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lük breakfast beauty bar recipe

lük Breakfast Beauty Bar

[RECIPE] 15 Serves | 45mins go-to-wo  | VEG WF DF (NF)

Delicious and easy-to-eat on the go this breakfast beauty bar contains essential beauty nutrients: omega 3 to fight inflammation & moisturise skin, essential amino acids for cell regeneration, vitamins, minerals & of course fibre to help nutrient absorption and remove toxins.  I created the recipe for the lük beautifood bar at the Growers Market, they were well received so we will make them every month! Obviously it had to be low sugar and most importantly I did not want it to taste like bird food.

Teamed with a lük Glow+Go Green Smoothie (add a spoon of yoghurt for probiotics & an egg for complete protein) and you have the perfect start to the day.

If you bake them at the beginning of the week and wrap up little bundles you’ll have something to grab as you run out the door.  They are handy for breakfast, to fill kids lunch boxes or to snack on.

BEAUTY BOOST:

So many skin loving goodies packed into one delicious bar. Wholegrains contain B vitamins that are required for every aspect of metabolism in your skin, without them your complexion will have a dull appearance as the skin cells can’t regenerate quickly. The seeds and nuts contain skin vital essential fatty acids (esp. harder-to-get omega 3) and key beauty mineral antioxidants (zinc, magnesium, calcium & selenium) and vitamin E. Shredded coconut and coconut oil provide a super skin  moisturising boost and anti microbial benefits.

YOU’LL NEED…..

Organic if you can:

1/2 cup oats – quick

1/4 cup flaxseeds

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup poppy seeds

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup coconut – fine

1/2 cup ground nuts (eg almond, walnuts or brazil nuts) or a flour eg organic spelt flour

1/3 sugar (panela or rapadura – evaporated unrefined cane juice)

1/2 tspn baking soda

1/2 tspn salt flakes (crushed Maldon or Murray River)

zest of 1/2 lemon

1 tspn cinnamon

8-10 medjool dates – chopped (optional)

1/2 cup chopped almonds (optional)

egg

1/3 cup coconut oil

TO MAKE….

  1. Add dry ingredients to bowl. Mix well – use a big balloon whisk. Ensure dates are separated and coated in the dry mix.
  2. Add whisked egg and (melted) oil. Stir / cut through with a knife for several minutes til well combined – every bits and piece will be well coated and it almost clumps together in your hand. This step is important.
  3. Line ‘lamington tin’ ( 9″ x 13”) with unbleached baking paper and empty in mix.
  4. Spread mix evenly and firmly press down and into the tin. The surface will be smooth and firm. I use a flat pastry scraper to flatten out and compress the mix.
  5. Cook for 20-30 minutes on 170C or until surface is golden brown. Check cooking half way thru and turn tray if necessary – ie you may have hot spots in your oven.
  6. Cool slightly, cut the slice into bar size portions. Note it will seem a bit ‘crumbly but just press/poke back into shape – it will firm up on cooling. Leave in tin to cool.
  7. Once cool go over the cuts to ensure they are clean so you have individual pieces.
  8. Store in an airtight tub upto a 3 weeks.

TIPS + TRICKS

  • If you don’t have all the ingredients, don’t despair – mix and match. Eg Swap the oil or seeds or nuts
  • For school lunch boxes – omit the nuts 🙁
  • Pre-wrap the bars  in unbleached baking paper and pop on a sticker so the family can ‘grab and go’ – it makes them extra special.
Mixing the ingredients in the lük bar

fabulous mix of nutrient rich nuts and seeds

lük beauty breakfast bar

pressed firmly into the tray

Serving the Breakfast Beautifood Bar by the slice

Serving our Breakfast Beauty Bar by the slice

be delicious lower case

Luk Beautifood Blissballs

Glow Balls Recipe | the perfect, protein-packed, portable snack

[RECIPE] Makes lots! | 15 mins

This recipe is a craving buster, and contains no added sugar, is gluten free, protein-packed and makes the perfect go-to portable snack. Oh, and did we mention that it will boost your brain and nourish your skin. What more could you want!

BEAUTY BOOST

These little bliss balls are just packed full of goodness! Firstly raw cacao is full of flavonoids, which act as natural antioxidants. In fact, raw cacao has the highest antioxidant value of all the natural foods in the world! These antioxidants protect the body from ageing and disease by neutralising free radicals before they damage the structures of your skin that keep it tight and youthful looking. The fibre in the dates helps to keep your blood vessels healthy so that it can provide your skin with these nourishing antioxidants along with oxygen and other nutrients.

Walnuts are wonderful. These little cerebral shaped nuts are funnily enough excellent for brain health! Also their protein content is excellent for stabilising blood sugar while their omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect that can stop the causes of wrinkles before they start. The cytokinins in coconut regulate the cell growth, which minimises the ageing of skin cells, balances PH levels and keeps the connective tissues strong and hydrated.  A high fibre and manganese content assists in digestion and absorption of all these important nutrients mentioned.

lukbeautifoodblissballs2

YOU’LL NEED

– 1 cup fresh seedless ‘medjool’ dates

– 1/4 cup raw cacao (use Loving Earth – you can find this in most health food stores)

– 1 cup raw walnuts

– 1 cup of almonds or other nuts (hazelnuts are wicked) & / or seeds such as sesame, pumpkin, sunflower.

– 1 tspn cacao butter or coconut oil (melted)

Optional

– zest of lemon or orange, or

– scraped vanilla bean pod / pure essence, or

– spice – chai or cinnamon, and/or

– handful cacao nibs

blissball

TO ROLL balls in

One or any of the following:

– organic shredded coconut, cacao, chia seeds, sesame seeds, goji berries,

TO MAKE

Throw all these ingredients in to a food processor and whizz until mixture is like a dough. Roll mix into small balls, roll balls in the shredded in coconut and keep in the fridge until firm.

TIP & TRICKS

Have fun by mixing up the textures and flavours of your Glow Balls. Maybe add a bit of lemon rind to the mixture for a zesty twang of flavour. Or instead of rolling in coconut, maybe try cacao, chia seeds, sesame seeds or goji berries create a beautiful look on the platter & to feed your skin!

TO SERVE

Make up a platter with a variety balls or pop 1 or 2 onto a pretty little plate and serve with a cup of re-balance tea.

Enjoy your nibbles!

Cindy

Beetroot and Pumpkin Dip

Roast Beetroot & Pumpkin Dip – eat your antioxidants!

[recipe] Serves 6 |  75 mins go-to-woe

BEAUTY BOOST
So much beauty in colour! The vibrant purple flesh of beetroot is full of antioxidants and minerals that will look after your skin both inside and out. The minerals iron, potassium and zinc detoxify by creating healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to skin cells for regeneration, repair and renewal. The antioxidants fight against inflammation which treats puffy and red complexions. Pumpkin’s bright orange colour is a sign that this veggie is loaded with beta-carotene. This plant carotenoid gets converted to vitamin A and acts as a very powerful antioxidant to neutralise free radicals thereby helping to prevent wrinkles and keep your skin moist and looking youthful. And the omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E of walnuts are another moisturising, wrinkle-fighting beauty boost to your skin.

YOU’LL NEED
2-3  beetroots – remove leaves, leave skin on but get rid of those rough bits at the top and bottom

2 chunks or 1/3 butternut pumpkin –  chopped into cubes

2/3rd cup walnuts

1/3 – 1/2 cup olive oil

1-2 cloves of garlic

1/2 tbspn black mustard seeds

1/2 tspn cumin seeds

salt and pepper to season

TO MAKE

  1. Turn oven on 180C.
  2. Place beetroot and pumpkin on baking tray lined with  non-toxic baking paper, drizzle with some extra olive oil, toss and place into. Roast for an hour.
  3. Halfway through roasting the beetroot add the garlic, walnuts, black mustard seeds and cumin seeds to the tray.
  4. Remove tray from oven when beetroot & pumpkin has roasted and garlic, walnuts and seeds are lightly toasted.
  5. Leave to cool before removing most of skin from the pumpkin.
  6. Add all roasted and toasted ingredients to blender or food processor and whiz until creamy.
  7. Add oil to mixture and blend until desired texture of dip has been reached. Season.
Beetroot and Pumpkin Dip

Beetroot and Pumpkin Dip

TIP & TRICKS

Toasting the walnuts, mustard seeds and cumin seeds and roasting the garlic by popping them into the oven while the beets are baking develops the flavour of the ingredients and infuses the beetroot with a spiced, nutty, garlicky deliciousness!

TO SERVE
Simply serve with a colourful array of fresh veggies and a variety of crackers.

Chia Pudding

Chia Seed Pudding | the ultimate guilt-free, low sugar, raw dessert

Serves 1  | 15 mins go-to-wo

There is no guilt in eating a (chia seed) pudding, right? This nutritious and body-delicious recipe is so quick, easy and fail proof to make! 

BEAUTY BOOST

Chia seeds are one of nature’s superfoods and these little seeds have more than enough goodness packed inside them – 30% omega 3 + 23% protein – mind you they are incredibly light so you need to eat heaps. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are ideal for your brain and body – they help to reduce inflammation, fight against wrinkles by keeping skin cells hydrated (form a membrane) and can radically alleviate symptoms related to skin disorders like acne and psoriasis. Chia seeds also contain high amounts of calcium and phosphorus, both of which help to maintain bone and oral health. And, we love the high protein content to help build, grow, repair and rejuvenate the cells in skin, hair and nails.

Antioxidants are in abundance in the almond milk and raw cacao. The vitamin E in particular helps protect cells from free radical damage by protecting collagen and elastin structures. They also keep skin fats healthy which keeps skin moisturised and promotes a soft and glowing complexion. And even dates, the natural candy fruit, are just so nutritious being packed full of fibre to aid your digestion and absorption of all these fantastic vitamins and minerals.

YOU’LL NEED

(Multiply this recipe by number people you need to serve)

1 cup almond milk (store bought or homemade)

2-3 pitted dates (depending on how sweet you like it – dates are >60% sugar)

2-3 tablespoons raw cacao powder (depending on how chocolatey you like it!) note: I personally love the brand Loving Earth – you can find this in most health food stores

3 tblspn chia seeds

Spices eg  ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract or pinch of cinnamon or chai spices

TO MAKE

  1. Place the almond milk, dates, vanilla and cacao in blender until completely smooth.
  2. Pour chia seeds into medium bowl and add almond milk mixture. Stir immediately.
  3. Allow to sit for 10 minutes with intermittent stirring until it thickens…. and the Chia seeds remain in suspension.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Add tasty toppings like cacao nibs, berries, shredded coconut, or chopped nuts.

TIP & TRICKS

  • Experiment with the taste and texture of the puddings! Vary the ratios of the dates, spices and cacao in the almond milk mixture and try an array of different and delicious toppings.
  • All you need to remember is 1 cup liquid = 3 tablespoons of Chia seeds and you can make anything! Eg for a vanilla pudding, omit the cocoa and dates and add 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup and  vanilla bean.

TO SERVE
Serve Chia seed pudding in individual pots with whatever garnish you wish: a sprinkling of berries looks gorgeous while nuts or toasted coconut add an awesome crunch to the pudding.

Beauty Nutrition Handbook luk beautifood

Skin Food Series: Chia seeds

Great looking skin and healthy insides starts with the food we eat, so each fortnight I’ll be bringing you a Skin Food Series blog post (a bit like our Beautifood Bites) which will profile all of the wondrous superfoods and healthy ingredients that contribute to a unstoppable glow on the inside out and outside in.

To  kick things off, today I’m talking about all things chia seeds! This splendid little superfood has been especially popular these past few years, peppering everything from juices to muesli to fish, and it’s no wonder why.

Chia contains the richest natural plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. On the protein front, they have approximately two times the protein of other grains, even more so than flaxseeds. And, unlike flax, they do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body. They also provie calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc to the body and have the ability to restore vital moisture, diminish redness and inhibit wrinkles to the skin. Talk about being a total miracle food!

The tiny, tasteless seeds can be added to just about anything for a healthy boost.  Blend them in juice, grind them into a flour, or just sprinkle them into your yoghurt; you’ll get the same nutritional benefits than if you were to eat them alone. Amazing!

But wait… there’s more!

Click here to print out our Infobite card which details the beautiful benefits of Chia Seeds

Click here for a delicious Vanilla and Cinnamon Chia Pudding Breakfast Bowl recipe

Click here to learn how to create your own Banana, Coconut and Chia Seed Bread

Image via My New Roots

Are you a fan of the humble chia seed? How do you like to eat them? Leave a comment natural beauties x

cindy luken signature

Click here to add your own text

Grilled vegetable and lentil salad recipe clean food luk beautifood

Grilled Vegetable and Lentil Salad Recipe

 This grilled vegetable and lentil salad is a staple ‘go-to’ recipe for a quick, filling lunch or a busy school night to make eating healthy easy. 

If you struggle to buy or make a salad that just doesn’t fill you up enough or give you the energy you need, this grilled vegetable and lentil salad will do the trick. Rich in protein and fibre, this salad will not only satisfy your lunch time hunger but will nourish your skin from the inside out. Plus, it’s a great way to use up any vegies you have sitting in the fridge!

BEAUTY BOOST

Lentils are packed full of fibre to help to sooth digestion while ensuring as many nutrients are absorbed into your body as possible. It also helps to balance blood sugar levels making this grilled vegetable and lentil salad a perfect meal for the middle of the day. They are also high in protein and iron to keep you energised.

Walnuts are rich in omega 3 fats for  a radiant, plump complexion.  They help skin cells to lock in both nutrients and moisture and are great for maintaining glossy strong hair.

Parsley contains both vitamin A and vitamin K  to brighten eyes and reduce the appearance of dark circles.

GRILLED VEGETABLE AND LENTIL SALAD RECIPE

30 minutes wo to go.  Serves 4

YOU’LL NEED

1/2 cup green/brown lentils, rinsed

4 cups water

2 zucchini

2 capsicum, cored and seeded

1 small egg plant

2 cups of rocket (or 1 small bag)

1/3 cup toasted walnuts, crushed

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Pinch of salt

HOW TO

1.  In a medium saucepan combine the lentils, water and salt.  Bring to the boil and reduce heat, simmering uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.

2.  Meanwhile, cut zucchini, capsicum and eggplant into thin strips, coating lightly with olive oil.  Grill vegetables on medium heat until tender and slightly charred, about 5 minutes each side (Capsicums may take slightly longer).

3. Place rocket into a large salad bowl.  Chop vegetables into cubes and add into a large bowl, on top of the bed of rocket.

4. Strain the lentils, rinsing with some fresh water.  Stir in walnuts, parsley and red wine vinegar and transfer the mixture into the salad bowl.  Stir gently and serve.

TIPS AND TRICKS
  • Make extra of the lentils and save in an air tight container in the fridge for tomorrow.
  • Top grilled vegetable and lentil salad with some avocado and natural yoghurt for a delicious mix!
  • Don’t have any dried lentils on hand or running short on time? A can of (organic) brown lentils will do the trick, just rinse and add.
Grilled vegetable and lentil salad recipe clean food luk beautifood

Either serve Grilled vegetable and lentil salad in a big salad bowl or leave veggies whole and serve with some wholemeal wrap bread!

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lük breakfast beauty bar recipe

lük Breakfast Beauty Bar

[RECIPE] 15 Serves | 45mins go-to-wo  | VEG WF DF (NF)

Delicious and easy-to-eat on the go this breakfast beauty bar contains essential beauty nutrients: omega 3 to fight inflammation & moisturise skin, essential amino acids for cell regeneration, vitamins, minerals & of course fibre to help nutrient absorption and remove toxins.  I created the recipe for the lük beautifood bar at the Growers Market, they were well received so we will make them every month! Obviously it had to be low sugar and most importantly I did not want it to taste like bird food.

Teamed with a lük Glow+Go Green Smoothie (add a spoon of yoghurt for probiotics & an egg for complete protein) and you have the perfect start to the day.

If you bake them at the beginning of the week and wrap up little bundles you’ll have something to grab as you run out the door.  They are handy for breakfast, to fill kids lunch boxes or to snack on.

BEAUTY BOOST:

So many skin loving goodies packed into one delicious bar. Wholegrains contain B vitamins that are required for every aspect of metabolism in your skin, without them your complexion will have a dull appearance as the skin cells can’t regenerate quickly. The seeds and nuts contain skin vital essential fatty acids (esp. harder-to-get omega 3) and key beauty mineral antioxidants (zinc, magnesium, calcium & selenium) and vitamin E. Shredded coconut and coconut oil provide a super skin  moisturising boost and anti microbial benefits.

YOU’LL NEED…..

Organic if you can:

1/2 cup oats – quick

1/4 cup flaxseeds

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup poppy seeds

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup coconut – fine

1/2 cup ground nuts (eg almond, walnuts or brazil nuts) or a flour eg organic spelt flour

1/3 sugar (panela or rapadura – evaporated unrefined cane juice)

1/2 tspn baking soda

1/2 tspn salt flakes (crushed Maldon or Murray River)

zest of 1/2 lemon

1 tspn cinnamon

8-10 medjool dates – chopped (optional)

1/2 cup chopped almonds (optional)

egg

1/3 cup coconut oil

TO MAKE….

  1. Add dry ingredients to bowl. Mix well – use a big balloon whisk. Ensure dates are separated and coated in the dry mix.
  2. Add whisked egg and (melted) oil. Stir / cut through with a knife for several minutes til well combined – every bits and piece will be well coated and it almost clumps together in your hand. This step is important.
  3. Line ‘lamington tin’ ( 9″ x 13”) with unbleached baking paper and empty in mix.
  4. Spread mix evenly and firmly press down and into the tin. The surface will be smooth and firm. I use a flat pastry scraper to flatten out and compress the mix.
  5. Cook for 20-30 minutes on 170C or until surface is golden brown. Check cooking half way thru and turn tray if necessary – ie you may have hot spots in your oven.
  6. Cool slightly, cut the slice into bar size portions. Note it will seem a bit ‘crumbly but just press/poke back into shape – it will firm up on cooling. Leave in tin to cool.
  7. Once cool go over the cuts to ensure they are clean so you have individual pieces.
  8. Store in an airtight tub upto a 3 weeks.

TIPS + TRICKS

  • If you don’t have all the ingredients, don’t despair – mix and match. Eg Swap the oil or seeds or nuts
  • For school lunch boxes – omit the nuts 🙁
  • Pre-wrap the bars  in unbleached baking paper and pop on a sticker so the family can ‘grab and go’ – it makes them extra special.
Mixing the ingredients in the lük bar

fabulous mix of nutrient rich nuts and seeds

lük beauty breakfast bar

pressed firmly into the tray

Serving the Breakfast Beautifood Bar by the slice

Serving our Breakfast Beauty Bar by the slice

be delicious lower case

Luk Beautifood Blissballs

Glow Balls Recipe | the perfect, protein-packed, portable snack

[RECIPE] Makes lots! | 15 mins

This recipe is a craving buster, and contains no added sugar, is gluten free, protein-packed and makes the perfect go-to portable snack. Oh, and did we mention that it will boost your brain and nourish your skin. What more could you want!

BEAUTY BOOST

These little bliss balls are just packed full of goodness! Firstly raw cacao is full of flavonoids, which act as natural antioxidants. In fact, raw cacao has the highest antioxidant value of all the natural foods in the world! These antioxidants protect the body from ageing and disease by neutralising free radicals before they damage the structures of your skin that keep it tight and youthful looking. The fibre in the dates helps to keep your blood vessels healthy so that it can provide your skin with these nourishing antioxidants along with oxygen and other nutrients.

Walnuts are wonderful. These little cerebral shaped nuts are funnily enough excellent for brain health! Also their protein content is excellent for stabilising blood sugar while their omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect that can stop the causes of wrinkles before they start. The cytokinins in coconut regulate the cell growth, which minimises the ageing of skin cells, balances PH levels and keeps the connective tissues strong and hydrated.  A high fibre and manganese content assists in digestion and absorption of all these important nutrients mentioned.

lukbeautifoodblissballs2

YOU’LL NEED

– 1 cup fresh seedless ‘medjool’ dates

– 1/4 cup raw cacao (use Loving Earth – you can find this in most health food stores)

– 1 cup raw walnuts

– 1 cup of almonds or other nuts (hazelnuts are wicked) & / or seeds such as sesame, pumpkin, sunflower.

– 1 tspn cacao butter or coconut oil (melted)

Optional

– zest of lemon or orange, or

– scraped vanilla bean pod / pure essence, or

– spice – chai or cinnamon, and/or

– handful cacao nibs

blissball

TO ROLL balls in

One or any of the following:

– organic shredded coconut, cacao, chia seeds, sesame seeds, goji berries,

TO MAKE

Throw all these ingredients in to a food processor and whizz until mixture is like a dough. Roll mix into small balls, roll balls in the shredded in coconut and keep in the fridge until firm.

TIP & TRICKS

Have fun by mixing up the textures and flavours of your Glow Balls. Maybe add a bit of lemon rind to the mixture for a zesty twang of flavour. Or instead of rolling in coconut, maybe try cacao, chia seeds, sesame seeds or goji berries create a beautiful look on the platter & to feed your skin!

TO SERVE

Make up a platter with a variety balls or pop 1 or 2 onto a pretty little plate and serve with a cup of re-balance tea.

Enjoy your nibbles!

Cindy

Beetroot and Pumpkin Dip

Roast Beetroot & Pumpkin Dip – eat your antioxidants!

[recipe] Serves 6 |  75 mins go-to-woe

BEAUTY BOOST
So much beauty in colour! The vibrant purple flesh of beetroot is full of antioxidants and minerals that will look after your skin both inside and out. The minerals iron, potassium and zinc detoxify by creating healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to skin cells for regeneration, repair and renewal. The antioxidants fight against inflammation which treats puffy and red complexions. Pumpkin’s bright orange colour is a sign that this veggie is loaded with beta-carotene. This plant carotenoid gets converted to vitamin A and acts as a very powerful antioxidant to neutralise free radicals thereby helping to prevent wrinkles and keep your skin moist and looking youthful. And the omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E of walnuts are another moisturising, wrinkle-fighting beauty boost to your skin.

YOU’LL NEED
2-3  beetroots – remove leaves, leave skin on but get rid of those rough bits at the top and bottom

2 chunks or 1/3 butternut pumpkin –  chopped into cubes

2/3rd cup walnuts

1/3 – 1/2 cup olive oil

1-2 cloves of garlic

1/2 tbspn black mustard seeds

1/2 tspn cumin seeds

salt and pepper to season

TO MAKE

  1. Turn oven on 180C.
  2. Place beetroot and pumpkin on baking tray lined with  non-toxic baking paper, drizzle with some extra olive oil, toss and place into. Roast for an hour.
  3. Halfway through roasting the beetroot add the garlic, walnuts, black mustard seeds and cumin seeds to the tray.
  4. Remove tray from oven when beetroot & pumpkin has roasted and garlic, walnuts and seeds are lightly toasted.
  5. Leave to cool before removing most of skin from the pumpkin.
  6. Add all roasted and toasted ingredients to blender or food processor and whiz until creamy.
  7. Add oil to mixture and blend until desired texture of dip has been reached. Season.
Beetroot and Pumpkin Dip

Beetroot and Pumpkin Dip

TIP & TRICKS

Toasting the walnuts, mustard seeds and cumin seeds and roasting the garlic by popping them into the oven while the beets are baking develops the flavour of the ingredients and infuses the beetroot with a spiced, nutty, garlicky deliciousness!

TO SERVE
Simply serve with a colourful array of fresh veggies and a variety of crackers.

Chia Pudding

Chia Seed Pudding | the ultimate guilt-free, low sugar, raw dessert

Serves 1  | 15 mins go-to-wo

There is no guilt in eating a (chia seed) pudding, right? This nutritious and body-delicious recipe is so quick, easy and fail proof to make! 

BEAUTY BOOST

Chia seeds are one of nature’s superfoods and these little seeds have more than enough goodness packed inside them – 30% omega 3 + 23% protein – mind you they are incredibly light so you need to eat heaps. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are ideal for your brain and body – they help to reduce inflammation, fight against wrinkles by keeping skin cells hydrated (form a membrane) and can radically alleviate symptoms related to skin disorders like acne and psoriasis. Chia seeds also contain high amounts of calcium and phosphorus, both of which help to maintain bone and oral health. And, we love the high protein content to help build, grow, repair and rejuvenate the cells in skin, hair and nails.

Antioxidants are in abundance in the almond milk and raw cacao. The vitamin E in particular helps protect cells from free radical damage by protecting collagen and elastin structures. They also keep skin fats healthy which keeps skin moisturised and promotes a soft and glowing complexion. And even dates, the natural candy fruit, are just so nutritious being packed full of fibre to aid your digestion and absorption of all these fantastic vitamins and minerals.

YOU’LL NEED

(Multiply this recipe by number people you need to serve)

1 cup almond milk (store bought or homemade)

2-3 pitted dates (depending on how sweet you like it – dates are >60% sugar)

2-3 tablespoons raw cacao powder (depending on how chocolatey you like it!) note: I personally love the brand Loving Earth – you can find this in most health food stores

3 tblspn chia seeds

Spices eg  ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract or pinch of cinnamon or chai spices

TO MAKE

  1. Place the almond milk, dates, vanilla and cacao in blender until completely smooth.
  2. Pour chia seeds into medium bowl and add almond milk mixture. Stir immediately.
  3. Allow to sit for 10 minutes with intermittent stirring until it thickens…. and the Chia seeds remain in suspension.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Add tasty toppings like cacao nibs, berries, shredded coconut, or chopped nuts.

TIP & TRICKS

  • Experiment with the taste and texture of the puddings! Vary the ratios of the dates, spices and cacao in the almond milk mixture and try an array of different and delicious toppings.
  • All you need to remember is 1 cup liquid = 3 tablespoons of Chia seeds and you can make anything! Eg for a vanilla pudding, omit the cocoa and dates and add 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup and  vanilla bean.

TO SERVE
Serve Chia seed pudding in individual pots with whatever garnish you wish: a sprinkling of berries looks gorgeous while nuts or toasted coconut add an awesome crunch to the pudding.

Beauty Nutrition Handbook luk beautifood

Skin Food Series: Chia seeds

Great looking skin and healthy insides starts with the food we eat, so each fortnight I’ll be bringing you a Skin Food Series blog post (a bit like our Beautifood Bites) which will profile all of the wondrous superfoods and healthy ingredients that contribute to a unstoppable glow on the inside out and outside in.

To  kick things off, today I’m talking about all things chia seeds! This splendid little superfood has been especially popular these past few years, peppering everything from juices to muesli to fish, and it’s no wonder why.

Chia contains the richest natural plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. On the protein front, they have approximately two times the protein of other grains, even more so than flaxseeds. And, unlike flax, they do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body. They also provie calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc to the body and have the ability to restore vital moisture, diminish redness and inhibit wrinkles to the skin. Talk about being a total miracle food!

The tiny, tasteless seeds can be added to just about anything for a healthy boost.  Blend them in juice, grind them into a flour, or just sprinkle them into your yoghurt; you’ll get the same nutritional benefits than if you were to eat them alone. Amazing!

But wait… there’s more!

Click here to print out our Infobite card which details the beautiful benefits of Chia Seeds

Click here for a delicious Vanilla and Cinnamon Chia Pudding Breakfast Bowl recipe

Click here to learn how to create your own Banana, Coconut and Chia Seed Bread

Image via My New Roots

Are you a fan of the humble chia seed? How do you like to eat them? Leave a comment natural beauties x

cindy luken signature

Click here to add your own text

Grilled vegetable and lentil salad recipe clean food luk beautifood

Grilled Vegetable and Lentil Salad Recipe

 This grilled vegetable and lentil salad is a staple ‘go-to’ recipe for a quick, filling lunch or a busy school night to make eating healthy easy. 

If you struggle to buy or make a salad that just doesn’t fill you up enough or give you the energy you need, this grilled vegetable and lentil salad will do the trick. Rich in protein and fibre, this salad will not only satisfy your lunch time hunger but will nourish your skin from the inside out. Plus, it’s a great way to use up any vegies you have sitting in the fridge!

BEAUTY BOOST

Lentils are packed full of fibre to help to sooth digestion while ensuring as many nutrients are absorbed into your body as possible. It also helps to balance blood sugar levels making this grilled vegetable and lentil salad a perfect meal for the middle of the day. They are also high in protein and iron to keep you energised.

Walnuts are rich in omega 3 fats for  a radiant, plump complexion.  They help skin cells to lock in both nutrients and moisture and are great for maintaining glossy strong hair.

Parsley contains both vitamin A and vitamin K  to brighten eyes and reduce the appearance of dark circles.

GRILLED VEGETABLE AND LENTIL SALAD RECIPE

30 minutes wo to go.  Serves 4

YOU’LL NEED

1/2 cup green/brown lentils, rinsed

4 cups water

2 zucchini

2 capsicum, cored and seeded

1 small egg plant

2 cups of rocket (or 1 small bag)

1/3 cup toasted walnuts, crushed

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Pinch of salt

HOW TO

1.  In a medium saucepan combine the lentils, water and salt.  Bring to the boil and reduce heat, simmering uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.

2.  Meanwhile, cut zucchini, capsicum and eggplant into thin strips, coating lightly with olive oil.  Grill vegetables on medium heat until tender and slightly charred, about 5 minutes each side (Capsicums may take slightly longer).

3. Place rocket into a large salad bowl.  Chop vegetables into cubes and add into a large bowl, on top of the bed of rocket.

4. Strain the lentils, rinsing with some fresh water.  Stir in walnuts, parsley and red wine vinegar and transfer the mixture into the salad bowl.  Stir gently and serve.

TIPS AND TRICKS
  • Make extra of the lentils and save in an air tight container in the fridge for tomorrow.
  • Top grilled vegetable and lentil salad with some avocado and natural yoghurt for a delicious mix!
  • Don’t have any dried lentils on hand or running short on time? A can of (organic) brown lentils will do the trick, just rinse and add.
Grilled vegetable and lentil salad recipe clean food luk beautifood

Either serve Grilled vegetable and lentil salad in a big salad bowl or leave veggies whole and serve with some wholemeal wrap bread!

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beauty benefits of cauliflower beauty food cauliflower luk beautifood

beauty food cauliflower

beauty food for glowing skin | cauliflower

beauty benefits of cauliflower beauty food cauliflower luk beautifood

Similar in appearance to its  cousin the cabbage, beauty food cauliflower is part of the cruciferous family.  It consists of green leaves which encase its gorgeous and nutritious white florets. This delicious and diverse vegie it full of cleansing and nutritious powers.

FOOD ACTIVES:

Vitamin A, B, C and K, folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper, selenium, fibre and omega 3 fatty acids.

BEAUTY BENEFITS:

Cauliflower contains a sulphur compound called glucosinate which gives cauliflower its flavour and smell.  It also works to activate enzymes which aid the liver, helping to cleanse your body of toxins as well as neutralise damaging free radicals. This works to provide a glowing, clear complexion.  Beauty food cauliflower also contains vitamin K and omega 3 fatty acids.  Both of these work together to provide fabulous anti-inflammatory benefits and help you maintain a smooth, even skin tone!

COOK:

Cauliflower can be eaten raw but is much tastier when cooked! Saute florets with a sprinkle of turmeric, bake with some garlic, olive oil and herbs or puree for a gorgeous smooth texture and nutty taste.

TIP:

When buying beauty food cauliflower make sure there is no browning on the florets, you don’t want to buy one that has been there for too long! Generally cauliflower will keep in the crisper for 3 to 4 days when stored unwashed.

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

quinoa breakfast recipe clean food luk beautifood

Quinoa breakfast bowl + goji berries and walnut milk

Looking for a gluten free,  antioxidant and protein packed breakfast that’s easy to make, this quinoa breakfast bowl with fruit is perfect. 

I love changing what I eat for breakfast most mornings and making a non-wheat, non dairy, plant protein rich breakfast bowl is high on the must have list. If you have a rice cooker that is even better as you can turn it on and walk away to get showered and dressed! Short on time for cooking fruit for your quinoa breakfast bowl, toss in some chopped dates as the quinoa cooks and serve with fresh fruit. For a longer, lingering weekend brunch you can add a DIY granola by Lee Holmes  – recipe on our blog / She’s Delicious interview!

BEAUTY BENEFITS

Protein for breakfast is a necessity but it can be difficult to find quick to prepare foods which contain it.  Providing you with a complete protein source and packed full of goodies, this breakfast recipe is much needed starter to the day ahead, keeping your complexion glowing.  A morning boost of antioxidants from goji berries will keep your skin smooth and toned while also working to ease inflammation. Restoring moisture lost over night, essential fatty acids found in nut milk help to nourish your skin.  An added benefit for morning exercise sessions, the beta carotene in the goji berries works to protect your body from the suns UV rays while iron provides oxygen to your cells maintaining a bright appearance. The quinoa’s high fibre content aids absorption of all these essential nutrients while also helping to cleanse your body, giving you a fresh start to the morning.

You can make your very own omega rich, anti-inflammatory walnut milk (recipe and info here) to create a delicious lactose free quinoa breakfast bowl.

QUINOA BREAKFAST BOWL RECIPE

serves 1 (generously)

YOU’LL NEED

1/2 cup quinoa (blonde)

1 cup walnut milk (or nut or dairy milk)

Stewed Summer fruits with Goji Berries: eg 1 ripe pear, 1 tblspn dried goji berries, 1/2 stick cinnamon, 1 cup water.

HOW TO
  1. Cook pear – quarter and core a ripe pear, add a the goji berries, cinnamon stick and water to a small saucepan.Simmer gently 10-15 mins until pears are soft and water has reduced into a light syrup.
  2. Cook Quinoa – Add quinoa and 3/4  of the walnut milk to rice cooker and set to cook. When cooked, stir in remaining walnut milk slowly to create the desired consistency. ie grainy or creamy (you can add a little water too)
  3. Serve quinoa warm with poached pears and goji berries on top, drizzled with the syrup from the pears.
TIPS
  • If creating this quinoa breakfast bowl without the addition of fruit, an extra date (diced) can be added when cooking to sweeten.
  • If you don’t have 15 minutes then make porridge with quinoa flakes – note that the flavour is a little bitter and will definitely need chopped dates and lots of spice!
  • The quinoa can be gently cooked on a stove top with a lid. May need an extra 1/4-1/2 cup of water.
  • If you don’t have a pear, replace with any ripe stone fruit or apple to add to your quinoa breakfast bowl.

 

Perfect mix - Pears, goji berreis and cinamon

Perfect mix to your quinoa breakfast bowl – pears, goji berries and cinnamon

 

plump glossy pears poached with vibrant goji berries

Naturally sweet pears poached with vibrant goji berries and cinnamon in water only

be delicious.... inside and out

Strawberry Smoothie (love shake) recipe

Love shake | strawberry smoothie for Valentine’s Day

A little inspiration for Valentine Day

Why not make this dairy free strawberry smoothie with almond milk and chia seeds for breakfast in bed! Not only are strawberries luscious to eat they are packed full of skin loving ingredients to help you glow even more!  Made the night before and pop into a jar, tie with red ribbon and you’ll be set to surprise your loved one…..even on a work day!

BEAUTY BENEFITS

DIY facial in a jar – will he discover the true reason why he is being spoilt!

Vitamin C, E and ellagic acid found in strawberries work to ward off wrinkles by protecting your skin from free radical damage.  These antioxidants promote a soft and illuminating complexion by keeping the skin soft, smooth and nurtured. Chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids which help the body to reduce inflammation. Inflammation can cause red puffy skin, making it especially important to preserve a bright, youthful appearance, helping you to look and feel restored.  Using almond milk means an extra dose of antioxidants (Vitamin E this time – seriously your skin can’t get enough!) as well as a moisturising effect from essential fatty acids to help you feel refreshed and glowing.

YOU’LL NEED

1 punnet of Strawberries

2 cups (500ml) Almond milk

2 tspns Chia seeds

2-3 tspns Honey (or sweetener of your desire – eg rice malt syrup, stevia, agave nectar)

HOW TO 
  • Hull the strawberries and pop into blender along with remaining ingredients.
  • Blend on high for a couple minutes til silky smooth. Pour into jars.

The chia seeds take 10-15 minutes to thicken up so if you are going to drink it immediately let it sit then stir before pouring into serving glasses over ice. Otherwise refrigerate to chill and give your jars a good shake before serving.

TIPS
  1. Ideal for gluten or lactose intolerant, vegan or vegetarian.
  2. Use 1/2 cup ice in the blender if you are going to drink immediately, or
  3. Make the night before and pop into glass jars.
  4. Decorate with red ribbon and heart card – don’t forget the straws to sip together!
  5. Make with fresh almond milk – far more taste and ‘clean’ ingredients* see recipe card below
4-DSC_9803

Toss washed and hulled strawberries into the blender

Add fresh almond milk, chia seeds and sweetener of your desire

Add fresh almond milk, chia seeds and sweetener of your desire

Blend the 4 ingredients for a couple of minutes

Blend the 4 ingredients for a couple of minutes

 

It turns a pretty pink colour with our the addition of other ingredients

It turns a pretty pink colour naturally  – without the addition of nasty food colouring!

Pour into jars ready to share.

Pour into jars ready to share.

Decorate with a ribbon, write on a card and serve with another punnet of strawbs....even chocolate dipped ones! (organic of course)

Decorate with a ribbon, write on a card and serve with another punnet of strawbs….even chocolate dipped ones! (organic of course)

Making fresh almond milk is really simple with a cold pressed juicer - no straining involved.

Making fresh almond milk is really simple with a cold pressed juicer – no straining involved.

 

 

 

Beauty Pantry Basics: Milk It

[FOOD]

Whether it’s for cooking, baking, making your morning latte, pouring on your cereal, dunking cookies in or simply enjoying by itself, ‘milk’ is a key part of our diet. We’ve come a long way since Daisy and her milkmaid; in this day and age it seems that every form of rice, nut, grain, seed and bean has a milk to its name. Every type has its pros, but which is best for you? We focus on the beauty benefits of five different milks so you can decide for yourself.

Cow Milk

Constantly under attack by the diet community as fattening and cholesterol forming, the market is now saturated with refined low-fat and no-fat milk versions. But it’s the minimally processed, keep-it-real full-cream (still only 4.6% fat) that is naturally nutrient rich and contains a small amount of fat that is an important element in enabling digestion of milk proteins and fat-soluble vitamins.  A good source of..

Calcium: Supports the new cell production and enhances the health and complexion of your skin by acting as a regulator of cell turnover which prevents the accumulation of dead cells. Also moisturising and hydrating, this nutrient will keep your skin looking soft and smooth.

Vitamin B12: Encourages the formation of red blood cells that carry oxygen to the body and helps blood vessels to function proper. The oxygen transported through the red blood cells helps grow healthy and beautiful hair

Vitamin D: Important for maintaining the immune system, which is key to preventing skin infection and diseases.

Riboflavin: This enhances metabolism processes for the formation and division of skin cells to keep you looking youthful and radiant!

cow's milk

Image Source: Pinterest via Creative Can

On the flip side, there are epidemiological studies that associate milk with inflammation, and ‘food sensitivity’  problems are growing – unwanted reactions that can cause diverse issues including digestive problems, asthma, eczema, joint pain, headaches and fatigue.

Soy Milk

This milk gets (undeservedly) bad press because of GM’s, thyroid issues (with a small but vocal portion of the population) and discussion on how high levels of phytic acid are thought to reduce the assimilation of key minerals. I like to take a ‘helicopter’ view of soy that it should not be popped into the “don’t eat” basket as it plays an important role in the diet of vegans and is native to Asia where it is consumed as part of the every day diet. Rich in plant sterols it’s believed to be one of the reasons why (along with green tea) Asian skin does not show the signs of ageing.  Relax and enjoy soy milk as a beneficial beverage….in moderation & GM free of course.

A good source of..

Calcium: It works with the skin to generate sebum that helps to maintain healthy moisture levels to keep it soft, smooth and hydrated.

Protein: This serves a major structural role in tissues such as muscle and skin as well as being vital to cell division necessary for growth, reproduction and healing. It is the building block for strong and healthy nails, hair and skin in which it aids in wrinkle prevention by reducing sagging and making the skin appear tighter.

Isoflavones: This is a class of very strong antioxidants known to have many beneficial effects on the skin. Anti-oxidative properties provide anti-inflammatory assistance to skin cells enhancing the appearance of the skin by preserving elasticity and producing collagen.

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 11.39.34 PM

Image: Pinterestvia Girl Cooks World

Almond milk

Almond milk has been gaining popularity in recent years not only due to it distinct and delicious nutty mild flavour but also because of its many health benefits. It shares the same excellent nutritional content as the highly nutrient dense almonds that it is made from. For the highest nutritional benefits you can very easily make your own from scratch.

A good source of..

Vitamin E: These anti-oxidants help prevent cells from free radical damage by protecting collagen and elastin structures. This fights the first signs of skin aging such as wrinkles, age spots and sagging. It prevents the loss of moisture in the skin and promotes a soft and smooth complexion by keeping the skin fats healthy while also acting as a mild protective agent from UV sun damage.

Omega-6+9 Fatty Acids: Overall this nutrient leads to smoother, younger-looking skin.

Glyocides: These antioxidants work together to fight free-radical damage, one of the main causes of wrinkle damage to the skin.

almond milk

Image: Pinterest via William Sonoma

Oat milk

If you aren’t keen on nutty tasting milks, the mild and naturally sweet flavour of oat milk may be for you.  Like almond milk, this milk contains all the nutrients of the nutritious food that it is derived from.

A good source of..

Iron: Plays a major role in oxygen movement in the body. When the skin receives proper oxygen supplies regeneration and repair of skin cells can happen and create thick, strong and wrinkle free skin that is youthful and glowing.

Manganese: This acts as an activator of many enzymes that enables the proper absorption and utilisation of antioxidants. One enzyme in particular it activates is called prolidase which increases the production of collagen which assists the body in healing wounds.

Thyamin: Promotes cell regeneration and cell division to support the skin in repairing damaged cells, making the skin stronger and healthier in appearance and reducing signs of wrinkles.

Fibre: The high fibre content (if you DIY) helps to regulate blood sugar levels and promote healthy bowel functions, which reduces toxins being present in the skin.

oat milk made in the Vitamix

 

Image Source: Pinterest via Oh She Glows

Coconut Milk

Made from the meat of the coconut this milk boasts a variety of nutrients as well as a creamy consistency and delicious taste. Whether you drink it or apply it topically, this milk will moisturise and nourish your body inside and out.

A good source of..

Vitamin E: Internally moisturises by keeping the skin fats healthy while anti-oxidants help to protect collagen and elastin structures, which prevents skin ageing and maintains a healthy, soft and smooth complexion.

Potassium: This balances fluids in the body, which allows maintenance of proper levels of moisture in the skin to keep it hydrated and smooth. It promotes cellular cleansing, particularly the elimination of wastes which allows for the regeneration of new cells and keeping the skin healthy, beautiful and radiant.

Phosphorus: Maintains good oral health by working with calcium to boost the strength of teeth.

+ Antifungal: Coconut oil is made up of healthy fats lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid which contain antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral prosperities to boost the immune system.

coconut milk

Image Source: Pinterest via cookingalalamel

The best thing about all these milks being popular is you can mix them up. This way you’ll be getting a fantastic assortment of vitamins and nutrients and an entire spectrum of amazing beauty benefits. So, grab yourself a glass and get drinking!

 

be delicious lower case