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.

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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

Kat’s Kitchen: Refined Flour & Sugar Free Blueberry Muffins

Reminiscing over blueberry season…luckily for me, I stocked up at the blueberry farm this past summer, so I have tons of frozen berries to put to good use.

…And so I am sharing my refined flour, refined sugar, and artificial sweetener FREE blueberry muffins. You guys, I am not kidding…these are the BEST muffins I have ever made. You gotta try them!

In this recipe, I use several of my baking hacks from last week’s blog–check it out here. 

Below is a step-by-step recipe demonstration video to show you how simple this recipe is. Enjoy muffins for breakfast or a mid-day snack! Full, printable recipe below video.

 

 

Refined Flour & Sugar Free Blueberry Muffins

  • Servings: 10 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened original almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  •  1 cup frozen blueberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mash 1 ripe banana in mixing bowl. Add almond milk, vanilla, unsweetened applesauce, and maple syrup and combine well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, oat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and unsweetened coconut flakes. Tip: I used whole almonds & old fashioned oats and blended until flour-like consistency–it is cheaper than purchasing pre-ground at the grocery store.
  4. Combine wet & dry ingredients and mix–try not to over-mix to prevent tunneling (air pockets in muffin).
  5. Fold in blueberries.
  6. Spoon in 2 tablespoons in greased muffin tins.
  7. Top with extra blueberries and coconut flakes.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. ***Muffins are done when cooked all the way through.
  9. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  10. Enjoy for breakfast or mid-day snack!

 

I hope you all are enjoying the cooking demos. Cooking, baking, and developing recipes are therapeutic for me, so I want to share my passions with you! Don’t forget to tag me in your creations!

 

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

 

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

YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter