As much as we wish otherwise, if your diet is unhealthy, your skin will reflect that.
While this doesn't take into account frustrating factors like genetic predisposition and hormone imbalances (*sigh*), eating a well-balanced, varied diet can certainly help boost the health of your skin.
Eating for glowing skin doesn't mean you have to eat carrot sticks all day and that you can never eat delicious, flavoursome food. On the contrary, actually.
These recipes from The Beauty Chef cookbook are easy to make and are full of healthy skin-promoting properties such as fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
They're also incredibly tasty and easy to prepare. Think cardamom pannacotta, berry smoothie bowl and mulled rosehip iced tea.
1. Get glowing smoothie bowl
This berry smoothie bowl is rich in fibre, vitamins, antioxidants, lipids and "skin protective and glow-giving minerals selenium, copper and zinc", Oates said.
- 125g frozen blueberries
- 100g frozen unsweetened açai pulp, coarsely chopped
- 1 very ripe frozen banana, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup (125g) coconut kefir or natural yoghurt
- 2 teaspoons GLOW Inner Beauty Powder (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons cacao nibs
- 1 small ripe banana, peeled and sliced
- 6-10 fresh blueberries
- 2 tablespoons granola
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped pistachios
- 1 tablespoon goji berries
- 1 teaspoon bee pollen (not suitable for those with bee allergies)
- 1 teaspoon hemp seeds (optional)
1. To make the smoothie, blend the blueberries, açai, banana, kefir or yoghurt and GLOW powder, if using, cinnamon, chia seeds and cacao nibs in a high-speed blender, until smooth and creamy. Pour the smoothie into two wide, shallow serving bowls. Decorate with toppings. Eat immediately.
Note: The topping ingredients can be substituted according to personal taste or availability.
2. Kale bowl with quinoa, fermented vegetables, wakame and avocado
"Fresh and nutritious, this flavour packed dish features wakame, a great source of minerals that can be lacking in conventionally grown produce and that we need for healthy, glowing skin," Oates said.
- ½ cup (100g) quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup (250ml) water
- 7g wakame
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 bunches (approx. 800g) kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds, plus extra to serve
- 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds, plus extra to serve
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1½ cups (230g) sweet and sour fermented vegetables
- 1 avocado, halved, stone removed and flesh sliced lengthways
- ½ cup (75g) raw cashews, roasted and coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup (60ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup (60g) tahini
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2cm knob of ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 3 teaspoons tamari
- 2 teaspoons raw honey
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
1. Place the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and decrease the heat to low and gently simmer for 15 minutes, or until almost all of the water has been absorbed and holes appear on the surface. Keep covered and remove from the heat to finish cooking for a further five minutes, or until quinoa 'tails' have sprouted and all of the water has been absorbed. Keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, soak the wakame in cold water for five minutes, or until rehydrated. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Slice into strips. Set aside.
3. To prepare the sauce, place all of the ingredients in a jar and seal with a lid. Shake vigorously to combine.
4. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan or wok over low-medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic, until softened. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, until wilted. Add the sesame seeds and chilli flakes and toss to combine.
5. To serve, arrange the kale, quinoa, wakame, fermented vegetables and avocado into serving bowls. Drizzle with the tahini sauce and scatter with roasted cashews and extra sesame seeds.
3. Cardamom and almond milk pannacotta with roasted blood plums
"Made with gelatin, which is rich in gut-healing amino acids, and warming and digestive-balancing cardamom and plums, this dessert is much loved in our house," Oates said.
- Coconut oil, for greasing
- 1 tablespoon green cardamom pods
- 2 cups (500ml) almond milk
- 1½ tablespoons raw honey
- 2 level teaspoons gelatin powder
Roasted blood plums:
- 4 small blood plums
- ⅓ cup (80ml) water
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
1. Lightly grease four ½-cup capacity moulds with coconut oil. Place in the refrigerator until required.
2. Squash the cardamom pods with the back of a wooden spoon, then place in a small saucepan and toast over low heat for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
3. Pour 1½ cups (375ml) of the almond milk into the saucepan. Gently heat for five minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey. Set aside to infuse for 10 minutes.
4. Pour the remaining almond milk into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin in a thin layer over the top and set aside for 10 minutes, to dissolve.
5. Strain the infused milk through a fine mesh sieve. Return to the saucepan and gently reheat, until warm. Remove from the heat, add the dissolved gelatin mixture and stir to combine. Set aside to cool.
6. Pour the cooled mixture into the prepared moulds. Refrigerate for four hours, or until set.
7. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
8. Meanwhile to prepare the roasted blood plums, cut the plums in half and remove the stones. Arrange the plums, cut-side up, in a small baking dish. Pour the water into the base of the dish and drizzle the plums with honey. Roast for 20 minutes, or until tender and juices have begun to release to form a syrup. Let cool.
9. To release the pannacottas from their moulds, use your fingertips to gently pull the pannacotta away from the sides of the mould, breaking the seal. Immediately invert onto serving plates. They will hold their shape but have a lovely wobble.
10. Serve the pannacottas with roasted plum halves and syrup.
Note: The pannacottas can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
4. Mulled rosehip iced berry cooler
"Packed with immune boosting vitamin C, hibiscus imparts a gorgeous red hue and subtle natural sourness to this summer quencher," Oates said.
"Paired with a warming blend of mulled spices and sweetened with a little honey, it's the perfect balance of flavours and an ideal alcohol-free drink."
Makes 1.5 litres.
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 star anise
- 6 whole cloves
- 7 whole black peppercorns
- 3 cups (750ml) water
- 3 rosehip and hibiscus tea bags
- ¼ cup (60ml) raw honey
- Crushed ice, to serve
- 250g strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 125g blueberries
- 125g raspberries
- 3 cups (750ml) sparkling mineral water
1. Dry roast the spices in a medium saucepan over low-medium heat for one minute, or until fragrant.
2. Pour in the water and bring to the boil. Decrease the heat and simmer for five minutes.
3. Remove from the heat. Add the tea bags and steep for five minutes.
4. Remove and discard the tea bags. Add the honey and stir to combine. Set aside to cool. Refrigerate to chill.
5. When ready to serve, quarter fill a large serving jug or individual serving glasses with crushed ice and top with the berries. Pour over the chilled spiced tea mixture and top up with mineral water.
5. Roasted dandelion and chicory frappé
"The roasted dandelion and chicory root in this recipe produce a bitter coffee-like flavour, making it a perfect base for this iced coffee style frappé," Oates said.
- ½ cup (125ml) water
- 1 tablespoon roasted dandelion and chicory root
- 12 ice cubes
- ½ cup (125ml) coconut milk, plus extra to serve
- 2 teaspoons raw honey, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice, plus extra to serve (optional)
1. Combine the water and roasted dandelion and chicory root in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Simmer for five minutes, or until reduced by half. Set aside to cool and infuse.
2. Strain infused liquid through a fine-mesh sieve.
3. Place the cooled liquid and remaining ingredients in a high speed blender. Blend for 20 seconds, or until ice is crushed. Taste and sweeten further, as desired.
4. Pour into a tall glass to serve. Top with additional coconut milk and sprinkle with spices, if desired.
Note: The dandelion and chicory base can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Recipes and images from The Beauty Chef cookbook by Carla Oates.