BEAUTY FOODS: Carrot Walnut Muffins That Your Skin Will Love

BEAUTY FOODS: Carrot Walnut Muffins That Your Skin Will Love

When it comes to skin care, what you eat matters as much as what you use ON your skin. Think healthy fats, like walnuts, flax and coconut, and beta carotene which converts to vitamin A in our body. Other minerals, like zinc, plus vitamin C, fibre and protein also play significant roles.

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Is it possible to get most of these ingredients into one beautiful muffin? Yes. I have been scouring the web for healthy recipes that involve minimal ingredients and are free from all the nasties that our skin does NOT love. For most, this includes refined sugar, wheat, and dairy. This might look different for everyone, but those specific ingredients can cause inflammation in the body, which often shows up on our skin.

This Carrot Walnut Muffin recipe is inspired by Pinch of Yum. I swapped out a few of the ingredients that this recipe calls for, only because they weren’t in my pantry at the time, but I am happy with the substitutions. I also added raisins, because I have a life-long love affair with them ๐Ÿ™‚

Ingredients:

  • 2 C rolled oats
  • 8 pitted dates
  • 1/4 C melted coconut oil
  • 2 C grated carrots
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 C walnuts, plus more for topping
  • 1/4 C raisins
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Combine all ingredients, except for raisins, into a blender. Mix until a smooth batter forms
  • Stir in raisins and spoon batter into 12 lined muffin tins. Top each muffin with a walnut piece
  • Bake for 15-18 mins
  • Let cool before eating. Serve with butter, almond butter, or cream cheese
  • These store well in the fridge for 5 days, or freezer for 3 months
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Smoothies With Benefits: Up Your Smoothie Game With These Beneficial Boosters

Smoothies With Benefits: Up Your Smoothie Game With These Beneficial Boosters

Who likes a basic smoothie? I mean, smoothies are a great way to get in a quick breakfast or snack, but they can be boring. I like to create what I call, “recipes with benefits”. This goes for just about every recipe I create or add to my client’s meal plans. There should be a reason behind your food choices, whether it be to help detox, support glowing skin, keep “regular”, or to help boost immunity. And, this goes for smoothie recipes, as well.

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I usually recommend these boosters to my smoothie loving friends and clients. While you’re drinking that smoothie every morning anyway, why not sprinkle in some special additions to benefit what your body needs that day?

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When you need more energy, try adding a handful of iron-rich spinach, or a teaspoon of spirulina. Spirulina is an algae that digests very quickly, giving you instant energy and an array of amino acids. Another go-to of mine is to steep a cup of green tea, let it cool, then add it in to the smoothie as a liquid portion. Green tea is a super antioxidant that gives you energy without the coffee jitters.

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When you need more fibre to stay regular, clear toxins, clear skin, and manage cholesterol and blood sugar regulation, try adding in more vegetables. I swear to you, zucchini makes an excellent booster that doesn’t affect the taste of your smoothie. In fact, zucchini gives a smooth, creamy texture to your smoothie and my kids have no idea that I sneak it in ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also like green apple, ground flax seeds, roasted cauliflower and sweet potato, which all pack big fibre punch.

When you want to boost your immune system during the cold and flu season, aim for all the citrus fruits like lemon, orange, lime and grapefruit, plus cherries and berries. One cup of blueberries contains 14mg of vitamin C, not to mention fibre, flavanoids, and cancer fighting properties. If you want to really give yourself an immune boost, add in a small scoop of Flora Elderberry Crystals. Remember, our body will only absorb so much vitamin C at once, and the rest we just eliminate. To keep your vitamin C levels up, divide your doses into two over the course of the day.

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When you need some healthy fats to help regulate blood sugar, nourish your brain, skin, and hair, and synthesize hormones, don’t be afraid to add in a tablespoon of ground flax, hemp hearts or coconut oil, 1/2 an avocado, a handful of nuts or seeds. Fat doesn’t cause fat, sugar does. We need these healthy fats as part of a balanced diet, so be sure to include a small amount at each meal.

What benefit do you look for in a meal?

Beauty Foods: A Sweet Vegetarian Chili to Make Your Skin Glow

Beauty Foods: A Sweet Vegetarian Chili to Make Your Skin Glow

With the crispness and dryness in the Fall air, I couldn’t help but include all the pumpkins and squashes in today’s chili. My skin is beginning to dry up, so I’m turning to food to nourish myself from the inside out.

Sweet Pumpkin Chilli 2

You might already know that phytonutrients are nutrients that protect the plant from damage, and this means that they pack major antioxidant properties.  Lycopene, beta carotene and lutein are forms of these compounds and are bountiful in the tomatoes, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato and pumpkin in this dish, and provide dietary protection of the elements for your skin. Studies show that a diet rich in phytonutrients may produce continual, whole body protection from UV damage that leads to cellular degeneration.

I often consider the health of my skin and hair when I am putting a meal together.  I call it, “recipes with benefits”. This sweet chili is perfect as we approach the cooler weather, it warms the heart and soul, and certainly offers up protective benefits for the whole body and skin. High in fibre, the black beans and lentils help to keep the digestive system healthy, which plays a direct role in your skin’s glow.

Sweet Pumpkin Chilli

Chili ingredients:

  • 3 C cubed butternut squash
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 small head broccoli florets
  • 1/2 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 jar tomato sauce or 1 large can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can lentils
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup water or adjust for desired consistency
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 small can organic corn (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp chili powder (optional if you want a spicy chili)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin (optional is you are using chili powder)
  • olive oil for cooking

Directions:

  • Cut the butternut squash and sweet potato into pieces, toss in olive oil, and roast until soft at 350F
  • Sautee onion until clear in a large pot with olive oil
  • add garlic, diced carrots and cook until soft
  • add water, broccoli, lentils, black beans, pumpkin puree, tomato sauce or roasted tomatoes, corn, salt and chili powder
  • add the cooked butternut squash and sweet potato
  • cover the pot and let simmer on low for minimum 1 hour to let the flavours marry
  • serve with diced avocado and plain yogurt with dill or cilantro. My Dairy-free Tzaziki dip is delicious here as a vegan option
  • BONUS: My favourite side kick to this dish is the Maple Sweet Potato Cornbread Muffins by Ambitious Kitchen. Drizzle them with a little honey while they’re warm. Find her recipe here
Sweet Pumpkin Chilli with Cornbread Muffins