Fresh Pico de Gallo

With summer just around the corner and gardens beginning to produce an abundance of fresh veggies and herbs, I decided to share my pico de gallo recipe.  Summer is the season of cookouts, BBQ’s, and grilling, and I guarantee this salsa will be a crowd favorite.

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About a year ago, I learned how to make this pico from a coworker who is from Guatemala.  I never made fresh pico de gallo before, and I was surprised that I liked it because I am not a big fan of tomatoes or cilantro…but combined with limes, jalepeno, and onion, this fresh pico is addictive.

And of course, pico de gallo is naturally nutritious! Tomatoes contain lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant (fights free radicals in the body to prevent  cancer and chronic diseases), onion (high in fiber, vitamin C, folate and potassium), cilantro (vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, fiber), and lime (vitamin C).

Full, FREE printable recipe below and make sure to tag @livebetterwithkatdetter and use #livebetterwithkatdetter in your creations!

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Fresh Pico de Gallo

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

Ingredients:

  • 4 Roma Tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 Vidalia Onion, diced
  • 2 Jalepenos, seeded + diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 Limes, juiced
  • Salt + Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash produce. Thinly slice and dice Roma tomatoes (I also de-seeded tomatoes, completely optional). Add to serving bowl.
  2. Dice 1/2 vidalia onion and add to tomatoes in serving bowl.
  3. Slice jalepenos in half. Using a spoon, scoop out jalepeno seeds (you may keep the seeds if you want extra heat). Dice peppers and add to tomatoes + onion in serving bowl.
  4. Finely chop fresh cilantro and add to other ingredients in serving bowl.
  5. Juice 3 limes into ingredient bowl.
  6. Add salt + pepper to taste.
  7. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight to enhance the flavors.
  8. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or fresh veggies.

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Tikki approves, too! 🙂 I hope you all enjoy this fresh summer recipe! The leftovers are perfect for work lunches, too!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

Inside My Herb Garden: Basil

This is my first year cultivating an herb garden! Mind you, it is a super small scale herb garden, but I am so excited to have fresh herbs to add to my dishes.

I have various kinds of herbs in my garden, but today I want to highlight basil. I have THREE types of basil in my garden right now: sweet basil, Thai basil and purple basil.

 

Sweet Basil

Arguably the most popular form of basil, sweet basil is well known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties–making this herb perfect for anti-aging and decreasing chances of chronic diseases. This flavorful herb is used in many different cuisines but primarily known for Italian cooking such as pesto, bruschetta, caprese and various pasta dishes.

Sweet basil is rich in vitamin A (eye + skin health), vitamin K (healthy gut microbe), vitamin C (antioxidant + wound healing + immunity), magnesium (aids in metabolism), iron (transports oxygen), potassium (aids blood pressure), and calcium (cardiac function + blood clotting + strong bones). Adding a few fresh leaves of basil to your dishes will not only add freshness but will also boost the nutritional content of your meal.

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Thai Basil

Have you ever gone to a Thai restaurant and ordered a “Basilia” dish? You might be eating Thai Basil! Just like the name states, Thai Basil is an herb used in most Southeast Asia cuisines–especially Thai. Infused in many curries, sauteed with meats and veggies, or simply used for a garnish, Thai Basil is mildly sweet with a little more of a bitter, licorice-like bold flavor than sweet basil. In most recipes, Thai Basil can be substituted for sweet basil, making them interchangeable.

The nutrition profile of Thai Basil is similar to that of sweet basil being rich in vitamin A (eye + skin health) and vitamin C (antioxidant + wound healing + immunity) as well as vitamin E (antioxidant + skin health).

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Purple Basil

In all honesty, I had never heard of purple basil until I planted it in my garden! The deep, rich purple color is a nice accent to my other herbs, and it smells divine–quite similar to other basil family members. While there are similarities of this herb to other basil plants, this herb is more earthy, less sweet, and comparable to the flavor of cloves. Purple basil is primarily used for infusing oils and vinegar as well as garnishing dishes.

This herb is nutritionally comparable to other basil, meaning it is high in anti-aging and anti-cancer properties. In general, purple plants are high in anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that may offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits.

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Incorporating basil into diet ideas:

  • make your own homemade basil pesto (traditionally made with olive oil +pine nuts + basil)
  • toss with other mixed greens + veggies for a salad
  • homemade salad dressing using fresh or dried basil
  • saute with veggies
  • add to pasta dishes
  • top fresh pizza
  • caprese salad with mozzarella balls + fresh basil + grape tomatoes all tossed in olive oil
  • combine with watermelon + feta for a refreshing summer salad
  • make a panini with fresh basil + mozzarella + tomato
  • freshen your water with basil + lemon
  • infuse olive oil with purple basil for a strong, aromatic flavor

 

As summer approaches and my garden starts producing large quantities of herbs, I will share some of my favorite recipes and harvesting hacks–this is all new to me, so I will be learning along the way! If you have any harvesting tips or tricks for me, comment below or contact me here. 

 

 

What is your favorite way to use basil?

 

 

 

Until Next Time,

 Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

 

 

References:
  1. Karen Gill, M. (2019). Basil: Uses, benefits and nutrition. [online] Medical News Today. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266425.php [Accessed 1 May 2019].
  2. Anon, (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.nutriliving.com/foods/thai-basil [Accessed 1 May 2019].
  3.  I Love Gardening. (2019). All About Purple Basil. [online] Available at: https://www.igardenplanting.com/all-about-purple-basil/ [Accessed 1 May 2019].

 

Bunny Pancakes

It wouldn’t be a holiday if I didn’t post a bunch of festive favorites 🙂 Today I am sharing my PERFECTED pancake recipe–they’re fluffy, golden, cook perfectly, and don’t crumble when trying to flip!

The best part? These pancakes taste like regular pancakes BUT are filled with fiber and protein! Score.

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Simply make the pancakes and top with a ball of shredded coconut for the “bunny tail” and use sliced banana and chopped walnuts for the bunny feet. Your family will love these this weekend!

Full printable recipe listed below–tag me in your creations! @livebetterwithkatdetter

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  • Servings: 10 pancakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup PLAIN Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
  • 1-2 tablespoons almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Coconut oil (for griddle)

Directions:

  1. Preheat griddle to 350 degrees.
  2. In a high powered blender, blend oats and almonds until flour like consistency.
  3. Add flour to mixing bowl and mix in salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, add eggs, Greek yogurt, almond milk, and vanilla.
  5. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Add more almond milk as needed to reach desired consistency.
  6. Grease griddle with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Add 1/4 pancake batter to griddle (cooking 3-4 pancakes at a time.)
  7. When pancake begins to bubble, flip and cook on the other side (about 3 minutes each).
  8. Serve with your favorite toppings!

 

 

Get a little festive this weekend and make your pancakes into little bunnies! You’re family is going to love them!

HAPPY EASTER!
Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

FB & Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter

IG: @livebetterwithkatdetter

HEALTHIFIED Reese’s PB Eggs

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Easter is just a few days away, and if you’re looking for a more nutritious dessert to take to the family Egg Hunt, I’ve got ya covered!

One of my favorite Easter candies is Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs…why are they better than regular Reese’s? I have no idea…they just are! And I am thrilled that I was able to make a healthier version to fuel my body with healthy fats + natural sweetener + protein for a great sweet treat.

This recipe is essentially refined sugar  free (except for the sugar in the 85% dark chocolate I used) using medjool dates as the sweetener. Using natural peanut butter gives this recipe healthy fats and protein with no added sugars. Pro tip: look for nut butters that only have “nuts & salt” as the ingredients.

 

Below is the decadent recipe for Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs! Feel free to substitute recipe ingredients to what you have in your pantry. This is my version. Make sure you tag me in your creations! @livebetterwithkatdetter

 

HEALTHIFIED Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs

  • Servings: 15 Eggs
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour***
  • 1 dark chocolate bar***
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Directions:

  1. In a high powered blender (or food processor) add dates, peanut butter and coconut flour. Pulse until smooth consistency.
  2. Form candy dough into egg shapes (you could also use a candy mold).
  3. Freeze eggs for 45 minutes.
  4. Chop dark chocolate and add to a microwave safe bowl with coconut oil.
  5. Microwave at 30 second intervals until smooth consistency.
  6. Fully dip eggs covering all sides and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  7. Freeze additional 10 minutes.
  8. Add decorative chocolate topping to look like “Easter Eggs”. (optional)
  9. Freeze a final 20 minutes.
  10. Serve at room temperature.
  11. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
  12. Enjoy!

 

***coconut flour: you may substitute almond flour or whole wheat flour; if dough is too runny, add additional tablespoon

***dark chocolate: 70% or above has antioxidants (highly recommended); 100% will not have added sugars

 

This is such a fun holiday recipe and something you can feel good about serving to your family! Get the kids involved 🙂

 

Happy Easter!
Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

FB & Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter

IG: @livebetterwithkatdetter

Black Bean Brownies

Black beans in brownies?? YES!

This trend has been around for a few years now. The first time I made black bean brownies was in 2015…I was getting ready to pack up my car and move to California to attend Loma Linda University to become a registered dietitian.  Before I left for school, I made my family a special treat…and I didn’t tell them what was in it…

Now, I am going to give you a little background on my childhood…when I was a little girl, maybe 6 or 7, I LOVED “playing” in my mom’s kitchen experimenting with foods…that could be why I decided to become a dietitian and do recipe development professionally!

I can remember making a jello dessert and putting what I thought was orange zest in it for a little extra flavor…turns out I was zesting too much and ended up putting the orange peeling in it instead…and my brothers never let me forget it! They’re always kind of afraid to try new foods I make despite the fact that I’ve gotten wayyyyy better at recipe development.

Back to before I moved away, I made a special dessert for my last night in North Carolina…I made black bean brownies. After everyone took a bite and decided they tasted good, I had them guess what they thought was in it…no one knew!

“Black beans!” Course, we grew up eating beans so my brothers weren’t too put off…but my sister-in-law was like “Ew, gross” and decided they were not fit to eat. However, everyone else LOVED them, and you will to!

 

I’ve adapted my recipe over the years. Today I am using black beans and sweet potato in this recipe and I guarantee you will love it! Fudgey, smooth, and perfect for a warm, brownie sundae!

Black Bean Brownies

  • Servings: 16 squares
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

1 can black beans

1/2 c almond flour

1/2 c sweet potato

1/2 c unsweetened apple sauce

1/4+ 2 tbs maple syrup

2 T cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 T vanilla

1/2 c dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Drain and rinse black beans very well.
  3. Add to high powered blender or food processor.
  4. Add almond flour, sweet potato, unsweetened applesauce, maple syrup, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and vanilla to blender/food processor.
  5. Blend until smooth.
  6. Add to mixing bowl and fold in chocolate chips.
  7. Pour mixture into greased baking dish.
  8. Sprinkle more chocolate chips on top.
  9. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes.
  10. If brownies are still goopy, bake for additional 5-10 minutes and let cool. The batter will thicken as it cools.
  11. Enjoy!!!

Have you ever tried black bean brownies ??

Until next time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me one social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

 

 

HEALTHY Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

“Say what? Who would put tahini in a dessert?”
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I  thought the same thing when I first saw a recipe using it…tahini is usually used as a creamy binder in hummus and salad dressings…

However, I formed my own chocolate chip cookie recipe using it and I’m never going back! 100% husband approved, too!

 

 

 

 

Muffin Top Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 20 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup walnut OR almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mix oat flour, walnut/almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. In a different mixing bowl, add egg, mashed banana, tahini, and maple syrup and mix well.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Use a cookie scoop and put a dollop of cookie dough on a parchment paper lined (or greased) baking sheet.
  7. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of cookies.
  8. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes or until golden on top.
  9. Transfer baked cookies to cooling rack.
  10. Enjoy!

 

Want to have desserts on the regular? Try making this healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe for a sweet treat the whole family can enjoy!

 

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD,LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media! @livebetterwithkatdetter

Homemade Granola Bars

Another one of my go-to mid day snacks! Perfect for a pre-workout snack or dessert.

This recipe is a variation of my chocolate chip peanut butter energy bites  , and they are  even easier to make.

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Essentially using the same ingredients with different ratios, this recipe does not require any ball-forming but just a simple mixture of ingredients and placing in a baking dish to refrigerate for a few hours.

This recipe contains oatmeal, natural peanut butter, honey, unsweetened coconut, chia seeds, and dark chocolate chips. Protein + carbs + heart healthy fat to get you going.

*Nutrition Fact on Chia Seeds: high in fiber (good for digestion & feeling full), protein, calcium (for bone health), manganese (antioxidant to protect body from free radicals-damaging cells in body), and magnesium (protein production, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation). Great addition to any baked good, smoothie, or jam.

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Homemade Granola Bars

  • Servings: 20 small squares
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips/chunks

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients listed above and mix well.
  2. Pour mixture in a small baking dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting into squares.
  3. Once mixture is a firm consistency, cut into squares.
  4. Store in air tight container for up to a week (if they last that long).
  5. Enjoy for a pre workout snack or dessert!

 

I wanna know which one you all like better! The homemade granola bars or the energy bites 🙂

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

Facebook & Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @livebetterwithkatdetter