Living Well

Trick or treat yourself!

Devin Brittain, Registered Dietitian
Trick or treat yourself!

Now I’m not usually one for tricking, but with the fall and holiday season ahead of us—I'm all about the treats! These recipes are for those looking for a healthier alternative to your candies, desserts, and beverages. Now, just because it's “healthy” doesn't mean you now have free range to eat more of it. All foods are encouraged in moderation for a balanced lifestyle. These recipes are geared towards providing some nutritional benefits, and helping to hit your sweet tooth craving without going overboard.

Chocolate Hummus


  • 2 cans black beans, no salt added, drained

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

  • 1/4 cup water (optional for consistency)


  1.  In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients except for water.
  2. Puree until the ingredients are smooth. Add water in small increments to meet desired consistency.
  3. Serve with pretzels, apple slices, or on a spoon. A serving is still about 1oz.

Note: Garbanzo beans or northern beans can also be used for this recipe. Black beans are used because their flavor is more subtle and the texture is creamier. Black beans contain a high amount of protein, antioxidants, folate, and fiber. Unsweetened cocoa powder contains high traces of antioxidants to strengthen your heart, lower cholesterol, and reduce diabetes risk. 

At Home Pumpkin Spice Latte


  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice blend
  • 2 cups coffee or 2 shots expresso


  1.  Combine the milk, pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and 1 1/2 tsp of the pumpkin spice blend in a medium bowl.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and vent with a small hole in the middle. Microwave until milk is hot, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Whisk mixture vigorously until it becomes foamy, around 30 seconds.
  4. Pour coffee into mugs and top with foamed milk and the remaining 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice blend.

Nutritional note: Making your PSL at home gives you more control over the sugar content in your beverage. This recipe's sugar source is maple syrup which adds an additional warm, autumn sweetness. It also has the nutritional benefit of using real pumpkin and will save some dollars in your wallet! 

About Devin:
Devin Brittain is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist in the state of Louisiana. Born and raised in California, Devin obtained her Bachelors of Science in Food and Nutritional Sciences with an emphasis in Dietetics and Food Administration from California State University, Fresno. She then moved to Louisiana and completed her Dietetic Internship at Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Devin is currently the Outpatient Dietitian for the Cancer Center at West Jefferson Medical Center where she assists patients and teaches healthy cooking classes. She is serving on the board for the New Orleans Dietetic Association where she strongly advocates for the dietetic profession and the health of her community. In her free time, Devin enjoys attending festivals, reading, developing recipes, dancing, and cheering on the Saints! She is passionate about utilizing her food and nutrition knowledge to benefit others and believes in finding innovative ways to encourage a healthy lifestyle that works for each individual.