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

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/

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

 

 

Garlicky Spinach Dip

Who loves spinach dip?? 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️

What if I told you I’ve got a healthy spinach dip recipe?? Using tons of fresh spinach and garlic and instead of mayo or sour cream (like traditional spinach dip), I use nonfat Greek yogurt.

Greek yogurt is packed with protein which makes this appetizer more nutrient dense than traditional spinach dip.

For even more creaminess, I use Neufchâtel cheese. Essentially, it’s low fat cream cheese…I choose to use low fat animal products because they are lower in saturated fat. While our body needs fat, saturated fat (found in animal products) may increase total body cholesterol.

See full printable recipe details below, and be sure to tag @livebetterwithkatdetter in your creations!

Healthy Spinach Dip

  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1-8 ounce block of Neufchâtel cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Additional add ins: fresh broccoli and artichokes work well in the recipe too!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add spinach, garlic, Greek yogurt, Neufchâtel cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, onion powder, garlic salt, and Italian seasoning.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Add to baking dish and top with more cheese.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for one hour or until bubbly. Let dip “rest” to thicken up.
  6. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and fresh veggies!
  7. Enjoy!

What’s your favorite type of dip?

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Connect with me on social media!

FB & Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter

IG: @livebetterwithkatdetter

Kale Shakshuka

You guys, I’ve been wanting to try this “shakshuka” thing for a while…

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Shakshuka is a traditional African dish of poached eggs in a simmering tomato sauce…however, thanks to Molly Yeh, I was inspired to try the kale shakshuka version.

 

See Molly Yeh’s original recipe here– my recipe is adapted from hers.

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Kale Shakshuka

  • Servings: 2 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves fresh Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups fresh Kale, washed & chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • Feta Cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, add oil and saute garlic. Add kale.
  3. Allow kale to cook down. Once slightly wilted, add vegetable broth.
  4. Salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Once cooked down, make 2 wells in kale mixture and crack eggs into wells.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-20 minutes (depending on how you like the yolk)
  7. Serve with crusty bread, roasted potatoes, or any other favorite breakfast side dish.

 

Enjoy!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!
Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

Using Spiralized Veggies

Happy National Nutrition Month!

 

I am so excited to share tons of recipes and nutrition tips all.month.long! Starting TODAY with spiralized veggies.

Making its debut sometime in 2015, spiralized veggies were the nutrition trend when I started nutrition school. I remember helping instruct food demos at health fairs on how to make “zoodles”, or zucchini noodles, and people loved them!

Today, I am sharing some meal ideas using spiralized veggies. Conveniently, some food companies sell pre spiralized veggies in the freezer section and some grocery stores offer them fresh in the produce section.

While I do spiralize my own veggies from time to time, I also enjoy the convenience of the frozen ones AND they keep well in the freezer.

Below are some ideas for using spiralized veggies.

 

  • Homemade Zoodles with Marinara Sauce: Lightly saute zoodles and season with your favorite herbs and spices. Once cooked (about 2-5 minutes depending on fresh/frozen), add in marinara sauce and allow to simmer. Sprinkle with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve! Easy and quick week night dinner!

 

  • Spiralized butternut squash in Mac & Cheese: One of my favorites, mix 1 cup of vegetable stock, 1/2 cup of milk and 1 frozen pack of spiralized butternut squash (or fresh) and simmer. Add herbs and spices of choice. Once cooked, puree mixture in a high speed blender and put back in pot. Mix in 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese and cooked pasta (I like to use Banza pasta). Serve as is or put mixture in a  baking dish, sprinkle more cheese on top, and bake at 350 until bubbly and brown. Perfect for a gathering!

 

  • Carrot/Beet Chinese Noodles: Oh, what a great way to get extra veggies in! Using fresh or frozen, sautee in wok with fresh garlic, herbs and spices. Add in other veggies (such as broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini), and cook for 2-5 minutes until tender. Add in favorite Asian sauce (I like coconut aminos teriyaki sauce) and simmer. Add in cooked tofu or chicken and mix. Mix in cooked rice noodles if desired, or serve over brown rice.

 

  • Cucumber Salad: Spiralized cucumber!  I have not actually seen this in stores, but if you have a veggie spirailzer, cucumber is a great veggie to use!  Mix spiralized cucumber with oil & vinegar, herbs and spices, salt and pepper, feta cheese, grape tomatoes, and avocado pieces for a great, fresh salad!

Have you tried spiralized veggies? Let me know your favorite way to cook them!

 

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

Food or Fad?

breakfast

Do any of you follow fitness junkies on social media?  I follow several—several that I am super fans of…however, typically I am a fan of their workouts and not so much of their nutrition advice solely because many of them have not had nutrition training…and yet they are promoting nutritional advice that could ultimately be detrimental to one’s body. I will tell you why.

For instance, one of my favorite fitness guru’s recently began selling protein powder—no big deal. I am not against protein powder, especially if you truly are working out your muscles hours in a day and need the extra protein to help rebuild your muscles. I also think protein powders can be beneficial when added to smoothies or oatmeal that way you can consume protein to balance out carbohydrates. However, what I am not a fan of is when people advertise these “nutritional shakes” as a meal replacement and then promote to use it twice a day. Sure, these “nutritional shakes” may have all the nutrition a person needs—but you are getting it all from powder made in a factory. There is no true food, whole food fiber or chewing which may lead to low satisfaction and satiety (the feeling of fullness), meaning that you may be likely to overeat the next time you get your hands on food.

Let’s say you drink these shakes religiously for a while as your main source of nutrition. You lose the weight you wanted and you start eating real food again. Many people end up gaining all the weight back because they did not learn how to eat real food to get adequate nutrition and calories.  They relied so much upon these shakes that were low calorie and convenient that they either:
A) forgot how to eat or
B) never learned how nourish their bodies in the first place

Another issue with some of the faces of fitness is the promotion of “energy kickstart pills”.  These pills are supposed to increase energy, suppress appetite, burn fat, and speed up metabolism.  You know what else increases energy? ENERGY! When we eat food, our body receives energy, or “calories” that we need to maintain major organ processes in the body. Our body burns these calories so we can live! Calories are not bad, they are helpful. When we eat too many calories and do not expel extra calories by way of exercise, then weight gain occurs.

My second problem with these kickstart pills is that they suppress appetite. We want our bodies to tell us when we are hungry. A major problem with Americans is that we do not know our hunger cues, so we eat when we are bored, depressed, or stressed. Many times we go for second helpings of food because we do not wait for our body to tell us we are full. When we disrupt our already messed-up hunger cues by taking these pills, our cues get even more out of whack. It is so important to know when our bodies are hungry so we can feed them sufficiently. When you starve yourself, your body does not eat the extra body fat you’d like to get rid of…it eats muscle. We want to build muscle and burn fat—starving yourself is not the way to do that.

Ultimately, these products are selling and yes, of course they work. When you restrict calories by only drinking nutritional shakes you are going to lose weight. When you take these caffeine pills twice a day to suppress your appetite so you do not eat, you are going to lose weight and have caffeinated energy. And during this time you may go from a size 4 to a size 0…but what is going to happen when you stop using these pills? Or let’s say you use the pills and supplements the rest of your life…but you miss out on the joys of eating real, whole, nutritious foods?

Would you rather take these supplements for the rest of your life so you can be a size 0 but be empty and irritable because you are not in line with your individual hunger cues and missing out on the joys of food–or rather be a size 4 and learn how to eat mindfully & intuitively from nutrition experts (aka registered dietitians) to feed your body and have a healthy relationship with food?

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For me, it is a no brainer. I will nourish my body, enjoy food and choose joyful movement to make my body happy rather than take these factory supplements to lose weight…besides…you are beautifully & wonderfully made and totally capable of achieving health promoting goals WITHOUT actively pursuing weight loss.

I challenge you to learn how to eat mindfully without having to drink meal replacements and swallow diet pills…our bodies were made to eat energy, not restrict calories.

Jumpstart your mindful eating journey by downloading my 6 Steps to Mindful Eating guide here – it’s free!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Follow me on social media!