For the past few weeks, I’ve found myself really craving sweets – specifically chocolate chip cookies. I believe (that is, I’m telling myself) it’s because I’m burning more calories. I spend several hours each day chasing our daughter through the house. And lemme tell you, crawling around after her is the ultimate functional workout! Here she is causing havoc on the dog’s bed.
SMH! How can you scold that little face?
But I digress, the point is I’ve been craving chocolate chip cookies. Since we’re not actively doing #WHOLE30, cookies are (currently) an acceptable indulgence. But not wanting to throw away all the progress we’ve made since transitioning to a more #WHOLE30 Lifestyle, I set out to create a #paleo-correct version without grains or dairy.
I’ve successfully made grain-free gluten-free cookies before and found that unsweetened applesauce was a great addition to the recipe, providing moistness without extra fat or sugars. So, I had it in my mind to use applesauce in this recipe if possible. But I’ve never made cookies with nut flour or tapioca starch (which are considered #paleo-correct baking options). I worried these tricky ingredients may result in a tougher or overly dense cookie, so I consulted the all-knowing Internet for guidance. As I researched paleo-correct chocolate chip cookies, I encountered several chocolate chip + pumpkin recipes, so I figured I might substitute applesauce for the pumpkin. But I found that the pumpkin versions looked pretty yummy too! So I tried this recipe both ways. I admit that I prefer the applesauce version. But if you’re into pumpkin + chocolate chips, go for it! If you do go with pumpkin, make sure you’re not accidentally purchase (or use) canned pumpkin pie mix which has additional (not very healthy) ingredients. You want pure pumpkin. And you may want to add some pumpkin pie spice (say 1/4 tsp.) to the dry ingredients before you sift, just to really enhance that warm pumpkin-y flavor. With either version, you may also consider adding 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts along with the chocolate chips for a truly decadent (and I might add, deeply satisfying) chocolate chip cookie experience.
• Measuring cups + spoons
• Large + small mixing bowls
• 13 X 9″ baking pan
• Nonstick spray or coconut oil (if using aluminum foil to line baking pan)
• Aluminum foil or parchment paper
• Electric hand or stand-up mixer
• Silicone spatula
1. Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit (177° Celsius). Line a 13″ X 9″ baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. If you use aluminum foil, spray the foil-lined pan with nonstick spray or wipe it down with coconut oil to prevent cookies from sticking.
2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well (mixture will still be lumpy). I use a fork for this initial combining.
3. Then using an electric hand or stand-up mixer, beat wet mixture on MEDIUM setting for a couple minutes to thoroughly combine and produce a smooth batter without lumps. Set mixture aside.
4. In a separate smaller mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients (protein powder, almond flour, sugar, baking soda and salt). This step can be completed quickly by using food processor to sift. It’s quicker and less messy than traditional sifters. Plus, Alton Brown recommends it as seen in this discussion here.
3. Add sifted dry ingredients to wet mixture in 2 separate additions, again using electric hand mixer or stand-up mixer on MEDIUM setting to blend mixtures together. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl with spatula after each addition.
4. When batter is smooth with no visible lumps, stir in chocolate chips by hand.
5. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and using the same spatula, spread mixture evenly in the pan.
6. Bake cookie bars in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cookies comes out clean. In my oven, the cookies required 19 minutes bake time. But times will vary based on your oven.
For best results allow cookies to cool at least 30 minutes in the pan before cutting or removing. Enjoy with a cold glass of almond milk.
Wisdom for the Day:
On this mountain the Lord of Armies will prepare for all people a feast with the best foods, a banquet with aged wines, with the best foods and the finest wines. ~Isaiah 25:6 (God’s Word Translation) Read more here.
I recently posted a lengthy article on the evidence supporting supplementation with hydrolyzed collagen + hyaluronic acid (HA) + Vitamin C – a combo of supplements that when taken together have been proven to reduce skin wrinkling, improve skin elasticity and increase skin’s overall hydration (think plumping) levels. You can check out that post here. The basic idea is that several studies have proven that consumption of a hydrolyzed collagen powder in conjunction with daily hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C supplementation can significantly increase your skin’s hydration levels, improve its elasticity and decrease wrinkles. Pretty exciting stuff! Check that post for full research detail and product recommendations.
A Bevy of Beautifying Collagens + Great Lakes Pure Unflavored Gelatin
The following recipes combine hydrolyzed collagen and other superfood ingredients into enjoyable, yummy-tasting beverages. I try to drink 2-3 collagen beverages per day. Experiment with these recipes and let me know (in the comments) if you have other collagen recipes you love!
This recipe is really tasty and helps ensure I meet my daily green tea quota. The secret is the cranberry juice and added super fruit powder (in this case Navitas Naturals Organic Pomegranate Powder) which provide both a sweet-tart flavor and added Vitamin C which, along with supplemental hyaluronic acid, are key to helping your body assimilate the collagen. Think of them as a power booster for the collagen protein, and they happen to taste great.
• Microwave or tea pot
• Measuring cups + spoons
Makes 1 yummy serving.
1. Brew tea using 6 oz. filtered or distilled water per sachet. Allow tea to steep at least 5 minutes before removing sachet.
2. At this point, I like to reheat the tea for a few seconds on HIGH in my microwave because I dislike lukewarm tea, but that’s totally optional. Remove and discard green tea sachet.
3. Stir 1 scoop (Tbsp.) hydrolyzed collagen into hot tea. Continue stirring gently until collagen is completely dissolved.
4. Add desired amount (I recommend 1/2 cup) of pure unsweetened cranberry juice, powdered fruit supplement and garnish with a cinnamon stick if desired. You can add sweetener to this tea, but I find it doesn’t need it with the fruit juice and pomegranate powder. You could add a pinch of stevia if you want it a bit sweeter. But stevia is not permitted during #whole30.*** (See comment below.)
***Stevia and all other natural or artificial sweeteners (with the exception of pure, no-sugar-added juice) are not permitted during #WHOLE30. For a complete list of #WHOLE30 program do’s and don’ts as well as answers to just about any and all #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 anytime you have questions or need some support (the Facebook and Twitter feeds are tremendous sources of encouragement and support).
1. Brew coffee using 6-8 oz. filtered or distilled water.
2. While coffee is still very hot, carefully pour into blender canister along with all other ingredients and stir briefly until collagen is dissolved. Place canister on blender base and cover with lid. 3. Blend mixture for a few seconds on HIGH until frothy.
4. Pour into a large mug. Adjust seasoning/sweeteners to taste if desired. But remember, sweeteners of all kinds (including naturally-derived ones like Stevia, maple syrup and honey) are not permitted during #WHOLE30. For a complete list of #WHOLE30program rules, check out the program rules here and resource links listed in comment above.*** N.B. This recipe can be made without use of blender if using Nut Pods Creamer instead of coconut oil. But even when using Nut Pods creamer, I still like to give my collagen coffee beverages a quick whir in the blender to ensure everything is well-combined and frothy. Makes 1 Serving.
3. Skin-Loving Bone Broth Beverage
This warm, savory drink is incredibly soothing and satisfying. It’s a terrific afternoon pick-me-up for tired mommies (like me)! The protein helps tide me over until dinner and the vegetable juice provides some extra Vitamin C + Potassium. You could use store-bought broth, provided it doesn’t contain any sulfites, MSG or other nasty additives. If you’re new to making bone broth, you can read up on the process and find some easy+delicious recipes from Paleo Leap here and The Wellness Mama here. Ingredients:
• 1 cup homemade bone broth
• 2 scoops (about 2 Tbsp.) hydrolyzed collagen + Hyaluronic acid + Vitamin C (e.g. (e.g. California Gold Nutrition CollagenUp or your preferred hydrolyzed collagen powder + Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid supplements) or 2 scoops (2 Tbsp.) of Great Lakes Gelatin brand Collagen Hydrolysate (be sure to take your daily hyaluronic acid supplement and at least 100mg. Vitamin C along with this broth)
• ½ cup unsweetened, low sodium tomato juice cocktail (e.g. V8 Original Low Sodium Vegetable Juice)
• 1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice (optional)
• 1 tsp. hydrolyzed gelatin (optional)
• Salt & pepper to taste
• Measuring cups
• Large Mug
1. Gently heat bone broth in microwave or on stovetop until a little hotter than desired temperature.
2. Remove from heat, and gently stir in 1 scoop hydrolyzed collagen and 1 tsp. gelatin (if using), continuing to stir until collagen + gelatin are completely dissolved.
3. Next carefully pour broth mixture into large mug. Then add the vegetable juice and (if desired) lemon juice.
4. Taste for seasonings, adjusting as needed. Makes 1 Serving.
4. Make Me Younger Choco-Almond Smoothie
Thick, creamy and full of chocolatey, nutty deliciousness – this smoothie is my favorite way to enjoy collagen and satisfy my sweet tooth (ok my sweet teeth)
This is my current favorite lunch. I can make it quickly and drink it while chasing after my 9-month old daughter who is now constantly in motion. Containing several super star foods from the HealthGrove list of top 30 foods for beautiful skin and hair, this shake is thick, creamy and delicious! The spinach provides a hefty dose of nutrition including Folate, Magnesium, Potassium and Vitamins A, C, E, B2 & K. Read more about spinach here. The almond butter imparts a yummy nutty flavor that goes so well with the cocoa. Almonds also provide more Vitamin E antioxidants, some extra protein and healthy fat (thereby boosting the satiety factor of this shake). Read more about almonds’ nutrient values here.
• 3 soaked dates (Soak in filtered water about 1 hour. Be sure the dates you use are free of sulfites if doing #WHOLE30)
• 8 oz. homemade almond or coconut milk
• 2 scoops (about 2 Tbsp.) powdered hydrolyzed collagen + Hyaluronic acid + Vitamin C (e.g. California Gold Nutrition CollagenUp ) or preferred hydrolyzed collagen powder + hyaluronic acid supplements + Vitamin C
• 2 cups loosely packed fresh baby spinach leaves
• 2 Tbsp. pure (unsweetened) cocoa/cacao powder (I like this one from Nativas Naturals )
• pinch salt
• 2 Tbsp. #whole30-compliant or paleo-correct almond butter (i.e. without any added sugars or sweeteners)
• 1 tsp. hydrolyzed gelatin, e.g. Great Lakes Gelatin Unflavored dissolved in 2 Tbsp. warm filtered water (optional but helps make shake thicker and more creamy)
• 1 cup ice cubes (optional, I add ice to thicken the shake and make it more like ice cream)
• pinch pure Stevia extract (optional and can be substituted for soaked dates if you’re watching your carbs but, do not use if actively doing #WHOLE30, see comment above)***
1. If using gelatin, stir into 2 Tbsp. filtered water and allow to sit for a few (3-4) minutes. Combine milk and collagen in blender canister and whisk briefly with a fork until collagen mostly dissolves (there will still be a few collagen “lumps” but that’s okay).
Spinach is a superfood too, providing Magnesium, Potassium, Folate & Vitamins A, C, E & K
2. Put spinach into blender canister then pour in milk+collagen mixture into blender along with all other ingredients.
3. Place canister on blender base. Cover with lid and blend mixture for a few seconds on HIGH until frothy.
4. Pour into 2 freezer-safe mug or jars with lid. Freeze for about 1 hour or enjoy immediately. Makes 2 Servings or 1 Large Meal-sized Shake
Remember, sweeteners of all kinds (including natural ones like Stevia) are not permitted during #WHOLE30. For a complete list of #WHOLE30 program rules, check out the program rules here and resource links listed in comment above.*** N.B. If you don’t have access to homemade nut milk, you can substitute ½ cup Nut Pods Original (or flavored) Unsweetened Coffee Creamer + ½ cup filtered water. Stir briefly to combine creamer and water. Then add collagen and proceed as above.
Makes 1-2 servings.
BTW: Don’t be dissuaded by the slightly greenish color of this shakes. It’s delicious and Hubs swears “it’s as good any ice cream!” I like to save half this recipe and keep in the freezer until after dinner. It’s the perfect dessert.
Beauty Resource of the Day:
This video from Emily Noel of Beauty Broadcast is fantastic in content and simplicity.
I LOVE tip #3! It’s one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” kind of tips. I’m hoping this tip “changes my makeup world” too! Thanks as always Emily 🙂
Wisdom for the Day:
Loyalty makes a person attractive. It is better to be poor than dishonest. ~Proverbs 19:22 (NLT)
Read more here.
If you’re interested in checking out the scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of hydrolyzed collagen ingestion for wrinkle reduction and increased skin hydration, check out this DBW post detailing research & evidence supporting Hydrolyzed Collagen Combo Supplements for Younger-Looking Skin. And if you wanna delve deeper into the research, check out these scientific articles and helpful collagen info sites:
1. Borumand & Sibilla S. Effects of a nutritional supplement containing collagen peptides on skin elasticity, hydration and wrinkles, 2015. Journal of Medical Nutrition and Nutraceuticals; 4(1), 47-53. Online full text article link.
2. Ohara H, Ito K, Iida H, Matsumoto H. Improvement in the moisture content of the stratum corneum following 4 weeks of collagen hydrolysate ingestion. Nippon Shokuhin Kogaku Kaishi 2009; 56: 137-45. Online link to abstract here.
3. Matsumoto H, Ohara H, Ito K, Nakamura Y, Takahashi S. Clinical effect of fish type I collagen hydrolysate on
skin properties. ITE Lett Batteries New Technol Med 2006; 7:386-390. Full text unavailable. See other cited article links (above and below) for summary of this study.
4. Sibilla S, Godfrey M, Brewer S, Budh-Raja A, Genovese L. An Overview of the Beneficial Effects of Hydrolysed Collagen as a Nutraceutical on Skin Properties: Scientific Background and Clinical Studies. The Open Nutraceuticals Journal 2015; 8: 29-42. Online full text article available here.
5. Dr. Tim O’Shea of The Doctor Within on Hydrolyzed Collagen Supplementation. Link here.
6. All About Gelatin & Collagen from Paleo Leap.
7. And you’ll want to check out this list of Studies on Collagen Supplementation from Collagen Complete.
Today’s recipe continues our series of recipes based on a the HealthGrove study identifying the top 30 foods for beautiful skin and hair. In case you’ve missed any of the previous recipes from the series, you can find links for each at the bottom of this page, so be sure to check those out. In order to avoid missing any future posts and recipes, be sure to subscribe to Daily Beauty Wisdom. It’s quick and easy, and you’re guaranteed to never miss a new DBW post. Simply enter your email address in the “subscribe here” box to sign up. A few minutes later, you’ll receive a confirmation email. Click the “confirmation” button in the email, and you’re done. Easy as that.
And now, the news, er I mean, the recipe. Today’s recipe is an easy, quick-to-prepare sauce that can be used to jazz up desserts or meats. It makes a lovely sweet and tangy counterpoint when served as a dipping sauce for well-seasoned grilled poultry or pork. And it’s my preferred accompaniment for my Paleo Brownies available here. This sauce features the fantastic and beautifying ingredient – cranberry juice (food #27 from the HealthGrove list). In case you hadn’t noticed, cranberries are not just for Thanksgiving anymore. Cranberry juice, in particular, is everywhere! And for good reason, not only is is this sweet+tart juice healthy (with impressive levels of Vitamin C and potassium in every cup), it plays really nicely with other fruits. Apparently all the juice makers are onto this fact as well because there’s a seemingly endless variety of cranberry juice combos available on the juice aisles of every grocery and health food store, as noted here by the indescribably fabulous Brian Regan:
This recipe works equally well with both frozen pitted cherries or frozen (or fresh) blueberries. Just be sure the berries you select have ZERO added sugar. Both berries provide tons of beautifying nutrients. Dark, tart cherries are a great source of Vitamin C, a key antioxidant (read more about the skin beautifying effects of antioxidants like Vitamin C here) and tummy-filling fiber. While blueberries are a bona fide superfood! They also provide Vitamin C, more than a 1/3 of your daily Vitamin K requirements per serving along with several forms of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are a group of good-for-you nutrients that include current beauty buzz-worthy antioxidants like quercitin, ferric acid and resveratol among others (Source1 and Source2). Ingredients:
• 5 dates, soaked at least 4 hours or overnight (see comment below)+++
• 12 oz. (about 2.5 cups) frozen unsweetened pitted cherries or unsweetened frozen blueberries, defrosted
• 1 cup pure (unsweetened) cranberry juice
• 1.5 Tbsp. chia seeds
• pinch iodized sea salt
• pinch ground allspice
• pinch pure Stevia extract, optional (do not use if doing #WHOLE30, see comment below)+++
• 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice (optional)
• Measuring cups + spoons
• Powerful blender or food processor (I used the Nutribullet Pro 900)
• A large spoon or spoonula
• Mason jar or other preferred storage receptacle with lid
1. Drain dates and discard soaking liquid.
2. Place dates and all other ingredients into canister of blender or food processor. Place lid on canister and process on HIGH until sauce is very smooth and no chunks or pieces of ingredients are visible.
3. Remove lid and test for seasonings. Adjust to taste. You may want to add 1 Tbsp. or 2 of lemon juice (as noted below) if serving sauce with a savory dish. If you do adjust the seasonings, replace the lid and blend the sauce again briefly.
4. Then carefully (this will stain) pour sauce into a jar or bottle with a lid and cover. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
• This recipe makes about 2.5 cups of sauce.
• Sauce will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator.
• I recommend adding 1-2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice if you plan on using this as a sauce or dip for savory dishes.
• As mentioned above, this sauce is my preferred accompaniment for my Paleo Brownies seen below:
Wisdom for the Day:
I spend a lot of time and blog space here at DBW discussing things that will be tasty and pleasing to the tongue, but I don’t often acknowledge the power of the tongue. Words are powerful! The following Proverb reminds us that the things we say have the power to bring life or death. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love to talk will have to eat their own words.~Proverbs 18:21 (God’s Word Translation) Read more here.
Beauty Resource for the Day:
Ever hear dermatologists and other skin experts say you should reapply sunscreen every few hours, but think “okay but how the heck am I supposed to do that when I’ve already put my makeup on?” Well, Angie from Hot & Flashy has an answer, and a video tutorial, for that very question! Check it out as she enlightens us on the best ways to protect ourselves from the sun while maintaining previously applied cosmetics:
My family loves brownies. Loves. In fact “love” is probably not a strong enough word to describe Hubs’ deep and profound devotion. I think he even prefers brownies to cookies, which to me is downright un-American. But like a good little wife, I try to accommodate his preferences, at least occasionally. I haven’t done much baking since we did our first #WHOLE30 in April of this year (2016) because (as I’ve noted on a few occasions), we’ve been pretty successful at maintaining the #WHOLE30 lifestyle, even through some tempting and challenging situations.
But Hubs, in his wisdom, anticipated similar if not greater temptations arising when we were invited to a couple 4th of July potluck parties recently. So he suggested I create a paleo-correct brownie recipe we could bring along to those parties, “so I won’t be ‘forced’ to eat a bunch of unhealthy desserts.” Note his use of the word “forced,” as though one is obligated to eat 2 or 3 desserts at every party one attends. I tried to make the argument that he could actually attend the parties without indulging in any desserts, but that argument fell flat. And since we’re not currently doing #WHOLE30 (which would certainly preclude the consumption of even paleo-correct brownies), and because he’s such a wonderful husband, I figured baking a couple pans of brownies was the least I could do. And I set out in search of a paleo-correct brownie recipe I could live with.
Because I find plain brownies to be a bit boring, I decided to mix it up a little and use 2 types of nut/seed butters.
Instead of using almond butter alone, I decided to try combining 2 butters as the brownie base. I’m always looking for ways to incorporate tahini into my recipes because #1 it tastes yummy (and is a great dupe for peanut butter which I still kinda miss). #2 It’s a single-ingredient food – containing nothing but sesame seeds. I’m a big believer in reading labels and ingredients lists. My stance is, the shorter the ingredient list, the better. And #3, sesame seeds have some really healthful nutrients like copper, magnesium and a surprising amount of calcium. I’ve been reading lots of articles (like this one and this one) lately urging me to eat more tahini and figured this was a great opportunity. I also elected not to melt the chocolate chips but rather to just stir a few into the mixture prior to baking. The resulting brownies have a nice textural balance somewhere between cakey and fudgey (denser and fudgier if veganized). And I’m relieved to report that you can’t really taste the banana at all (I was worried about that).
• 1 cup paleo-correct (unsweetened) almond butter
• 1 cup unsweetened Tahini (unhulled is best if you can find it)
• 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
• 1 very ripe banana, mashed
• 1 cup local honey or pure maple syrup (I used maple syrup)
• 1/2 cup pure dark cocoa powder (I like this one from Navitas Naturals)
• 1/2 tsp. iodized sea salt
• 1 tsp. baking soda (NOT baking powder)
• 3 large whole eggs, lightly beaten (or vegan egg substitute as noted below)
• 1/2 cup Cacao Nibs or Enjoy Life chocolate chips
• nonstick coconut oil spray (I used Pam Nonstick Coconut Oil Spray)
• Measuring cups + spoons
• Large + small mixing bowls
• 9 X 13″ baking dish or pan
• Electric hand or stand-up mixer
• Silicone spatula Process:
1. Preheat oven to 340° (Fahrenheit, or 171° Celsius), and spray 9 X 13″ baking pan/dish with nonstick spray and set aside. Alternatively, you could oil the inside of the pan using a paper towel (coconut oil works best for this). If using egg substitute, prepare now and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine nut butters, vanilla and mashed banana. Stir until well-combined and mostly smooth. There will still be some lumps, and that’s okay. I used a sturdy fork to combine this part of the ingredients.
3. Fold in honey or syrup and beaten eggs (or egg substitute) and stir to combine.
4. In separate smaller mixing bowl, sift together cocoa powder, salt and baking soda until thoroughly blended with no lumps remaining.
5. Using a spatula, GENTLY fold cocoa mixture into wet ingredients, stirring just until combined.
6. Next using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer set on low, blend ingredients together for about 3 minutes, pausing occasionally to scrape down sides of the bowl using the spatula.
7. Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan/dish, and spread mixture out evenly in the dish or pan. Then place in preheated oven.
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes if you used eggs and for 40-45 if you used an egg substitute. I recommend testing for doneness using a toothpick or thin knife after shortest baking time (i.e., 35 min for egg recipe and 40 min for veganized recipe). Allow to cool thoroughly before cutting.
• My beef with brownies is that I find them to be too plain (versus cake which has icing/frosting and cookies which tend to have nuts and chips and other goodies mixed in). So I prefer serving these brownies with a sauce of some kind. And for that, I highly recommend this quick and delicious Stupid Easy Paleo Cran-cherry sauce (available here). It also makes for a much prettier (and more impressive) presentation when plated.
• This recipe could easily be #vegan-zed by substituting ground flax or chia seeds for the 3 eggs as follows: Grind about 3 Tbsp. flax or chia seeds to produce 3 Tbsp. meal (you may end up with some extra meal left over). Then combine 3 Tbsp. ground flax or chia seed meal + 9 Tbsp. water. Allow mixture to sit (preferably in the refrigerator) for about 15 minutes before using in recipe. Click to read more here.
Whole Chia Seed & Coffee Grinder
Combine 3 Tbsp. Ground Chia or Flax Seeds with 9 Tbsp. Water.
You could also use one of the egg replacement mixes available. Bob’s Red Mill makes one as does Ener-G but there are several others. I veganized the 2nd batch I baked of these brownies (using chia seed meal + water for egg substitute). I found the vegnized brownies were denser and fudgier than the brownies made with eggs (which were more cake-like in consistency). I actually preferred the veganized version. But take note, the veganized version did require extra baking time and may have a different texture.
Wisdom for the Day:
“My children, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” ~Proverbs 24:13-14 (English Standard Version) Read more here.
Beauty Resource for the Day:
In my never-ending quest to find and consume the best foods for beauty and anti-aging, I stumbled upon this slideshow from a few years back depicting the top foods to combat aging. There’ve been some controversies surrounding Dr. Oz since then (re product endorsements) but, his educational resources, like this one, have always been grounded in science and evidence-based research. Spoiler – you can check off #7 on the list after you prepare and eat a few of these #cleaneating brownies. Top ’em with my Stupid Easy Cran-Cherry Sauce, and you can check off #3 as well. What a delicious way to combat aging! Foods to Fight Aging from Dr. Oz.com
If you’ve followed this blog for a while or have read any recipes for beautiful skin and hair series, then you already know I’m really into cooking for beauty. Don’t get me wrong. I’m into external beauty products too. I desperately love cosmetics, makeup, hair products and beauty treatments of all kinds. My bathroom is literally overflowing with lotions and potions of all shapes, sizes and price points! But as the saying goes, beauty begins on the inside. And no amount of making up can disguise unhealthy insides. That’s especially true as we age. And I’ve found that after pregnancy, my body is far more likely to display outwardly any signs of dis-ease I may be experiencing inwardly. And since our baby girl has recently become independently mobile (translation lots more work for Mommy and Daddy to keep up with her), it’s definitely in my best interest to eat as healthfully as possible. So, I’ve been writing a series of recipes based on HealthGrove’s recent study identifying the top 30 foods for beautiful skin and hair (If you’ve missed any of the previous recipes from the series, do not despair. I’ve listed each of them below).
Fortunately for folks like me, the Internet offers tons of (mostly consistent) advice for those of us seeking the best foods to eat for health and beauty (including of course that recent HealthGrove study). Today’s recipe includes a veritable stockpile of beautifying ingredients including most notably #5 of HealthGrove’s list – PAPAYA.
Papaya – beautifying papaya!
When I discovered this article by the lovely Joy Bauer outlining the most important nutrients for anti-aging, I was inspired to begin using those nutrients in more recipes as well. However, because everyone in our household is sensitive gluten and dairy, I’ll obviously have to take a pass on the recipe she included in the article (no offense, Joy). So I decided to create my own recipe based around papaya and incorporating the other nutrients Ms. Bauer identifies as key for consumption. So here’s a rundown of nutrients this recipe offers:
Vitamin C – provided by the papaya, tomato and broccoli slaw. For more on the beautifying antioxidant benefits of Vitamin C, check out this article and recipe for #whole30 compliant #paleo and #vegan (and super-yummy) Strawberry Vinaigrette. Vitamin E – in the extra virgin olive, coconut and avocado oils as well as in the walnuts Beta-carotene (Vitamin A) – from the carrots and the broccoli slaw (as seen on the package)
Broccoli slaw is not only an antioxidant fest. It’s also quick and ready in an instant!
Selenium – provided by the Brazil nuts in the dressing. Did you know that Brazil nuts are in fact the #1 food source of selenium? Omega3 fatty acids – from the walnuts and/or salmon if you choose Lycopene (bonus nutrient) – lycopene has been shown in recent studies to protect skin against sun-related aging and sun damage. This recipe provides lycopene from 2 sources – EVOO and fresh tomato. Plus, this recipe is easily adjusted to suit vegans, vegetarians, paleo-types and folks actively doing #whole30. It’s quick and easy to prepare and (perhaps) most importantly, it tastes really good. Whoop! Whoop!
Ingredients: For the Salad –
• 1 whole papaya
• 1-12 oz. bag broccoli or cabbage slaw
• 1 bunch fresh cilantro
• 1 whole tomato
• 2 carrots
• 1 medium jalapeno or Serrano chili pepper
• ½ cup chopped raw cashews or walnuts (I used cashews)
Protein Options –
• About 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (bones, skin and excess fat removed)
• 1 large (14.5 oz.) can wild Alaskan pink salmon, drained
• 8 hardboiled eggs, diced
• 8 eggs, scrambled and chilled
• 2 cups cooked then chilled garbonzo beans (if using canned, drain and rinse very well)
• 2 cups cooked then chilled lentils
For the Dressing –
• 4 dates, soaked at least 4 hours (see comment below)+++
• 2 garlic cloves
• 6 whole Brazil nuts
• 1 tsp. iodized sea salt
• 1 tsp. hot sauce (optional but recommended for best flavor. I like )
• 1 tsp. spicy mustard (NOT Dijon if doing #WHOLE30, see comment below)+++
• ½ tsp. minced lemongrass or 1” knob peeled fresh ginger root, diced
• ¼ cup lime juice
• ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice (I used OJ)
• 4 Tbsp. Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos Sauce, divided
• ¼ cup extra virgin coconut oil
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or extra virgin avocado oil
• 2 Tbsp. dark (toasted) sesame oil
• One or two cutting boards
• A sharp chef’s knife
• A pair of disposable gloves
• A sharp vegetable peeler
• A large mixing bowl
• Powerful blender (I used the Nutribullet Pro 900)
• Salad spinner (optional)
• A large spoon or spoonula
1. Prepare dressing as follows: Drain dates and discard soaking liquid. Place dates, 2 Tbsp. Coconut Aminos (reserving 2 Tbsp. for later use) and all other dressing ingredients into canister of blender. Place lid on blender and process on HIGH until dressing is very smooth and no visible chunks or pieces of ingredients are visible. Remove lid and test for seasonings. Adjust to taste. (I found that dressing was appropriately seasoned without adjustments but add salt or additional spices to your preferences.) Then pour dressing into a jar or bottle. Cover with lid and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Note, this recipe makes about 2 cups (scant) of dressing and may be made up to 3 days in advance. It will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator.
2. Wash and dry all vegetables, including cilantro. If you have a salad spinner, place washed cilantro in spinner and spin until dry. If you don’t have (or don’t wanna use) a salad spinner, simply placed washed cilantro on a clean kitchen towel and pat dry.
3. Using vegetable peeler, peel carrots and papaya.
N.B. Trust me on this one! I tried cutting half the papaya without peeling it first (I figured I’d cut it like an avocado, scoring it and removing the peel afterwards). No dice! It was a disaster trying to get the peel off, and I nearly removed my fingertips along with the peel! With the 2nd half I got smart and peeled it first. What a difference. I finished chopping it in half the time and with no near-death experiences.
4. Finely chop the washed and dried cilantro. Then transfer it to mixing bowl. Next chop the papaya and all the vegetables (except pepper) into roughly equal bite-sized chunks and place into mixing bowl.
5. Put on gloves. Cut pepper in half and remove all seeds, stem and membranes.
Then chop pepper into very small pieces. Place in mixing bowl with other ingredients. Carefully remove gloves and immediately wash your hands. Try not to touch your face or anyone else before taking off, disposing of gloves and washing your hands. Also I used a separate cutting board just for the pepper and washed the cutting board and knife before removing the gloves.
6. Open bag of broccoli slaw and dump into mixing bowl along with other ingredients excepts nuts, dressing and remaining 2 Tbsp. Coconut Aminos. Then add dressing and stir well to combine. If everyone in your household wants the same protein option, then feel free to stir it in at this point. Otherwise, wait and serve several protein options along side Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
7. Just before serving, stir in remaining 2 Tbsp. Coconut Aminos and nuts.
8. Serve with multiple protein options (unless you already stirred proteins into salad). Example in our house both my mother and my Hubs selected shredded leftover rotisserie chicken. But I selected salmon as my protein of choice for some extra Omega-3 fatty acids. Additional garnishes include chopped avocado or Wholly Guacamole, bean sprouts and sunflower sprouts. Enjoy!
Wisdom for the Day:
Today I read the following quote: “Biblical orthodoxy (hypocritical religiosity) without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.” ~Francis Schaeffer And I was struck by the brilliance and simplicity of that statement. Surely a compassionate heart is an essential component of beauty. What if we made the choice to put on love and compassion the same way we put on makeup? The Bible says that we can in this passage from ~Colossians 3:12-13 (ESV) Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Read more here. I encourage you to spend a few moments each morning imagining yourself putting on love and compassion, like you’re applying makeup or sunscreen. Surely we need to apply God’s love and compassion daily as the most important and effective beauty treatment!
Beauty Resources for the Day:
Want more info on what to eat for anti-aging benefits? Check out this slideshow from the folks at Total Beauty (Hint: if you consume this dressing on a regular you can cross slide #7 off your to-eat list).
Aidells Organic Chicken & Apple Sausage; Fully Cooked; Gluten Free; Made with All WHOLE30-Approved Ingredients
So this weekend promises to be a hectic one if today (Friday) is any indication. With Hubs recuperating from a minor medical procedure; the baby still fussy from teething and recovering from her somewhat traumatic 6-month pediatrician visit yesterday; and my mother busy with several church activities. I’m left to figure out dinner with very little time and my still-depleted energy levels.. Hmm…I’m noticing a theme here.
Fortunately, I’d discovered these fantastic sausages at our local Wal-Mart earlier in the week while searching for something new to offer the fam for dinner. They’re all organic, made with chicken and apples. Plus they taste great! And check out the ingredients above. Notice anything? Hint – there’s no added sugar and no funky chemicals like MSG, nitrites, nitrates etc. Plus, these little beauties are 100% gluten free – which is huge for our family! My mother is not doing the WHOLE30 with us but does have Celiac (Coeliac) Disease, so we are always a gluten free household. Best of all (at least today), these beauties are fully cooked on arrival. Hallelujah! I prepped ours in the oven and served along my favorite crispy roasted green beans. An even faster preparation would be to grill or sauté the sausages and then add them to some steamed cabbage, seasoned with salt and clarified butter. Maybe with some unsweetened applesauce and good German mustard along side…yummy!
Ready in Minutes – These Sausages Are Delicious + Gluten-free, Sulfite-free and Sugar-free
One caveat: sausages of any kind are not what the Hartwigs would call high quality protein. So I augment the protein content of the meal by adding hard-boiled eggs to the tossed salad I serve with dinner every night. What’s that you say? You’re not having a salad with dinner every night? You should really remedy that pronto. Here’s to happy eating and a healthy weekend to all!
Wisdom of the Day:
But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! ~Psalm 31:14-15 (English Standard Version)
Read more here.
1.5 lb. Baby Red Potatoes, washed (unpeeled)
1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil (I used extra virgin)
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
Dash Oregano Flakes
1. Wash and dry potatoes but do not peel. Cut them into more or less uniform size pieces, which for me was into halves and thirds depending on the size of each potato.
2. Place the potato pieces along with all remaining ingredients in a bowl. No need to stir just yet. Microwave on HIGH for 5-7 minutes depending on the strength of your microwave.
3. While the potatoes cook, preheat over to 400 degrees (Fahrenheit), and spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray (I used coconut oil).
4. Remove potatoes from microwave and stir well. Then turn mixture onto prepared cookie sheet, being sure to distribute evenly on sheet.
5. Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until desired crispiness.
Salty, Crispy and Soft in the Middle – These Potatoes Are Guaranteed to Chase Away Any Potato Chip Cravings You May Be Experiencing
Makes 4-5 servings. NOTE: These also make great hash browns!
Wisdom of the Day:
This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (NASB)
Read more here.
Hi I'm Karen.
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