Today’s recipe continues the Daily Beauty Wisdom series based on a recent HealthGrove study identifying the top 30 foods for beautiful skin and hair. As I’ve mentioned in each recipe I’ve shared in the series, 27 of those 30 foods are #WHOLE30-compliant foods (the 3 exceptions being non-soy legumes, e.g. green peas and pea pods). None of the 30 foods from the list are dairy or grains products. I found the study so inspiring that I challenged myself to create all new #WHOLE30-compliant recipes with each of the 27 foods from the list (again, not counting the 3 legumes); and thus, the birth of this series of recipes. If you’ve missed any of the previous recipes, I’ve included links for each at the bottom of this article.
Coming in at #16 on HealthGrove’s list of top foods for beauty, today’s beautifying food is – CARROTS!!! Most everyone has heard that carrots are good for your eyes. That’s primarily due to carrots’ high Vitamin A content. Carrots are also low in calories and provide an amazing 10% of the adult RDA for Vitamin A per calorie. Vitamin A is widely used within the body. It provides antioxidant benefits, supports cell growth and differentiation, and plays a critical role in the normal formation and maintenance of the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs (Source). Vitamin A is also well-known as a skin beautifier. Synthetic forms of Vitamin A are the primary ingredients in such well-known skin saviors as Retin-A, retinol and Accutane. However, those products can cause skin irritation, redness and peeling and are associated with severe birth defects (when used by pregnant women). But carrots provide the gentler form of Vitamin A, beta-carrotene versus the “pre-formed Vitamin A” found in beef and poultry livers, cod liver oil, etc. or synthetically created versions present in both prescription skincare products and OTC retinoids. That’s a long way of saying carrots bring the goods without potential negative side-effects.
I was inspired to create this salad dressing when I received some beautiful peaches from my lovely and generous mother-in-law. Immediately I started envisioning a peach and citrus juice based dressing and decided carrots would be the perfect beautifying compliment.
Just look at these beauties!
The process here is nearly identical to my Split Second Strawberry Vinaigrette. Swapping out the extra virgin avocado oil for EVOO results in a slightly thinner, creamier texture (than the Strawberry Vinaigrette which is pretty thick). The sweet, juicy flesh of the peaches blends well with the carrots. I chose to use both lemon and lime juice along with some cumin for a more Tex-Mex flavor. Additionally, the citrus juices and peaches impart an extra hit of Vitamin C, making this dressing an antioxidant powerhouse.
As always, I took a couple of preparatory steps (soaking the dates for a few hours before and pre-measuring the citrus juices + other ingredients in advance) to save time. And because I had run out of fresh lemons and limes, I used bottled juice (not ideal, but a definite time-saver). As a result, this recipe was ready to serve in seconds. I timed it. It took 32 seconds for me to prepare. BTW, I used fresh, ripe peaches in this recipe only because I was lucky enough to have these on hand (and I’m a big believer in using what ya’ got). So if you can get your hands on some fresh peaches, I highly recommend using those in this recipe. However, you could definitely use frozen peaches (or mangoes) if you don’t have access to fresh ones. If using frozen peaches, be careful to use UNSWEETENED fruit (i.e. should say “no sugar added” or just list “peaches” under ingredients). Then just transfer the bag from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before you plan to make this dressing.
• 6 whole pitted dates, soaked at least 2 hours (see comment below)+++
• 2 whole fresh peaches, pitted and sliced (peel if desired; I left the peels on)
• 2 medium carrots (preferably organic), washed, peeled and chopped
• 1/2 cup unsweetened lime juice (or 1/4 cup each
• 1 large or 2 small-medium garlic cloves, peeled
• 1 tsp. iodized sea salt
• 1 tsp. spicy mustard (not Dijon see comment below)+++
• 1/8 tsp. cumin
• 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
• 1 tsp. hot sauce or pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
• Chef’s knife
• Cutting board
• Sturdy blender or food processor (I used this NutriBullet Pro 900 series blender)
1. Soak dates in filtered water for at least 2 hours.
2. Drain dates and place in pitcher of blender or food processor basin.
3. Add in all other ingredients and blend/process until completely smooth, with no chunks or pieces visible.
4. Remove lid and test for seasoning, adjusting to taste.
~Makes about 2 cups of dressing.
N.B. This dressing will keep covered and refrigerated about 1 week and is also a delicious topping for grilled meat. Hubs recommends using it as a “dippin’ sauce” for these #Paleo chicken tenders or these #WHOLE30 compliant meatballs.
+++When doing #WHOLE30, it’s very important to check the ingredient lists of any foods you plan to eat (actually it’s always important to be aware of what you’re feeding your family, right?). Some frozen fruits contain sugar or other additives not approved for consumption during WHOLE30. Sugar and sweeteners of all kinds are off limits during #WHOLE30. Finally, some dried fruits including certain brands of dates, are processed with sulfites which are also not permitted for consumption during #WHOLE30, so carefully check the dates you use for this any other recipe. For a complete list of #WHOLE30 program do’s and don’ts as well as answers to just about any #WHOLE30 questions you may have, I highly recommend you check out the program rules here and other resources available at WHOLE30’s website to educate yourself prior to beginning your own #WHOLE30 journey or whenever you have questions or need some support.
Be Sure to Check Out These Other Recipes in This Series:
Split Second Strawberry Vinaigrette #WHOLE30 Compliant (#raw, #paleo & #vegan)
Fix-It-And-Forget-It: Simply Beautiful Southern Greens Crockpot #WHOLE30 Compliant
Quick & Easy Paleo Lemon Garlic Salad Dressing #WHOLE30 Compliant
Chicken Tri-Almandine Casserole
WHOLE30 Stuffed Zucchini 2 Ways
Easy Cheezy Chicken & Broccoli Soup with Crispy Potato Croutons
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Wisdom for the Day:
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
~Psalm 128:2 (English Standard Version)
Read more here.
Beauty Resource Video of the Day:
Summer is officially here! This is a great time to establish a consistent sunscreen habit. The most common complaint or excuse I hear for not using sunscreen daily is that it 1) causes makeup to perform poorly or 2) that it takes too long, is a hassle to apply. This video is an actual tutorial and includes precise measurements of sun protection product to use; application of sunscreen and makeup over top the sun protection including trouble-shooting tips and recommendations to avoid pilling, balling or makeup disruption. This video is well worth your time!
(Isn’t Dr. Bunting just a pleasure to listen to? Plus her advice about reframing how we think of sunscreen is brilliant in terms of motivating yourself to consistently apply sunscreen everyday!). Still need help finding a sunscreen that will work for you? Check out this article for detailed comparison and reviews of 12 broad-spectrum sunscreens (all priced under $15).