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

Cauliflower Crust

By now, y’all know my love for pizza…but it is not something I eat very often because it leaves me feeling bloated and lays heavy on my stomach.

However, my FAVORITE alternative is cauliflower crust, and I am so excited to finally share my recipe with you all!

I am sharing my “mini” crusts so the hubs and I can put our own toppings on each, but you could totally make one large pizza crust.

Why cauliflower crust? I have no issues with whole wheat crusts, in fact, I make scratch whole wheat crusts every other month and store in the freezer for quick meal options. However, I love cauliflower crusts because it is another way for me to get vegetables in my diet. Vegetables = fiber + vitamins + minerals + happy gut 

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What’s more is adding even MORE veggies to top my cauli crust for a fully satisfying meal. Here’s the #deats.

 

Cauliflower Crusts

  • Servings: 3 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup egg whites (or 1 whole egg)
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Wash and chop cauliflower into small florets. Add to food processor or high powdered blender and pulse until reaches grain-like texture. **You can skip this step by purchasing pre-riced cauliflower in the frozen section.
  4. Add cauliflower to a microwavable safe bowl and microwave for 4-5 minutes. Allow to cool.
  5. Once cooled, using a cheesecloth or dish towel, squeeze as much water out of cauliflower as possible. The more moisture taken out, the better and crispier crust you will have.
  6. In a medium bowl, add drained and cooled cauliflower, egg whites, cheese, and seasoning. Incorporate well.
  7. Form “dough” into two separate balls (or one large).
  8. Place cauliflower dough balls on greased parchment paper and press into pizza crust shape.
  9. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then flip sides and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  10. Top with favorite pizza toppings OR allow to cool and freeze for a quick meal during the week.
  11. Enjoy!

 

Have you ever tried cauliflower crust? What did you think?

 

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: @livebetterwithkatdetter

Fish Tacos with Orange Vinaigrette Slaw

It’s  Taco Tuesday, and what better way to celebrate than to have fish tacos!

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Fish tacos are one of my favorite foods to order when at a restaurant, especially at the beach…mainly  because  they are typically made with very fresh ingredients AND fish contains a lot of heart healthy fats.

Today, I am going to share my spin on fish tacos–healthy, light, and satisfying!

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Fish Tacos with Orange Vinaigrette Slaw

  • Servings: 3 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients for Orange Vinaigrette Slaw:

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • juice of 1 whole orange (I used navel orange)
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions for Orange Vinaigrette Slaw: 

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, add cabbage and carrots.
  2. In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together extra virgin olive oil, white vinegar, fresh orange juice, honey, salt & pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. Pour orange vinaigrette over cabbage & carrots.
  4. Incorporate dressing and cabbage & carrots.
  5. Set aside in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes or until serving time.

Ingredients for Fish Tacos:

  • 2 tuna steaks (or fish of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic & herb seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • Orange Vinaigrette Slaw
  • 1 fresh avocado
  • 1/4 cup of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • hot sauce (optional)

Directions for Fish Tacos:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rub garlic & herb seasoning, salt & pepper on both sides of tuna steak. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake for ~20 minutes at 400 degrees.
  3. Warm corn tortillas in a skillet over the stove or in the microwave.
  4. Once fish is cooked, cut into bite sized chunks.
  5. Assemble tacos: on corn tortilla, add fish, orange vinaigrette slaw, avocado, 2 tablespoons of black beans, and top with hot sauce.
  6. Enjoy with a side of tortilla chips and salsa!

What are your favorite kind of tacos?

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

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

What It Means To Be Healthy

“It’s called the South Beach Fat Flush, and all you drink is cranberry juice for 72 hours.” – Regina George from Mean Girls

This is the world we live in. People going on fad diets, cleanses, detoxes, and fasts to look a certain way. This is what people think it means to be healthy.

As I have mentioned before, being healthy is not a one-size-fits-all approach. What I do on a daily basis may not work for you, and vice versa. However, there are healthy living practices that we can use as a guide to help inspire us to live a better life.

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  • Be active most days of the week

This is kind of vague, but it goes back to my point of every body being different, and we all have different goals. A person beginning their fitness journey may not run as far as the person training for their first half marathon. The body builder working toward a competition likely works out hours a day while the person wanting to tone works out for an hour…all of that is irrelevant. Do what works for you and your goals. The most important thing is that you are active.

  • Eat your veggies

…or all plants for that matter. Plants are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water, making them BEST for your body. Strive to get the majority of your diet from plants, making half of your plate non-starchy veggies at meals. Not only will it be kind to your waistline, but the fiber will help you feel full for longer periods of time AND will help keep your digestion regular.

  • Stay hydrated

This is so vital. Our bodies are 55-60% water, so it is important that we replace what is lost. Water can be lost in the obvious ways–urine, sweat, and bowel movements…but we also lose water when we breathe and stress! When we are dehydrated, our body’s cortisol (the stress hormone) levels increase–making it another good idea to drink water consistently throughout the day to decrease stress levels.

  • Limit added sugars

Women should truly be consuming 25 grams or less of added sugars daily, while the recommendation for men is 36 grams per day. On average, one 12 ounce can of soda contains 39 grams of added sugar–that is over a days worth! Added sugar can also wreck your immune system, making it easier for you to get sick. While I am not saying you can never splurge and have sugar, be mindful of where your added sugars are coming from and limit them most of the time.

  • Engage in healthy relationships

We were made to communicate with each other–as much of an introvert I am…I realize how important it is to be part of a community. Spend time with your family and friends–go out of your way to be kind to others. Socialize with people you’ve just met. Get to know someone new. You will be more fulfilled, create new relationships, and grow as a person.

  • Grow spiritually

Regardless of your religious preferences, take time for your spiritual life daily. It can be so easy getting caught up in the chaos of every day, but make time for your devotions. As a Christian, I talk to God throughout the day, multiple times a day. Writing in my prayer journal is another way I feel connected with Him, and it is neat to look back on past entries to see what He has done to help me overcome past issues.

 

What other guides do you use to stay healthy?  Remember, healthy living is individualized to your own personal needs. If you’d like help meeting those needs and want to jump on the healthy lifestyle bandwagon, send me a message!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

 

 

 

Staying on Track While Dining Out

Who likes going out to eat?  On a busy, chaotic day, it is so convenient to stop by your local favorite restaurant on the way home instead of slaving over a hot stove after a long day.

table in vintage restaurant
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While cooking at home may be the healthiest route because you are in complete control of what is going into your food, dining out doesn’t always have to be “bad”. It may lead to more temptation to order fries or fried chicken, but staying on track with your healthy lifestyle is totally doable while dining out.

Today I am going to share my favorite tips that I use when I go out with family, friends, or with the hubs for date night.

  1. Order something that is veggie heavy

One thing I always look for at a restaurant is something that is loaded down with veggies. In a country that is very meat-potato heavy that may be difficult. For example, I LOVE eating at Mexican restaurants, but they are limited with vegetables. You may get lucky and get some peppers or onions in your fajitas, but that’s about it. Even the “vegetarian” options are usually carb heavy, but they always have veggies in the kitchen! I typically order a spinach and cheese quesadilla, heavy on the spinach and light on the cheese.  Don’t be afraid to ask! They are generally accommodating, considering you are paying for the meal.

assorted vegetable lot
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Another perk to ordering something with tons of vegetables is that it improves satiety (fullness). The fuller you feel, the less likely you are to overeat. Also, vegetables are high sources of fiber which aids in digestion and improves colon health. It’s a win-win!

2. Don’t ditch the salads

I have read a lot of articles saying that salads are bad because they may contain more calories than a burger and fries…

This may be true, especially if you’re loading that sucker down with bacon bits, extra creamy dressings, and a bunch of cheese, however that doesn’t mean you should stay away from them!

There are ways you can order a salad and it still be kind to your waste-line (and organs). Opt for salads that have leafy greens like spinach, kale, arugula or baby romaine. These greens are plentiful in fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals our bodies need for different metabolic pathways. Choose lean proteins like grilled chicken or fish instead of deep fried meats. A lot of people are against the cheeses on salad…but sometimes the cheese can really bring all the salad components together, just ask them to go light on it-1 ounce of cheese goes a long way.

close up of salad in plate
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Let’s talk salad dressing…this is where the bulk of the fat and calories come from–especially with the creamy dressings like thousand island, ranch, and blue cheese. Personally, I am not a fan of mayo-filled dressings, but if that is your jam, then that is okay. Try to limit your salad to 1 tablespoon of dressing-again, a little goes a long way! If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, choose the olive oil based dressings like oil and vinegar and vinaigrette. These dressings contain omega 3 fatty acids which may improve heart health.

3. Choose nutrient-dense sides

I know…you want that burger real bad…and nothing goes better with a burger than fries, right? If I am really craving an entree that may not be the best for me, I try to choose a side that will balance my meal out. For example, if I want to order a buffalo chicken wrap from Backstreets (my fav!) then I am going to choose a side dish that is more nutrient dense. Typically that would be a side salad, steamed veggies, or mashed cauliflower (if available–and Backstreets has the BEST mashed cauli!).

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4. Drink water for your beverage

I know I am going to sound like a broken record here! I don’t know about you, but I drink a TON when I am at restaurants because the waiter is constantly filling up my glass…if it’s there, I’m gonna drink it! Think about all the empty calories in a soda or sweet tea (hey, I’m from the South!). In 8 ounces of soda, there are about 100 calories and 24 grams of sugar…most glasses at restaurants are about 16 ounces. If you drink 2 glasses of soda at your meal you are consuming around 400 calories and 96 grams of sugar just in your beverage! We really should only be getting between 25-30 grams of added sugars daily…I realize they put ice in the cups that take up room, but this is just an illustration.

Not only is water better for your body, but it’s better for your wallet too! Water is free. I don’t know about you, but I love free stuff! Water also helps push the fiber in your meal through the digestive track making for an easier exit, if you know what I mean.

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Dining out is an experience, and I realize it can be a special occasion for many of you–it is for me too! In those cases, I am totally a promoter of indulging…but for the average American who eats out several times a week, these tips can come in handy! While there are many tips and tricks you can do, these are the four that I utilize regularly. Hope they benefit some of you!

What are your guides for dining out? I’d love to hear some new ideas!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN