Warm Pear Bake with Cocoa-Plum Crust

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This winter, eat more cranberries and pears! These two naturally sweet beauty foods are ideal for cool weather, as they reduce inflammation and detoxify naturally. Eat them raw, or use as little added sugar as possible when you cook with them, to preserve their benefits. 

Here's a perfect way to use them in a naturally sweet dish that you can cozy up to all winter long:

Warm Pear Bake with Cocoa-Plum Crust

This quick-to-make dessert is packed with skin benefits from fresh pear, cranberries, cinnamon, cocoa, and walnuts. Dried plums, also called prunes (which just never sounds as appealing) are packed with iron, antioxidants, and natural sweetness, and fabulous for digestion and elimination in small amounts. Enjoy this simple treat when you have a sweet craving this season.

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Makes 3 individual servings

INGREDIENTS

3 ripe pears, cored and chopped

½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

unrefined salt

Heaping 1 cup raw walnut halves

12 dried plums/prunes

4 tsp cocoa powder or raw cacao powder

Equipment: 3 ramekins

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Toss pears and cranberries with ¼ tsp cinnamon and a dash of salt. Divide pear/berry mixture among three ramekins. In a food processor, combine walnuts, plums, and cocoa powder, and add in a generous sprinkling of salt. Divide and roll mixture into three even-sized balls and flatten each to create a top crust for your ramekin. Carefully (use a spatula if needed) transfer one crust to the top of each ramekin.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool slightly and serve.


Beauty Food Focus:

Cranberries. You’ll only find these berries readily available in stores from about October through January, so don’t miss your chance to take in their powerful skin and body benefits. The skins of cranberries contain anthocyanin pigments that protect our cells and collagen. These anthocyanins also lower inflammation, reducing redness, blemishes, and slowing the wrinkling process. Other phytochemicals in cranberries increase your skin’s UV tolerance and blood flow, giving you a radiant complexion. Cranberries support healthy digestion and lymph flow, making them perfect for the cold weather months when we’re eating larger meals. Be sure you don't just eat cranberries sweetened with refined sugars; try the Warm Pear Bake for a sweet way to eat them without added sugar.

Pears. Pears are beauty foods with so much natural sweetness, making them ideal choices for desserts or sweet snacks. Their pectin fiber helps detoxify the body, as well as support good digestion and elimination—keys for radiant skin. Phytochemicals in pear skins reduce inflammation in the body, which supports a gorgeous complexion, good moods, and a healthy weight. All varieties of pears have beauty benefits, but red-skinned pears are especially high in anthocyanins that protect your skin’s natural elasticity.

Detox with Joy McCarthy's Grain-Free Granola

I'm so excited to share a beautiful new book by Canadian holistic nutritionist, wellness expert, and author, Joy McCarthy! I've followed Joy's work for years and always thought that she embodied her name: she seems to radiate health, beauty, and joy. Her delicious recipes use whole food ingredients that support beauty and health, aligning perfectly with Eat Pretty. She's just released her second book, Joyous Detox, with everything you need to know to eat for optimal detoxification, and it's filled with recipes that you'll want to make immediately. Joy was kind enough to share one of those recipes, Grain-Free Nutty Granola, with Beauty Is Wellness readers. It's delicious, and just one of many must-try dishes in this beautiful book. I hope you enjoy meeting Joy, and trying her beauty- and detox-boosting recipe. Do NOT miss this book!

DOUBLE GIVEAWAY BONUS: you can enter to win a copy of Joy's recipe-packed new book Joyous Detox on my Instagram page by tagging a friend— AND you can enter to win a copy of Eat Pretty Every Day by tagging a friend over at Joy's Instagram page. Contest open this weekend only, so enter fast!


Guest post by Joy McCarthy of Joyous Health:

Granola is a kitchen staple in my home but it can be expensive if you’re buying it every week. The other challenge with store-bought granola is that it’s often full of unnecessary amounts of sugar and sodium. You can easily avoid both of these by making it yourself!

I love making my own because I’m in control of every single ingredient and can decide how sweet to make it. In fact, you don’t even need to add any natural sweeteners because the dried fruit usually makes it sweet enough. The best part about making it is that your kitchen smells like heaven while it’s baking.

When I was developing this recipe, I thought about all the clients I’ve had over the years who have trouble digesting grains because of digestive problems like IBS. This grain-free nutty granola is safe for those on a grain-free diet and it’s also excellent for balancing blood sugar because the nuts provide healthy anti-inflammatory good fats and plant-based protein.

A little goes a long way! This granola is very fulfilling, much more than an oat-based granola. I enjoy it in my Coconut Parfait (you’ll see this on page 110). You’ll also catch me scooping a handful mid-day for a quick power-snack! My 16 month old loves it too, but I grind it up in the food processor more for her because she only has 11 teeth.

Here’s the recipe from Joyous Detox for my Grain-Free Nutty Granola – I hope you enjoy it!

Grain-Free Nutty Granola

Makes about 8 cups (2 L)

Gluten-free — Dairy-free — Refined sugar-free — Grain-free

4 cups (1 L) mixed raw pecans, cashews and walnuts

1 cup (250 mL) raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened, unsulphured shredded coconut

1 cup (250 mL) dried cranberries or dried cherries

1 egg white (optional)

2 tbsp (30 mL) water (optional)

3 tbsp (45 mL) coconut oil, melted

1/3 cup (75 mL) real maple syrup

1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract or vanilla powder

2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon

½ tsp (2 mL) nutmeg

½ tsp (2 mL) sea salt

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place nuts and pumpkin seeds in a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times to chop the nuts, but don’t grind them into a fine meal. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in coconut and dried cranberries.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg white with the water, if using, until bubbly and slightly foamy. (You can skip this step if you prefer an egg-free granola. The egg white helps the granola to clump together, but it’s not crucial.) Add melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt; whisk together well. Pour liquid mixture into nut mixture. Stir everything well to make sure it is all coated.

Spread granola evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, stirring once after 20 minutes, and again at the end. Be careful not to let it burn; it should be golden brown. Let granola cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container, preferably a mason jar.

Joyous Tip

Many people are sensitive to grains such as oats (even if they are certified gluten-free), and it’s very difficult to find a commercial grain-free granola, which is why I created this totally grain-free recipe. This granola can also be beneficial for those with any inflammatory issues such as IBS, who may need to take a break from grains.

Photography: Christopher Bodnar

Joyous Detox Copyright 2016

Eat Pretty Every Day Sneak Preview: Gingered Purple Kraut

With Eat Pretty Every Day hitting shelves in just two weeks (!), I wanted to give you another sneak peek at some of the beautiful things that you'll find inside. I've included 24 favorite seasonal recipes in this new book, each with its own essential beauty nutrition benefits.

Today I'm sharing one of my personal beauty food staples: Gingered Purple Kraut, a probiotic-rich fermented food with just enough spice (from fresh grated ginger) and just enough tangy crunch to top any meal, and time of the day. I pair it with scrambled eggs, use it to add interest to a sandwich, and pile it on top of veggies and grains for incredible skin benefits. This recipe is part of the summer chapter of Eat Pretty Every Day, and I'm sharing it here with you first.

Fermenting is one of those kitchen skills that takes confidence—but surprisingly little skill. This recipe only has 3 ingredients! One of the most important things to remember when fermenting kraut is to keep the cabbage under the surface of the water by checking on your ferment every few days, and regularly pushing it down below the surface, or adding more brine to cover the cabbage if needed. Beyond that, just let it sit for a few weeks and do its thing. The benefits for healthy digestion are many, and you'll be so proud after developing the skill of fermenting at home.

Enjoy this Gingered Purple Kraut, and don't forget to get your copy of Eat Pretty Every Day for 364 more pages of beauty inspiration!