Nourishing 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 nourishing 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 after-dinner sweet-fix.

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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 dessert 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: @mindful.eating.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.

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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

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

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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

 

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!

IMG-4944

 

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

Vegan Raspberry Tart

Who else love the fresh flavors of raspberry + lemon? You know I do!

Vegan Raspberry Lemon Tart
Vegan Raspberry Lemon Tart

 

This is a dairy free, refined sugar free, gluten free raspberry tart that is really simple to make with minimal ingredients that your whole family will enjoy.

I’ve tried several “vegan cheesecake” type of desserts before, and I have to say…the cashew base is definitely my favorite. I’ve tried full fat coconut cream and coconut milk, but the cashew base is the creamiest.

Vegan Raspberry Tart.png

Tag me in your creations!

 

 

Vegan Raspberry Tart

  • Servings: 8 slices
  • Difficulty: easy-moderate
  • Print

*Note: for best results, soak raw cashews in water for at least 4 hours.

**Note: keep coconut milk room temperature and only use the separated cream, not liquid

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 cup English Walnuts
  • 10 Medjool Dates (pitted)
  • 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon

Directions: 

  1. Line the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan with parchment paper. Grease sides of pan with coconut oil.
    IMG-4666
  2. In a high powered blender, add English walnuts, dates and lemon and blend until crumbly crust texture. Add more/less lemon juice as needed to help incorporate ingredients.
  3. Press crust mixture onto lined spring form pan. Set in freezer while the filling is mixed.
    IMG-4667

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Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of raw cashews, soaked *
  • 1/3 cup of pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk **
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 fresh lemon

Directions:

  1. In a high powered blender, add soaked cashews, maple syrup, coconut milk, salt, coconut oil and lemon. Blend until very smooth.
  2. Bring crust out of freezer and add filling on top.
  3. Put tart back in refrigerator for 4 hours, or until the tart is set and firm.

Topping ingredients:

  • 3 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, thaw)
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup

Directions: 

  1. Add raspberries and maple syrup to a saucepan and bring to a boil, continuously stirring to not burn.
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  • Allow to cool slightly. Pour over tart. Put in freezer for ~5-10 minutes.
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  • Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

All photos were captured by the fabulous Courtney Haas with Courtney Haas Photography. 

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

 

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!

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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/

Peanut Butter versus Almond Butter PLUS BONUS PB Granola Recipe

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

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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].

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!

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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.

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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.

 

CHICKPEA Brownies (no added sugar)

Okay, so I joined the chickpea craze…

Actually, I’ve been on the chickpea craze for a while now…chickpea pasta, chickpea pizza crust, roasted chickpeas, chickpea curry…lot’s of savory chickpea dishes!

I have seen many people make “chickpea blondies”–a healthified, fiber filled dessert…so I decided to make my own version of chickpea blondies + dark cocoa powder…so essentially making brownies!

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According to the USDA food composition database, 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) contains ~135  calories with ~7 grams protein and is a good source of fiber (~6 grams per 1/2 cup, aids in digestion), phosphorus (works with calcium to build bones + teeth), potassium (regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions+nerve signals), folate (forms red blood cells in bone marrow + prevents neural tube defects), and vitamin K (aids in blood clotting).

I promised you all some sugar free + artificial sweetener free dessert recipes–here is one! If you haven’t read “The Sugar Debate” blog yet, take a look before making these brownies! It’ll give you perspective on why we should limit our added sugar intake.

These brownies are sugar FREE, artificial sweetener FREE, vegan, and nutrient dense. Using smashed banana + dates as the main source of natural sweetener + stevia sweetened chocolate chips, you won’t miss the added sugars! Full FREE printable recipe down below. Share with your friends and be sure to tag @livebetterwithkatdetter in your creations!

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Chickpea Brownies

  • Servings: 12 brownies
  • Difficulty: easy peasy
  • Print

Ingredients: 

  • 1 (15 ounce) can of Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas)
  • 10 pitted dates
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 T cocoa powder, dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup almond butter, unsweetened (or nut butter of choice, almond butter is a neutral flavor)
  • 3 T almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup stevia sweetened chocolate chips + 2-3 T to sprinkle on top 🙂

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a high powered blender, add chickpeas, dates, banana, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, almond/nut butter and almond milk and blend until smooth. *NOTE: add more almond milk as needed to blend mixture; batter will be thick
  3. Pour batter into a mixing bowl and add 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into a lightly greased baking dish and top with more chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for ~30 minutes at 350 F (or until brownies cooked all the way through).
  6. Allow to cool for at least ~30 minutes before cutting and serving.
  7. Enjoy!

 

 

Even my 7 year old nephew loved these brownies–and he has quite the sweet tooth! Your family will love them 🙂

 

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 — Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/16057 [Accessed 28 May 2019].

ALMOND JOY Granola

It’s been a hot minute since I made homemade granola! Who else loves a good crunch with a yogurt parfait or on-top of a smoothie bowl? This girl does!

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Granola oftentimes gets a bad rap because many store bought ones are high in fat, calories, and sugar. While all of that is true, you can make granola in the luxury of your own home CHEAPER than you can buy it and you can make it more nutrient dense!

In this recipe, I use old fashioned oats (complex carb + soluble fiber), chia seeds (rich in omega 3 fatty acids + fiber), whole almonds (healthy fat + protein), and dark chocolate (antioxidant) as the base. Some other additives: maple syrup (only 2 tablespoons for the whole batch), unsweetened coconut flakes, stevia sweetened chocolate chips, and coconut oil. Find full FREE printable recipe down below!

NOTE: If you like things a little sweeter, feel free to bump up the maple syrup to 1/4 cup instead of 2-3 tablespoons.

IMG_3804

 

ALMOND JOY Granola

  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted + cooled
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips ( I like using stevia sweetened )

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, mix oats, chia seeds, almonds, cocoa powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix melted coconut oil, vanilla, and maple syrup.
  4. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients and mix well.
  5. Pour mixture on to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring granola halfway through.
  6. Add in coconut and chocolate chips and bake for additional 5 minutes.
  7. Allow granola to cool for 15 minutes and store in air tight container up to a week.
  8. Enjoy with some mixed berries + yogurt, on top of a smoothie bowl, with milk, or plain!

 

I hope you all enjoy this quick and easy granola recipe!  Add it to your meal prep for breakfast on the go!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

#livebetterwithkatdetter