Posts

Beauty benefits of parsley beauty food parsley luk beautifood

beauty food parsley

beauty food for glowing skin | parlsey

Originating from Europe, this lush dark green herb is often used as a garnish but contains more nutrients and health benefits than people realise! Whether it be flat leaf or curly, beauty food parsley is fantastic for your skin’s health and is super easy to grow†¦

FOOD ACTIVES:

Vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B9, vitamin K, riboflavin, beta carotene, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, manganese, copper, folate and chlorophyll.

BEAUTY BENEFITS:

Due to its antibacterial properties, beauty food parsley is fabulous for cleansing your body and strengthening your immune system.  Its mix of vitamin A and vitamin K rejuvenate your eyes to help them appear brighter while vitamin K reduces darkness circles on the skin underneath! Parsley also contains chlorophyll which boosts oxygen levels in your blood.  This helps to energise your body and promote radiant skin, allowing you to feel fresh and revitalised!

COOK:

Available fresh or dried, beauty food parsley can be added to soups, salads, baked dishes or simply to add colour! When cooking, add it towards the end to retain its gorgeous colour, taste and nutrients. Flat leaf parsley is often preferred when cooking as it holds its flavour and colour better.

TIP:

Choose parsley which is dark green in colour, looks fresh and crisp and has firm stems. Store it in the refrigerator or grow your own! Keep fresh grown parsley in a moist, well drained pot or in the garden and make sure it receives full sun to thrive!

dividers R1-beautifood middle yellow

PRINT TO KEEP HANDY

PRINT this gorgeous 10x15cm beautifood skin food card to keep beauty inspiration at finger tips reach in your kitchen

Step 1. Simply click on the  skin food image .

Step 2. Then right click and choose †˜Save image as’ where it will be a JPEG in whichever folder you choose.

Step 3. Open the saved image and print on a postcard size (6†x4†/10cmx15cm) photo paper.

Step 4. Send to printer for your gorgeous skin food card!

Step 5. Display on your fridge file in a A-Z card box in your kitchen.

be delicious.... inside and out

Beauty benefits of parsley beauty food parsley luk beautifood
Passata Making clean food luk beautifood

Homemade Tomato Passata

Treat your skin for the year with this delicious homemade Passata recipe – the perfect way to use the glut of tomatoes in late summer!

I am about a month late sharing this recipe as tomato season in Australia peaks at the end of summer in February, but there is no reason why you can’t slowly ripen egg tomatoes now and start a few passata making batches to keep over autumn and winter for when you feel like a little summer sunshine. I was introduced to the passata making ‘ritual’ by a good foodie friend when my kids were toddlers…it was a fun family passata making affair where thru trial and error we worked out how to bottle tomatoes.

Traditional passata is simply ‘pureed ripe tomatoes’. It’s skin delicious!

TOMATO BEAUTY BENEFITS

Packed full of lycopene, this homemade passata recipe is a savior for your skin. It’s high fat solubility makes it especially effective in your skin.  This provides us with a better protection against damaging UV rays and creates the ultimate protection against sagging and wrinkles. Vitamin A acts to add shine to your hair and keep it strong while also protect your eyes and maintain their brightness. The process of cooking the tomatoes in this passata allows more lycopene to released, providing you and your skin with the best possible beauty food. 

HOMEMADE TOMATO PASSATA MAKING RECIPE

You need to have the right equipment – a food mill for separating the skin and seeds from the flesh, glass bottles and lids to bottle the sauce and a large sauce pan and strong gas burner to ‘boil’ the bottles are mandatory.

YOU’LL NEED

Box/es of ripe tomatoes – roma are best because of rich flavour and high level of solids which makes thicker more robust sauce.

HOW TO
  1. Wash the tomatoes and plunge them in hot water to loosen the skin.
  2. Pop into a colander to drain. You don’t want to dilute your sauce.
  3. Feed the tomato flesh through a food mill. This separates the skin and seeds from the pulp, unlike a food processor, which mangles them all up rather than making a fine flavoured sauce.
  4. The thicker the  liquid – the better the passata. If thin liquid runs – try to catch it separately and out aside.
  5. The passata is bottled, capped (tight), and placed in a large pot (lined with tea towels to prevent the jars cracking as they jostle). The bottles don’t need to be pre-heated to sterilised as the heating does that.
  6. Fill the large saucepan with warm water couple and boil for couple of hours to sterilise and preserve the passata. Make sure the whole of the bottle is covered.
  7. Take care when removing the jars (or leave them to cool in the water), and store in a cool, dark place.
TIPS

Make passata making into a day event  with lunch and get another family or 2 to come along. It will need a little organising -eg 4-6 boxes of tomatoes, large bowls, lots of jars, gas burner to set up outside to boil the jars, large mill to get the volume of sauce thru.  Lots of red wine, home made pasta, green salads…you get the idea!

Most importantly ensure the tomatoes are ripe..buy them at least 10 days before you make the passata to ensure they are deep red and ripe – this way the passata is sweeter, richer and more balanced.

I have lots of beautiful photos from the two times we have made passata but I can’t find them, one day I am sure they will turn up.

 

Freshly Bottled Tomato Passata

Tomatoes are rich in the fat soluble antioxidant lycopene which helps filter the suns UV rays from the inside out. Image source: Pinterest

 

Passata Making

Skinning the tomatoes in hot water for passata making. Image via Pinterest – City Hippy Farm Girl

 

Featured image on Pinterest via Vaniglia

dividers R1-beautifood left grey

Turn your kitchen garden into an aromatherapy garden

[LIFE]

 

DIY aromatherapy herbs

 

Here at Luk Beautifood, we treasure our time out, our time to relax, unwind and do…well nothing. But with so much going on with business, family and life in general do you find it’s hard to get the most out of that time and really feel rejuvenated and ready for another day? So, we’ve discovered a way you can combine your ‘kitchen garden’ and bit of aromatherapy into a tranquil haven.

By choosing the right aromatic plants, you’ll be surprised at the impact their gorgeous scents will have on your mood. There have been countless studies done over the years showing the significant links between our sense of smell and our emotions. Whilst the scent of a natural plant may not be as potent as an essential oil there are some simple techniques you can use to reap the same benefits while expanding your ‘kitchen garden’.

 

Peppermint

The scent of peppermint is a natural stimulant that can increase your ability to concentrate and boost energy during times of fatigue or  stress. Studies have also shown that peppermint also has mood elevating properties making it the perfect herb to ease feelings of anxiety or sadness and enhance mental performance and promote happiness. Take a couple leaves off the plant, crush them between your fingers and gently rub on your temples (you can also obviously use peppermint oil) or run a hot bath and simply sprinkle some of the leaves into the hot water.

Tips for growing: Peppermint does best in rich soil, high in loam and placed in partial to full sunlight. It’s best to plant the seedlings indoors in late winter or early spring (so now is the perfect time!) and once plants reach about 10cm tall, they can be moved outside.

mint is easy to grow, in a bunch with other vegetables it looks and smells divine

Mint is easy to grow. In a bunch with other vegetables it looks and smells divine.

 

Rosemary

Rosemary is one of the most popular plants in aromatherapy for its array of health benefits. It has the ability to boost mental activity, relieve respiratory problems and reduce muscular pain. Aside from the relaxing nature of simply inhalation of rosemary [plant or oil], it has also been proven to decrease the level of cortisol, one of the body’s main stress hormones which can contribute to stress. Simply smell the leaves of your rosemary plant every few minutes, or gently rub the fresh herb on your temples.

Tips for growing: Rosemary plants love a warm, sunny spot with good soil drainage and can cope quite easily in the hot, dry Australian summer. They thrive in alkaline soils and love lime. If your rosemary isn’t looking too healthy and you know your soil is acid, apply some lime and see what happens!

 Rosemary

Rosemary is a hardy bush that grows all year (in Sydney). Love its heady aroma.

 

Lavender

Lavender is well known for it’s relaxing sedative properties and can aid in treating migraines, headaches,  and nervous tension. It is also ideal for those who have difficulty falling or staying asleep throughout the night as it improves the length and quality of sleep. In terms of it’s mood elevating properties, lavender is an excellent tonic for the nervous system and can relieve feelings of anxiety, nervousness and depression whilst promoting relaxation and a sense of calmness.

Tips for growing: Most varieties of lavender need dry heat to grow well and are extremely drought resistant but don’t be afraid to give them a handful of compost from the kitchen and keep them regularly watered while it is first growing. Lavender, like rosemary appreciate the addition of lime to the soil. Alkaline chalky soil will also enhance lavenders fragrance.

lavender from Pinterest

By planting in a bucket you can chase the sun if you don’t have much

Image source: Pinterest via Bersa Blog

Orange 

Almost every part of the orange tree can be used for aromatherapy; the leaves, the flowers and the fruit. The scent of orange is incredibly uplifting and is used commonly in aromatherapy as an antidepressant and to relieve anxiety disorders. Orange essential oil also has mild aphrodisiac properties. You can use the orange peel in a brew of tea or cut the leaves and flowers to make a small arrangement next to your bed or the bath. You can even create your own essential orange oil by infusing dried orange peel with a simple carrier oil and use it for a DIY aromatherapy massage.

Tips for growing: As orange trees mature quite quickly, they are best planted in the garden rather than in pots. Citrus will grow in most soils from sandy to adobe clay, provided it drains well but it must be watered and fertilised frequently. Even though the orange tree needs full sun exposure for proper growth, it can also suffer heat stroke during a summer planting so you may want to put up a temporary sun shade during those hot months.

 

Aromatic blossom, leaves, fruit of ornage

Aromatic blossom, leaves, fruit of  the orange…all can be used.

Image source of oranges: Pinterest

On another note…

We love giving ‘thank you’ bunches of herbs from our garden instead of flowers – the fragrance of lemon, kaffir, cardamon, rosemary and thyme leaves, (to name a few) create a stir, especially when they go to an air conditioned artificially lit office! You should try it too.

rosemary

to give. to eat

 

dividers R1-rough grey

be delicious lower case

My little Ciara in our kitchen garden

Kitchen Garden

Kitchen Garden

Plant green to keep your beauty routine clean

You don’t have to be a gardener to provide your cooking with home grown produce. And you don’t have to spend a lot of time tending your plot to harvest the produce. For busy people a kitchen garden is a great and cost effective idea to provide you with a variety of herbs to elevate your food from boring to super and it provides a safety net for eating well when you can’t make it the shops.

It doesn’t matter what size your plot or pot is, whether you own it or it’s part of a community garden, nothing is as nourishing as digging, planting and harvesting your own food.

When it comes to gardening don’t set your self up to fail by thinking you will become a sustainable urban gardener. It takes time to garden, plants grow slowly (and die) and no matter what you do (organically) the bugs move in! Always plant a plethora of herbs, salad leaves and kale. They all grow easily and at different times of the year. Each major season try a few different fruit and vegetables because um well it’s fun and educational and nothing beats saying †œI grew this’. But don’t get upset if you only get a small crop or the possums beat you to harvest.

Thyme growing | www.girlwithanikon.com.au

Seasonal guide

Saying that – I have put together a simple, seasonal guide when pants are harvested in a temperate climate. If nothing at all it will help you know what you should eating that season!

Spring

  • VEG. garlic, asparagus, peas, artichokes, sprouts, silver beet, kale
  • FRUIT: strawberries, cumquats, loquats, edible flowers
  • HERBS: all

Summer

  • VEG: beans, salad leaves, tomatoes, eggplant, carrots, radishes, sweetcorn, zucchini, cucumber, capsicum, beetroot, celery
  • FRUIT stone fruit, mango, lemon & limes, melons
  • HERBS: all herbs inc basil, coriander, sage.

Autumn

  • VEG: mushrooms, pumpkin, silver beet, kale, salad leaves
  • FRUIT: olives, grapes, quinces, figs, pomegranates, pears and persimmons, apples
  • HERBS: end of basil + all other herbs but growth slowed.

Winter

  • VEG: kale, silver beet, spinach, silver beet, avocado, root vegetables, celeriac, leeks, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, garlic & ginger, fennel, sweet potato
  • FRUIT : oranges, rhurbarb, pears, mandarin, Lemons (lots)
  • HERBS: No basil, little sage, chervil and mint thrive.

 blueberry growing |www.girlwithanikon.com.au

My kitchen garden

For me, a kitchen garden is the ultimate – a sensorial place to escape, to teach my children about food, life and the seasons, a simple way to turn everyday food into something special (herbs, herbs and more herbs) and most importantly a source of fresh ingredients to ensure we eat a bowl full of greens everyday.

For 20 years we have had a vegetable garden. We are up to version #3 in the design and this time it’s a bit more serious. The beds are high, the dirt is well composted so what ever we put in thrives, especially because the floppy fences keeps the possums and chickens out. Best of all it’s chemical free, looks gorgeous and inspires us all to get our hands dirty.

We always have tomatoes, asparagus and green leaves such as lettuce, rocket and spinach are easy to grow in summer and, in winter kale and sprouts take off when it cools down. We toss in strawbs, snow peas, eggplants and beans – just a few bushes of each to get the kids involved and the melons and pumpkins are always popping up and taking over. We tried blueberries last year (yum) and might pop in a raspberry cane this spring.

If you cook and juice a lot you get loads of compostable scraps.  A worm farm is easy-to-manage and fab idea so why not why throw in a few chickens too (we have Hussy, Rosie & Emma) so you get instant payback. Nothing beats creating your own fertilizer and having fresh boiled eggs for breakfast. Just think of those happy skin cells being fed protein to eat away the wrinkles – I know it’s a bit simplistic but eggs = facelift!

As our garden moves thru the seasons I will share some of the comings and going of our kitchen garden as well a visiting a few fabulous gardens and sharing community sustainability news.

My little Ciara in our garden