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.

Can Squalane Save You from Dry Winter Skin?

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Here we are again, in the cold, dry, harsh weather season of year in the northern hemisphere. The first snow of the season is falling outside my window, and the dry heat is (thankfully) blowing steadily indoors. Scrolling back in my phone feed of pictures, I see my summer skin glowy and radiant, with no trace of fine lines or redness. Can my skin make it through the winter months without looking winter-weary?

This year, I have a new secret weapon in my corner: squalane oil.

Squalane oil is a shelf-stable version of squalene, a natural oil produced by your skin that peaks in your early 20s and then declines in production. Restoring squalane topically is a smart way to add topical moisture, which is a must to combat winter dryness.

What's remarkable about squalane: Besides being a natural (not irritating) fit for any skin type, squalane is a powerful antioxidant, antibacterial oil that helps protect skin from UV damage. I was amazed to find that it absorbs into my skin like a dry oil— no heaviness or greasy layer. Sometimes, like at night, I actually like a greasy layer because it feels ultra-hydrating. So at times I will layer a thicker balm over squalane oil for bed.

A few compelling stats about squalane: it’s 53% better at accelerating cell turnover than argan oil, and 39% better at accelerating cell turnover than jojoba oil (my usual fave). Better cell l turnover = smoother, glowier skin— even in winter.

In my own experience, I found that my skin actually felt drier during the first few days of using products with squalane. But after about 3 days, my skin normalized and started to feel smoother and more hydrated with less need for topical hydration. I tell you this in case you experience a little bit of a transition period too— wait it out.

I am loving using a few drops of squalane oil under makeup during these cold, dry months, which adds dewiness and extra moisture that comes in handy if you normally find that your skin loses its radiance as the day wears on. Try this!

Beyond squalane oil, you’ll want to target dry skin from the inside as well. Make sure your digestion is happy and healthy (eat those fermented foods and plenty of plant fiber!), as much as you can cut down on inflammatory foods (sugar and alcohol are big inflammation triggers during the holidays), boost your intake of healthy fats (more avocados, please), and sip your way through warm beverages like herbal teas, lemon/ginger/turmeric water, and superfoods (check out my moringa latte recipe on Instagram!).

If you’re looking for a super high-quality natural skincare line with squalane, you must check out Biossance. This brand uses squalane that's sustainably derived from sugar cane, with no unwanted ingredients. My favorites are the 100% Squalane Oil that you can apply head to toe (use it to nourish dry hair), and the ultra-lovely Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil (and I’m not usually a fan of cleansing oils!). This line is one to reach for.

Cranberry-Kiwi Bubbles

Cranberry-Kiwi Bubbles

This festive drink not only keeps you hydrated and serves as a gorgeous cocktail to prepare for a holiday party, it's packed with skin nutrition, including a potent dose of vitamin C, anti-inflammatory ginger to calm seasonal redness in your skin, and anthocyanin-rich cranberries that cleanse the body and support skin elasticity. Cheers!

Makes 4-5 cups concentrate

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups fresh organic cranberries

  • 2 ripe kiwi, peeled

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

  • 7 drops liquid stevia

  • 3 cups filtered water

  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger

DIRECTIONS

In a high-powered blender, combine the first 5 ingredients. Using a microplane grater, grate the ginger directly into the blender. Blend at high speed for 1 to 2 minutes to create a smooth drink concentrate. If desired (for prettier serving), strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing the mixture with the back of a spoon to filter out any bits of seeds or skin, though this step is not necessary.

Combine concentrate with seltzer, filtered water (or even champagne!) in a ratio of 1 part concentrate to 3 parts liquid. Pour into a pretty glass or champagne flute and garnish with fresh cranberries for a party-ready holiday sip.

Cacao: Winter Beauty Inside + Out

One of my most favorite ingredients for winter beauty, cacao, has been showing up in my skincare routine and in my diet a LOT more lately. Did you realize that cacao delivers skin benefits from the inside and outside?

When the weather turns cold, I reach for cacao in my smoothies, hot drinks, desserts, and even savory dishes (a little cacao in homemade chili is amazing). And this year, thanks to Josh Rosebrook and the Beauty Heroes team, my skin is getting a dose of cacao from the outside as well, with the Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Mask that arrived in my November Beauty Heroes Discovery box.

Here's what you need to know about this powerful mask, and a special recipe from the pages of Eat Pretty Every Day that's a staple in this season of sweets & treats. Enjoy!

CACAO FOR BEAUTY - OUTSIDE: To me, this mask has both a silly and a serious side. Smearing it on feels a bit like donning warpaint; arming yourself against future harms to your complexion, perhaps? But if you're a beauty buff the ingredients inside will catch your attention for their potency and purity (not just natural—organic). Not only does antioxidant-rich cacao show up as the second ingredient, it's accompanied by such desirable anti-agers as turmeric, baobab, marula, ashwaganda, cinnamon, elderberry, and ginger. It's like slathering a superfood smoothie directly on your skin.

And if you have ever met Josh Rosebrook, you understand on an even deeper level exactly how much love goes into his craft. His formulas are unique, high-performing, and in a class of their own—much like Josh himself. If you ordered the November 2016 Beauty Heroes Discovery box, you'll also be able to mist on Josh Rosebrook's Hydrating Accelerator, and dab on his incredible new unisex perfume, Ethereal. Amazing, right? I can't say enough amazing things about Beauty Heroes!

CACAO FOR BEAUTY - INSIDE: Salted Superfood Chocolate Bark, from the winter chapter of my latest book Eat Pretty Every Day, is one of my favorite recipes, for its ease, deliciousness, and beauty benefits. Make a batch of this amazing Salted Superfood Chocolate Bark (recipe below- top it with your favorite raw nuts and seeds, spices, and dried fruit) and enjoy it while Josh Rosebrook's Cacao Antioxidant Mask works its magic from the outside. Consuming cacao reduces redness in the skin, protects against UV damage, and increases moisture in the skin by boosting nutrients, blood, and oxygen supplied to skin. It also contains a phytochemical that helps block wrinkle formation and, of course, creates feelgood endorphins in the body when we eat it. Time to make a batch of this amazing treat tonight:

Salted Superfood Chocolate Bark, from Eat Pretty Every Day:

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NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or one of the aforementioned products, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and these products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Favorite Beauty-Friendly Holiday Recipes

During this busy time of year, remember that you can make simple, nourishing dishes like the ones below that celebrate the ingredients of the season and fuel your body and beauty with the best foods around. I hope you'll try one or more of these beautifying holiday recipe favorites— they were all created with gorgeous skin, energy, and a slim waistline in mind! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for joining me in eating pretty this year! xo

For a warm, satisfying sip... (cacao boosts circulation to your skin and relieved redness!):

For a sweet snack while you're wrapping presents... (free of refined sugar and packed with hair-boosting protein):

For an elegant appetizer to serve at your holiday soiree... (vegan and full of blemish-fighting vitamin A):

For a blood-sugar stabilizing, immune-boosting breakfast...(packed with healthy fats and an aromatherapy boost for bleak winter days):

Immunity-Boosting Beauty Foods

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Red nose and puffy eyes? Not pretty.

In the midst of cold season, it’s tempting to grab a pill or a vaccine to keep our immune defenses running high. But for most of us, boosting our immunity by incorporating more immune-strengthening foods in our diet gives us adequate natural protection, AND we’ll be getting double the benefits thanks to their natural anti-aging, beautifying properties. You’ll want to put the following foods, which promote both immunity and beauty, on your grocery list for the winter, and any other time when you need a little health and beauty boost. Don’t forget that food IS medicine, and that that powerful healing compounds can also be found in things that we enjoy eating or drinking, not just tasteless supplements that get washed down with a swig of water.

Ready to tackle the flu virus and brush off oncoming cold germs? You’ll do just that, and keep your skin looking radiant, with these immune-boosting beauty foods:

Read More

Boost Immunity with Spicy Chipotle Farro

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So many of us struggle with weak immune systems during the cold months of the year. We’re endlessly fighting a running nose or scratchy throat, and feeling run-down is simply the way we run our lives. But not everyone battles winter illness. There are always a few who seem to dodge every nasty bug that makes its way around the office. So what’s their secret?

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Ginger: Winter Beauty Heats Up

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Imagine that it’s the dead of winter on the East Coast. The thermometer hasn’t risen above freezing in a week. You’re beyond chilled. Your skin is red and parched. Maybe this isn’t so hard to imagine at all? Right after you apply a rich, calming skin cream, there’s one beauty food I want you to reach for. It’s the one food that will both heat you up inside and cool down redness and inflammation in your skin. It’ll help you digest while satisfying your hearty winter appetite. It’s sweet or savory, and always delicious. It may even ward off that cold that your coworkers have been passing around for weeks.

It’s ginger.

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Sweet Holiday Beauty Snack: Raw Gingerbread Bites

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It's the holiday countdown. You're wrapping presents, baking sweets and cooking course after course of your seasonal feast. Where do you get your energy while you work? If you're anything I was, you're thinking about dipping your spoon in to the cookie batter, or grabbing handfuls of chocolate chips straight out of the bag. Maybe you'll also devour a candy cane or two.

But I've got something WAY better for you this year. Take a few quick minutes to make these Raw Gingerbread Bites and keep them close at hand as you cook, clean and create your perfect holiday.

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For Glowing Winter Skin, Start This Holiday Tradition

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I was surprised to see an abundance of strawberries, blackberries and raspberries at my local market this week— isn’t it almost the winter solstice? While we’re lucky to have the option to eat antioxidant-packed, yet out-of-season, berries during the winter, the sweetest beauty gems of the holiday season are citrus fruits. This season you’ll find more citrus varieties available than at any other time of the year; not just navels and ruby reds, but tangerines, kumquats, Meyer lemons, mandarins, clementines, tangelos and blood oranges. Centuries ago, citrus was a status symbol and a treasured holiday treat, but today giving citrus as a holiday gift is a dying holiday tradition (one that that might need to be revived by us natural beauties). The anti-aging support that citrus provides throughout the winter nourishes our skin and revs up our winter glow far more than a box of candy canes.

What makes citrus fruits such powerful winter beauty boosters?

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