Filed under: Honest Kitchen
Berry Spritzer Mocktail for Spring

Berry Spritzer Mocktail

Summon spring—and the weekend—with this delightful berry spritzer. The refreshing drink is easy to craft and makes the perfect mocktail for brunch, al fresco dining, or reading a book on the porch.

While you can use any berry or a mix, the strawberries’ natural sweetness is a lovely complement to the mint. And the blackberries, while slightly more tart, make a tasty pairing with the lime.

Berry Spritzer Recipe

Berry Spritzer Mocktail

Ingredients

  • a handful of organic berries
  • fresh, organic mint leaves (no more than two sprigs)
  • juice of 1 organic lime
  • 2 tablespoons of agave, honey, or other sweetener (optional)
  • club soda
  • ice

Directions

1. Give your fruit and herbs a good rinse with Fruit + Veggie Wash.

2. Muddle or purée the berries with the juice of one lime, the mint, and the optional sweetener. For the blackberry spritzer, we used about half of a 6-ounce container. And we used five or six large strawberries for that version. Then we added three to four mint leaves from two sprigs to capture the herb’s essence.

3. Fill your glass with ice. Spoon your berry mixture over it. Then top it with club soda. Depending on how fruity you enjoy your drinks, you can reserve this for one mocktail or divide it between two.

4. Mix the spritzer using a cocktail shaker.

5. Serve with berry, lime, or mint garnishes.

6. Bring on the warm weather and enjoy.

Cheers!

Gluten Free & Vegan Coconut Pear Parfait

Gluten Free and Vegan Coconut Pear Parfait

Perfect for a festive brunch or a simple Sunday at home, this gluten free, dairy free, and vegan parfait will start your day on a sunny note. The recipe for four is easy to whip up, and its ingredients have anti-inflammatory benefits — promoting an internal reset for your body.

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe organic pears, pitted, and cubed
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 2 cups coconut milk yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan Parfait

Directions

1.     In a medium-sized bowl, combine pears, orange juice, and orange zest. Set aside for 20 minutes.

2.     Spoon yogurt into four serving bowls; top with pear mixture, coconut flakes, and ground flax seeds.

3.     Serve chilled.

Bon appétit!

- Amie Valpone of  TheHealthyApple.com

Get Glowing Skin From the Food You Eat

glowing skin 1

We all know that saying, “you are what you eat.” The food we put in our bodies can be reflected in our outer appearance. So when our skin acts up, it’s possible our diet could be to blame. And since our skin is our body’s largest organ, it’s important to take good care of it.

We spoke with Naturopathic Doctor and Honest contributor Thalia Farshchian to learn what foods make our skin beautiful from the inside out. Then, we reached out to Raw Chef and Honest contributor Meredith Baird to see what delicious recipe she could create using some of Thalia’s healthy skin ingredients. Below you’ll find a list of foods and one recipe that will set you on the path to super healthy and glowing skin!

Dr. Thalia’s list of foods that benefit the skin

1. Stinging Nettles: Typically cropping up around the spring time, this plant is great for supporting the liver. The liver is our body’s filter and primary detox organ, so skin issues like acne occur because the filter is backing up. Nettles is also great for seasonal allergies, too.

2. Lemon: Lemon is packed with vitamin C, which plays an important role in collagen production. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that combs the body for toxins called free radicals. When it comes to skin, I like to support it both internally and topically. Studies show that topical vitamin C is more effective for anti-aging. Combine lemons with water to treat the skin to nutrients and hydration.

3. Spinach: Spinach combines both high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin A is another antioxidant that prevents cell damage and premature aging.

4. Nuts: Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts are packed with healthy omega-3 fats and vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and can protect your skin against UV damage (you’ll still want to wear sunscreen, though!).

“In terms of food’s impact on skin, my number one healthy skin tip is to minimize sugary foods,” she says. “Sugar breaks down collagen and can contribute to premature aging.”

Beautiful Skin Recipe

Nettles are a springtime herb-slash-weed that are covered with little stinging hairs that can irritate the skin when touched. Because of this they are somewhat of a pain to harvest and handle. Do not be intimidated — the benefits are well worth the trouble, and the flavor is rich, earthy, and delicious.

Some benefits of nettles include:

- Immunity boost

- Reduce inflammation

- Lung support

- Kidney support

- Adrenal support

- Digestive aid

- Skin tonic

- Blood tonic

- They are one of the highest protein greens

The list of benefits goes on!

This is an easy recipe that can be doubled or tripled if you have more nettles than you know what to do with. The pesto will last for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

“The combination of ingredients in this recipe are especially good for skin health and for an immunity boost,” Meredith says. “This recipe can be used in a variety of ways. My favorite is with fresh zucchini pasta made with a spiral slicer. It’s also great with gluten free toast and avocado!”

Nettle Pesto 

glowing skin 2

Makes approximately 3 cups

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 pound stinging nettles
  • 1/4 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 clove garlic (optional)
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

1. Fill a large pot with 4 cups water. Add 3 tablespoons salt and bring to a boil.

2. Until the nettles are cooked, you need to be careful when handling them. Fill the sink or a large bowl with cold water. Using tongs or gloves, submerge the nettles in the water and let them sit for 5-10 minutes Remove the nettles and discard the water. Wearing kitchen gloves, pull the leaves from the stems and discard the stems.

3. Put the nettles in the boiling water and blanch for 1 minute. Drain and dry on kitchen towels, or paper towels, making sure to remove as much water as possible.

4. Coarsely chop the nettles, and place in the bowl of a food processor with the spinach, garlic, pistachios, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Process until the mixture has formed a paste/pesto consistency.

5. Add the olive oil to the food processor last. Process until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and use wherever you’d like a boost of flavor!
What foods do you eat to benefit your skin? Tell us in the comments! 

~ Dr. Thalia Farshchian, Naturopathic Doctor, with a recipe by Meredith Baird. Meredith is a certified raw food chef and instructor. She is also the creative director at the Matthew Kenney Academy where chefs and health foodies can learn the art of making raw food. 

This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Before undertaking any course of treatment or dietary/health changes, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.

Healthy Salmon Dinner for Two

Salmon 1

This nutritionally well-rounded meal is simple to make and looks beautiful plated. It’s great when hearty, rustic meals can be so incredibly diet-friendly, too!

Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. It also might help with your weight loss goals since a number of studies suggest consuming omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to a healthy diet and exercise, causes people lose more weight than just with healthy diet and exercise alone.

And taste-wise, the flavors of this dish are spectacular. Try pairing this meal with an organic red wine, and enjoy this salmon dinner for two!

Salmon Resting on Beans and Spinach, Topped with a Spiced Yogurt

Serves 2; Use Organic Ingredients When Possible

Yogurt sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Small squeeze agave nectar/ honey
  • Small squeeze of lemon

Bed of Beans & Spinach:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 can 15 oz cannellini beans
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of lemon to taste
  • Two 6 ounce pieces of wild, organic salmon

For the yogurt sauce:

  1. In a skillet over medium to low heat, add the olive oil and the onion, and cook down (without color) for about 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the spices and cook for another 1 minute or so to toast them. Watch your heat to make sure the spices don’t burn.
  2. Place the onion and spices to a bowl and add the yogurt, along with a small amount of agave, sea salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. Mix well and taste to check seasoning.

Salmon, Beans & Spinach:

  1. Then, using the same skillet you did before, cook the 1/4 cup of onions in the olive oil for about 2-3 minutes, then add the whole can of beans (liquid included), plus a good pinch of sea salt. Gently simmer for about 3 minutes until the beans have become a little tender.
  2. Add the 2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves, a squeeze of lemon and mix around, then push the contents of the pan to the outside and add the salmon steak (see picture). Cook them for about a minute on each side (I like mine a little pink inside, so if you prefer yours more cooked, give it more time). If the bean mixture becomes dry, add a few tablespoons of water. This will cook down with everything and make a lovely sauce.

Before you plate everything, check the seasoning — add more salt and freshly ground pepper, and lemon if it needs it. Spoon the bean and spinach mix on to a plate, along with any juices in the pan, top with the salmon, and add a dollop of the spiced yogurt on top.

Salmon 2

What is your favorite way to cook salmon? Tell us in the comments!

Chef Jane Coxwell  

Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day the Healthy Way with This Minty Green Smoothie

green smoothieJust in time for St. Paddy’s Day, raw chef Meredith Baird created this healthy and guilt-free “Shamrock Smoothie.”

St. Patrick’s day is typically focused around boozing and binging — all things that are terrible for your skin and health. The Irish may know how to have a good time, but this holiday doesn’t really help you kick-off the spring in good health with vibrant vibes.
No matter what you do for the occasion, St. Paddy’s Day the perfect excuse to get more greens into your diet.
This smoothie is fulfilling on all levels and will leave you glowing! Nuts are packed with healthy omegas that boost collagen levels and provide antioxidant protection from UVs. Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse. Not only is it high in plant based protein (think Popeye) it is also full of Vitamins A and C which boost immunity and aid in skin health — and the benefits of coconut deserves its own book.
Green smoothies are also a great way consume greens without getting them in your teeth! Enjoy!
Shamrock Smoothie 
Serves 1-2  
Ingredients:
  •  1/2 cup almonds or pistachios, soaked 4-6 hours
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut water
  • 1 Tbsp coconut butter
  • 2 dates, pitted (optional)
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 2 tsps peppermint extract
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and mix for about 30 seconds- 1 minute, gradually increasing speed until all ingredients are thoroughly pulverized and combined.

2. Drink up!

 

What is your favorite green smoothie recipe? Tell us in the comments! 

 

Recipes by Meredith Baird. Meredith is a certified raw food chef and instructor. She is also the creative director at the Matthew Kenney Academy where chefs and health foodies can learn the art of making raw food.