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 🙂

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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Salted Almond Brownie Bites

Salted Almond Brownie Bites

This recipe is a modified version of the one in my Healthy Little Bites eBook. Like with any bliss ball recipe, the ingredient options are endless! So, I swapped out a few ingredients for others, as my pantry is limited due to the Covid-19 #socialdistancing and isolation that we are all experiencing. Doesn’t mean you can’t keep making some great, healthy snacks.

These babies are full of healthy omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants and happiness in every bite to get you through this health crisis.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 C nuts (I used a combo of almonds and cashews)

2 C pitted dates

3/4 C almond butter (or any nut butter)

1/4 C chia seeds

4 Tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 Tbsp raw cacao powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp coconut oil

Method:

Place nuts in the food processor and chop loosely. Add in dates and chop again. Add in remainder of ingredients and hit the “dough” setting. Mix for a minute or so until all the ingredients are combined and form a ball. You can check the consistency with your hands by pinching a bit of the mixture together. If it stays in a ball, it’s ready.

Chill the mixture for 15-20 minutes before rolling into 20-24 bite-sized balls. Keep cool until ready to eat. These also freeze well.

Enjoy!

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Pudding

This just happened.

avo-mousse

And, it could not have been easier. AND, it’s healthy!!

It’s the Vegan Chocolate Avocado Pudding, from my Healthy Little Bites ebook. It’s made with ripe avocados, raw cacao powder, pure maple syrup, cayenne and dairy-free milk. Purée it all until it’s deliciously creamy and serve with berries, or walnuts or even sprigs of mint.

Into your food processor, scoop out the flesh of two very ripe avocados.

Add maple syrup, cacao powder and milk of choice. (Soy, coconut, rice, cashew, oat or almond will do)

 Purée for about a minute until creamy. That’s it. I swear. This recipe serves 3-4. It is not necessary, but recommended that you refrigerate until cool. Enjoy 🙂 

Ingredients:

 2 very ripe avocados

4 TBLSP pure maple syrup

4 TBLSP raw cacao powder

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup milk of choice (or more if you prefer a thinner pudding)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper for a kick

optional toppings: raspberries, shredded coconut, cayenne pepper, walnuts, banana slices, chocolate chips

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 😉 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?

Avocado Brownie Blender Muffins

Avocado Brownie Blender Muffins

Don’t be afraid of fat! Just a reminder, it’s sugar that causes fat, not fat that causes fat. If you eat a high sugar or refined carb diet, and are sedentary, you will store that sugar in your adipose (fat) tissue. Imbalanced hormones, like chronically elevated cortisol, can also lead to fat storage and compromised glucose metabolism.

Enter these avocado brownie muffins. They are packed with the healthy fat that our body and brain needs to function, plus they are free from the ingredients that can lead to inflammation. These ingredients I speak of are refined sugar, wheat flour, and dairy.

When I work with clients to eliminate pro-inflammatory foods, I always make sure they have healthy substitutions for what they are removing from their diet. These muffins often end up on my meal plans because they fall into several categories:

They are great for postpartum healing

They are great for those who want lasting energy

They are great for those who pack their lunch for work and don’t want a donut on their coffee break

Healthy fats in avocado, choline from egg yolk, antioxidants in cacao, and the protein in the almond butter all nourish those brain cells, help to regulate blood sugar, and give you some good natural energy. Here is the simple recipe:

Ingredients:
1 large ripe avocado.
.
1/2 C cacao powder.
.
2 organic eggs.
.
1/2 C maple syrup or sweetener of choice.
.
1 C smooth almond butter.
.
1 tsp baking soda.
.
5 Tbsp oat milk or milk of choice.
.
1 tsp vanilla extract.

2 Tbsp pure chocolate chips
.
Method:

Add all ingredients (minus the chocolate chips) to a blender and blend on high until well combined. Once smooth, spoon batter in to lined muffin tins, about 3/4 full, and sprinkle with pure chocolate chips, dairy-free chips, or cacao nibs.
.
Bake at 350F for 12-13 mins. Let cool before serving. Store in the fridge or freeze for later. .

Tell me that doesn’t sound easy!? I would love to hear how much you love these muffins, too. Give them a try and comment below or let us know on social.

Enjoy,

Jen