Beauty can mean different things to different people. For some it’s an outward appearance, for others it’s an internal feeling or quality and how these are radiated on the outside. After all, people are often described as being “beautiful on the inside and out”. So perhaps beauty is best considered a combination of factors, and ultimately the way we look on the outside as a reflection of what’s going on on the inside.
I was recently gifted the Eat Beautiful book by Neal’s Yard Remedies. Written by a nutritional therapist, a naturopathic herbalist and a qualified homeopath and naturopath, this book is all about enhancing beauty through diet to help us feel and look our best at any age. It tells us how we can cleanse and detox our bodies and details which foods are our beauty superfood heroes, even splitting them into categories; foods for the face, body, hair, hands and feet, and mouth. It also provides 100 mouth-watering beauty-enhancing recipes!
If you’re interested in clean eating and healthy living, this book is definitely worthy of its £16.99 price tag and a space on your bookshelf.
This week I tried out their Courgette Noodles with Basil Pesto recipe. They even include a dairy-free alternative recipe for the pesto suitable for Vegans and the dairy intolerant – as a Vegan, I opted for this version. This recipe was highlighted as being good for anti-ageing, skin smoothing, skin calming, and for healthy teeth and gums and here’s why…
Refreshing courgettes have an especially high water content that makes them super-hydrating for our skin and gums. They’re also naturally high in the anti-ageing antioxidant betacarotene and Vitamin C, which promotes clear, firm skin.
“With anti-inflammatory properties, pine nuts help soothe and calm sensitive skin, and their high vitamin E content adds lustre and shine to dull hair”. They also provide important minerals for teeth health and the final sprinkling of pine nuts in this recipe will also help to remove stains by exfoliation.
…Lemon Zest and Juice
Citrus fruits increase saliva flow and contain a lot of water which helps to wash away bacteria in the mouth.
“A good source of skin-repairing antioxidant vitamin E, the fat in olive oil is up to 75% omega-9 (oleic acid), which aids the absorption of omega-3 fats, enhancing our uptake of nutrients. And cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil is especially good for dry skin as it has anti-inflammatory properties”.
For the Courgette Noodles…
Place two spiralized courgettes (one yellow and one green) in a bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and if desired, a little lemon zest. Combine with your hands.
For the Pesto…
Pulse together one clove of garlic, a pinch of pink Himalayan salt, and 30g of fresh basil leaves. Add 30g of pine nuts and pulse again. Add 30g of Parmesan (or 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast flakes if Vegan) and then add 70ml olive oil and blitz again. (Browning the pine nuts in a dry pan for three minutes prior to blitzing can also add a deeper flavour which is lost if not using cheese). Season with freshly ground black pepper and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Put a dollop of pesto onto the noodles, add a sprinkle of pine nuts, and serve.
And here’s my result…
Ok, so I may not have had both yellow and green courgettes as the recipe recommended, and I may not own a spiralizer, so had to make do with julienne courgettes instead. But although my attempt may not look quite as pretty as it does in the book, it was incredibly tasty! This really is a winning recipe if you’re looking for a quick, filling, healthy, beauty-enhancing meal. Delicious and nutritious!
For more beauty-enhancing recipes, get your hands on Neal’s Yard’s Eat Beautiful book here