdetter
Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter

 

 

 

 

Sources:
https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/2016-06-16/10-surprising-facts-about-cranberries

 

 

Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Tahini Cookies

Happy Holiday Season!

This is my favorite time of the year for many reasons…cooler weather, colorful leaves, fun outdoor activities, holiday baking, festive flavors…

This recipe is no exception! Combining two things I love the most: pumpkin and dark chocolate! Pumpkin is still in full swing in the Detter household, and today I’m sharing my Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Tahini Cookie recipe.

Essentially, this recipe is like my original Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe except I substitute pumpkin puree in place of smashed banana. Pumpkin puree and banana can be used in recipes to swap out oil. Banana adds an extra sweetness to the cookie while pumpkin gives the cookie a little more flavor–which is perfect for this time of the year!

Nutrition Benefits?
Dark chocolate is a powerful antioxidant, tahini is a heart healthy fat, oatmeal and almond flour adds extra vitamins + minerals + fiber, and pumpkin is rich in beta carotene (an antioxidant) making these cookies a wholesome + nourishing treat for the whole family to enjoy. Make as your Thanksgiving dessert or keep around the house during this holiday season! See full video tutorial below.

 

 

FULL Printable Recipe Below

IMG_5463

Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Tahini Cookies

  • Servings: 22 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup maple syrup (pure)
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. In a mixing bowl, add oat flour, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix well. Set aside.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, add egg (or sub flax egg if vegan), maple syrup, tahini, and pumpkin puree. Mix well.
4. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
5. Fold in chocolate chips.
6. On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, scoop cookie dough onto cookie sheet.
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
8. Enjoy!

Baking is one of my all time favorite ways to get in the holiday spirit. What’s yours? Let me know in the comments section or on social media!

Be sure to tag me on social media in all of your creations using #livebetterwithkatdetter or @live.better.with.katdetter.

If you’d like to receive my FREE Monthly Wellness Newsletters, subscribe here! 

*What is this Monthly Newsletter? Every month is different, but they are all nutrition based and wellness oriented including in season foods, past relevant blog posts, fun food finds, and spiritual insight. 🙂

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
FB: Live Better with Kat Detter
IG: @live.better.with.katdetter

 

Homemade Apple Pie

Happy Fall, y’all!

I am taking a break from #allthingspumpkin and experimented in the kitchen with homemade apple pie! When it comes to pie, what is your favorite: apple, pecan, or pumpkin?

With holidays right around the corner, I decided to get in the kitchen and make a more nourishing pie with the same flavor and deliciousness. Finding healthier alternatives to my favorite treats is one of my favorite things!

I adapted my pie crust from @livelytable and it did not disappoint. Essentially you could use about any type of flour, but I chose 100% whole wheat flour for some extra fiber + B vitamins + nutrients.

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Tip for the pie crust: The recipe calls to use a food processor, but I used my Vitamix and it worked perfectly. This recipe makes 2 pie crusts that last in the fridge up to 3 days before use. If you are vegan or do not care for  butter, feel free to use coconut oil.

I chose to peel my apples BUT there are TONS of nutrients in the apple peeling-fiber, vitamins and minerals…you can keep the peeling or save it for a smoothie.

Okay, onto the recipe!

IMG-5162

Homemade Apple Pie

  • Servings: 8 slices
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Pie Crust Ingredients:
2 cups 100% Whole Wheat Flour
2/3 cup (12 T) cold butter, cubed
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold water

Filling Ingredients:
4 large apples (I used Fuji & Pink Lady)
1/4 cup Maple Syrup-pure
1 T Lemon Juice
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 T whole wheat flour

Pie Crust Directions:
1. Using a food processor or high powered blender, pulse flour, butter, and salt until crumbly (or pea shaped form).
2. Add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until flour meets dough-like texture.
3. Form dough into 2 equal shaped disks. Refrigerate up to 3 days or go ahead and roll out and form crust into a pie pan.
4. Bake at 375 F for 10 minutes.

Filling Directions:
1. Peel apples if desired. Slice apples to desired size.
2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add peeled + sliced apples, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla extract, cinnamon and flour. Mix well. Set aside.

Assemble Pie:
1. Allow baked pie crust to cool for about 5 minutes.
2. Add apple pie filling.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, keeping an eye on pie.
4. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and ENJOY. 

*TIP: if you’d like a more “goopy” pie, use a tart apple like Granny Smith and cook for about 30-45 minutes. I will experiment with this method soon!! 😊

 

Let me know in the comments section or on my social media pages what YOUR favorite pie is! I’d love to know!

If you’d like to receive my FREE Monthly Wellness Newsletters, subscribe here! 

*What is this Monthly Newsletter? Every month is different, but they are all nutrition based and wellness oriented including in season foods, past relevant blog posts, fun food finds, and spiritual insight. 🙂

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
@livebetterwithkatdetter

Pumpkin Spice Granola

Who else is still on a pumpkin kick? You know I am!

Y’all know I love me some granola, and if you haven’t checked out my other granola recipes, you can find them linked below:

Maple-Almond Granola

Almond Joy Granola

BUT since it’s pumpkin season, I made my version of pumpkin spice granola and honestly–it’s my favorite homemade granola recipe yet! I hope y’all love it as much as I do! Make sure you tag me in all of your creations: @livebetterwithkatdetter

Fun Pumpkin Facts: 
Did you know that pumpkin can be used to replace butter or oil in baked goods? You heard me right!
Subbing pumpkin for butter in a recipe: For 1 cup of butter, use 3/4 cup of PURE pumpkin puree
Subbing pumpkin for oil in a recipe: For 1 cup of oil, use 1 cup of PURE pumpkin puree (1:1 ratio)

Pumpkin is also high in fiber which many Americans do not consume enough of daily. Fiber aids in digestion, promotes heart health, and controls blood sugars. Make your “treats” more nourishing by using pumpkin!

Other ways to incorporate pumpkin:
Add pumpkin puree to Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey
Make pumpkin muffins or scones
Mix 1-2 Tablespoons into coffee with 1 teaspoon of maple syrup
Make a savory sauce with pumpkin + light cream + Parmesan cheese
Combine pumpkin + ricotta cheese + herbs + spices and use as a filling for lasagna
Make a pumpkin smoothie

Okay, now onto the granola!

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Pumpkin Spice Granola

  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

2 cups old fashioned oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1 T chia seeds or ground flax
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/8-1/4 cup maple syrup (depending on how sweet ya like it!)
1/2 can PURE pumpkin 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Mix oats, spices and chia/flax together. In a saucepan, heat coconut oil, maple syrup and pumpkin until melted and combined together.
  3. Mix pumpkin mixture into oats.
  4. Once well incorporated, add to a parchment paper lined baking dish.
  5. For granola clusters, spread granola evenly and firmly pack oat mixture onto baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Allow granola mixture to cool for an hour, then break into chunks.
    **NOTE: If granola is too moist, bake for an additional 10-20 minutes at 200 F to take out excess moisture.
  7. Enjoy on a top of yogurt, in a smoothie bowl, or plain!
  8. Additional/optional add ons once granola is cooled:
    Dark chocolate chips/chunks
    Pumpkin seeds
    Raisins
    Dried cranberries
    Freeze dried fruit

 

What other fall recipes would you like me to try? Let me know in the comments here or on my social media accounts!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
@livebetterwithkatdetter