Tag Archives: blueberries

A Nutritionist Reveals 10 Best Natural Foods for Dewy, Glowing Skin

If no makeup and no filter are your skin goals, Toronto-based integrative nutritionist and Good Goddess founder Natasha Geddes needs to be on your radar. This former fashion buyer and stylist to the stars, turned her laser focus to healthy eating after the birth of her son and daughter. She became passionate about quality ingredients, the power of supplements and, along the way, created an in-demand brand with a celebrity following. Here are 10 of her go-to foods for luminous skin that will help you get your glow on!

1. Wild-Caught Salmon

While Natasha likes to eat a plant-based diet as much as possible, she does make an exception when wild salmon is on the menu. It’s packed with vitamin E and Omega 3s – key players in reducing inflammation – plus a tongue-twister secret weapon: astaxanthin (pronounced asta-zan-thin). “This is a type of carotenoid and natural red pigment derived from algae,” says Natasha. “Astaxanthin helps skin maintain optimum moisture levels and has been proven to protect cells from UV damage.”


Get the recipe for Wheat Berry Bowl with Salmon and Miso Sauce

2. Avocado

Once relegated solely to taco night, this nutrient-dense fruit is now a menu powerhouse (avocado toast, anyone?). “Avocados are one of my favourite things,” says Natasha. “Full of healthy fats, they’re not only deliciously creamy, they also really pamper skin with antioxidants that brighten and hydrate. They are loaded with vitamin E, nature’s amazing moisturizer, and contain a natural sunblock that, like wild salmon, helps protect skin against UV rays – win win!”

3. Sweet Potato

Natasha remedies dry and dull looking complexions with this colourful superfood. A mashup of nutrients, the sweet potato is super skin-friendly thanks to beta carotene, the powerhouse antioxidant that converts to vitamin A when consumed. “Vitamin A promotes cell production and turnover so skin looks luminous – it’s sort of like the food version of retinol, which leaves skin supple and dewy. Use it to make fries, or swap out your avocado toast’s bread with a slice of baked sweet potato.”


Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Toast with Avocado and Sprouts

4. Cashews

Natasha rates most nuts as skin boosters – she’s especially fond of omega 3-rich Brazil nuts and how they promote skin elasticity – but her go-to for clear skin is the cashew. “It is the acne-fighting nut! Full of selenium, vitamin E and zinc, cashews reduce inflammation, promote cell growth and help renew damaged areas of the skin.” However, not all nuts are created equal when it comes to breakouts: Avoid peanuts, as they contain androgen, which speeds up sebum production and can worsen acne.

5. Bone Broth

This popular elixir is made by boiling bones to extract minerals, collagen (a key player in skin elasticity) and amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Note: when protein levels are low, premature sagging and wrinkling can occur. One of the broth’s noteworthy amino acids is glutamine, which helps heal the intestinal barrier for optimal gut health. Natasha says, “I truly believe that great gut health equals healthier-looking skin.” She suggests adding greens to bone broth for a healthy light meal.


Get the recipe for Immune-Boosting Bone Broth, Chicken and Vegetable Soup

6. Cantaloupe

This sweet treat is the skin’s multi-tasker thanks to a dynamic combo of vitamins A and C. On its own, vitamin A keeps sebum production and cell turnover humming along so skin glows; double it up with vitamin C and you’ll double down on collagen formation, which contributes to smooth, firm-looking skin. “Vitamin C is necessary to build collagen. Just one cup of cantaloupe contains 97% of the recommended daily dosage.”

7. Blueberries

If you’re worried about broken capillaries, this berry is for you. Its point of difference is a mix of phytochemicals, including bioflavonoids, which help strengthen blood vessels so they’re less susceptible to breaking. “While everyone can benefit from blueberries, I highly recommend them to those with fair and sensitive skin.”


Get the recipe for this Antioxidant-Rich Green Tea and Blueberry Smoothie

8. Beets

Think of beets – whether juiced, steamed, roasted or raw – as the food version of wrinkle cream. “They are the anti-aging veggie!” says Natasha. “Packed with high concentrations of antioxidants, carotenoids, folate, fiber, iron, manganese, potassium and vitamin C, beets can actually decrease the depth and severity of wrinkles. The results are remarkable.”

9. Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt

When Natasha was developing Good Goddess’s Coconut Cloud Yogurt, she knew that what she left out of it was just as important as what she put in. On the out list: dairy and sugar, which can weaken collagen and make skin vulnerable to wrinkles and sagging. On the in list: just two ingredients: coconut and vegan bacterial cultures. “This is a guilt-free treat that’s rich in probiotics, which get skin super glowy.”


See here for 20 Dairy-Free Foods Packed with Calcium

10. Detoxifying Water

To make the most of the day’s eight (or more) glasses, Natasha concocts her own detoxifying water. “Adding powerful boosters to water is fun and makes your H20 that much more efficient. My usuals: grass-fed collagen, lemon peels (filled with vitamin C to protect against free radicals), mint (fresh flavour plus nutrients) and a few slices of jalapeño (hello vitamin C and B6!). Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, and it promotes skin elasticity. As we age, we lose it, so it’s important to supplement whenever we can.”

Looking for more ways to eat your way to a fabulous complexion? Be sure to avoid these 14 Worst Foods For Your Skin!

Easy Homemade Blueberry Pop Tarts

One of the best parts about being a kid is eating copious amounts of sugar-filled breakfast foods. Chowing down on six bowls of cereal used to be a perfectly acceptable option.

Nowadays, we opt for healthier morning meals, but once in awhile we get nostalgic for the early morning sugar rush from our childhood.

So I’ve decided sugar is totally OK in the morning if you just take a little time to bake something from scratch. Enter: homemade pop tarts. Mini pies with icing that you can eat with one hand. These easy-to-make blueberry-filled, lemon-iced pastries are a perfect treat in the AM. The best part is that you can feel like a kid again, without actually being one!

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Blueberry Pop Tarts with Lemon Glaze

Makes: 12 pop tarts

 

Ingredients:

Dough:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 cups cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 egg (plus 1 egg to seal tarts)
2 Tbsp ice water

 

Filling:
3/4 cup blueberry jam
1/2 cup blueberries

 

Icing:
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Lemon zest for garnish

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Directions:
1. Begin by making the dough. In a food processor combine flour, salt and sugar. If you don’t have a food processor you can do this by hand. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add egg and water and pulse until dough starts to come together. Be careful not to over work the dough.
2. Remove from processor and shape dough into two rounds. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. Remove one disc of dough from the fridge and roll into a large rectangle that is roughly 6 inches by 12 inches. Cut the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces.

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5. Place 6 squares on one of the prepared baking sheets. Place 1 Tbsp of blueberry jam on the center of each square. Top with 3 or 4 blueberries. Roll out other piece of dough and cut into 8 equal-sized squares as above.
6. Beat 1 egg in a bowl and using a pastry brush, brush around sides of each square. Place another square on top to form your pop tart. Use a fork to seal the edges. Poke a few holes in the top of the dough to let steam escape. brush egg wash on top of tarts.
7. Place the baking sheets in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking. 8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove pop tarts to a cooling rack, let cool completely before icing.
9. To make icing, whisk lemon juice with icing sugar. If you want a thinner icing add a bit more lemon juice. Place a dollop of icing on each pop tart and sprinkle with lemon zest.

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*Substitute any kind of jam or fruit inside your pop tarts to make different variations.

Blueberry Grunt

Easy East Coast Blueberry Grunt

The best summer desserts are simple, satisfying and bring out the best in the season’s bounty. That’s why this easy, steamed East Coast treat is the ultimate summer indulgence. Beautiful Canadian blueberries are topped with dumplings steamed in sweet berry juice. This stove-top dish is thought to be an early adaptation of an English steamed pudding recipe. Some say the ‘grunt’ comes from the sound the dumplings make while being steamed, others say it’s the bubbling berries. But one thing’s for sure; once you serve this delectable dessert, the only sound will be guests gobbling this classic summer confection.

Blueberry Grunt

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
4 cups (600g) frozen blueberries
½ cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice

For the Dumplings:
1 ¾ cup flour
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup shortening
1 cup milk

For the Maple Whipped Cream:
1 cup 35% whipping cream
3 Tbsp maple syrup

1 mint sprig for garnish

Blueberry Grunt

Directions:
1. In a large skillet or wide saucepan, combine and stir blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until berries soften, about 3 minutes.
2. Make dumplings by whisking together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add shortening and rub in with fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture looks like fine meal. Add milk and stir just until combined.
3. Drop 1/4 cup spoonfuls of dumpling batter on top of blueberry mixture in pan. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until dumplings have steamed and are firm to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes.
4. While dumplings are steaming, make maple cream. Combine cream and maple syrup in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until cream is stiff.
5. Scoop blueberry grunt into bowls and serve topped with maple cream.

Looking for more delicious recipes? Try our 10 Great Canadian Desserts.

The Berry Crumble Recipe That Makes Her Think of Mom

By April Robson, as told to Kate Paddison

April Robson is a Tofino, B.C.-based yoga instructor, mom to daughter Waverly and self-proclaimed “jammer,” teaching how to preserve local fruits and vegetables and how to make yogurt at local reskilling festivals. Her recipe for berry crumble with homemade yogurt is very dear to her heart: Robson’s mother died when she was 11 years old, but fond memories of her mom’s berry crumble help Robson feel close to her again.

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My mom used this recipe for berry crumble and homemade yogurt quite often in her kitchen. It’s a recipe so familiar to me I don’t really even think about it when I’m making it myself; it kind of comes through naturally. I love this recipe because it can be made in all seasons, all across the country. There is no special berry; you can use the wild berries from your yard or you can use frozen berries. You can make this for everyday or a special occasion, plus it travels well for a potluck. It’s an easy go-to recipe—warm and homey.

My mom was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 42 years old. It came on very suddenly, and within a year of her being diagnosed, she passed.

I can remember her essence. I remember her in the kitchen, teaching me to cook, preparing certain dishes, such as this one. And now, I feel really attached to the things I had in my childhood, specifically cooking, because it’s a way for me to connect with her.

I grew up not far from Tofino on a float house, which is a home on a dock. We were right on the ocean and my parents owned an oyster farm. We ate a lot of seafood—clams, fish, crab—and a lot of fresh greens because my mom had a garden on the dock. We were essentially a mini floating homestead that relied on solar power and lived completely off the grid.

We did a lot of our own things, such as harvesting wild food, plus what my mother had grown on the dock. We also had chickens. There was no running water, so we had to haul up our own or use rainwater. My family’s favourite restaurant in my town at the time was one we went to only a couple of times a year because we had so much already available to us.

As a kid, I fought to get out of that life. I wanted to get away and have a normal yard and running water and a bathtub. Now, I’ve spent my whole adult life trying to get back to those roots, which is why I really enjoy baking and foraging. In the summer, we have four kinds of berries in the front yard, and it’s extremely easy to go around and pick them.

My mom and dad taught me how to provide for my family, how to make healthy homemade meals from the earth. The way our planet is going, it’s really important for our children to be connected to our food, the land and the environment. It’s all supported by each other, and if we don’t take care of our food system now, we won’t have it for very long. It’s important to me that my kids have the same feeling about a healthy relationship with their food and their environment.

See more: Watch Lynn, April and baby Waverly make this berry crumble at home.

Wild Berry Crumble with Homemade Yogurt, courtesy of April Robson

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Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Yields: about 6 servings

Ingredients
Wild Berry Crumble
1 cup (250 mL) flour
1 cup (250 mL) packed dark brown or Demerara sugar
½ cup (125 mL) salted butter (if you prefer unsalted butter, add 1 tsp/5 mL salt to flour mixture), cubed
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon or other desired spices (optional)
4 cups (1 L) berries and/or sliced fruit (any assortment of berries or seasonal fruit, such as apples, pears or stone fruits, will work great)
juice of ? lemon

Homemade Greek-Style Yogurt
4 cups (1 L) 10% or 18% cream or table cream
1 pkg yogurt culture or 3 oz (85 g) plain Greek yogurt (if using store-bought yogurt as a starter, scrape off surface layer and use yogurt underneath; it will likely have a higher concentration of healthy bacteria)

Directions
Wild Berry Crumble
1. In bowl, mix together flour and brown sugar. Stir in cinnamon, if using.
2. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, roughly cut in butter into flour mixture. Using hands, further incorporate butter until mixture is well moistened.
3. Add lemon juice to berry mixture, tossing to coat. (If using especially juicy or frozen fruit, toss with 1 tbsp/15 mL flour to prevent runniness.)
4. Add berry mixture to baking dish; spread flour mixture evenly over top. Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for 45 to 60 minutes or until topping is evenly browned and filling is bubbling up around sides.

Homemade Greek-Style Yogurt
1. Boil water in large nonreactive pot for 10 minutes to sterilize; discard water. Set pot aside to cool for 5 minutes.
2. Pour cream into pot over medium-low heat; cook until just before boiling point. (Heat should be low enough that cream doesn’t scald while being hot enough to raise temperature.) Do not stir cream. Remove from heat.
3. Allow cream to cool until you can comfortably hold pot without burning hands, when temperature reaches about 110°F to 115°F (43°C to 46°C). (This can take a few hours, but if you add yogurt culture to cream while it’s still too hot, it will curdle and yogurt won’t set.)
4. Using ladle, scoop a bit of cream into small bowl; add yogurt culture and mix until well combined. If skin has formed on top of cream, remove with fork and discard. (Remember to sterilize all utensils in boiling water before using.)
5. Add yogurt culture mixture to pan; stir well but gently as to not create foam.
6. Pour inoculated cream into 2 sterilized 2-cup (500 mL) canning jars; place in warm environment, such as yogurt maker or bread proofer for 8 for 10 hours or until yogurt is firm. Keep at about 110°F (43°C)—or as close to it as possible—the entire time.
7. Set on counter until room temperature.
8. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve with Wild Berry Crumble.

Click to print, save or share this Wild Berry Crumble and Homemade Greek-Style Yogurt recipe.

Do you have a delicious dish to share with the rest of Canada? Submit your recipe for a chance to be featured on Great Canadian Cookbook and Food Network Canada!

French-Toast-Bake

Blueberries and Cream French Toast Bake

Start this weekend off on the right foot with this oven-baked French toast casserole that can be assembled the night before for a stress-free breakfast or brunch in bed. Using cream in the custard makes this extra decadent and delicious, but milk will work as well for a lightened up version.

Blueberries and Cream French Toast Bake 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6

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Ingredients:

Maple Brown Sugar Drizzle:
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

French Toast Bake:
1 cup 10% cream or whole milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla
8 cups cubed day-old egg bread or Italian loaf
2 cups fresh blueberries, divided
Whipped cream (optional)

Directions:

Maple Sugar Drizzle:
1. Stir brown sugar with maple syrup, butter and cinnamon until combined.

French Toast Bake:
1. Grease an 8 x 8-inch square glass baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk cream with eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Stir in 1 cup blueberries.
2. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight, or until mixture is absorbed.
3. Preheat oven 350°F. Top evenly with Maple Sugar Drizzle. Bake, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes or until fluffy and golden.
4. Serve with remaining blueberries and whipped cream if desired.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients.  Amanda Riva is part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

How to Make Easy Blueberry Scones

When it comes to baked goods, most of us don’t even attempt to make them from scratch. But it turns out, scones can be just as simple as that go-to muffin recipe of yours — not to mention you likely already have most of the ingredients in your pantry.

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Whether you bake them for a yummy weekend breakfast or for a tea party with friends, these simple, budget-friendly scones are bound to impress.

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup fresh blueberries
½ cup heavy cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Icing sugar for garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F and adjust racks so one’s in the centre. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Pick over blueberries for only the ripe ones, and rinse.

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2. In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Using 2 knives in a criss-cross motion, cut butter into the mix until pieces are no bigger than the size of peas. Stir in blueberries.

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3. In a small bowl, whisk together cream and eggs. Make a hole in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Stir lightly with fork, then bring to a lightly floured surface and knead just a little.

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4. Pat dough into a square that’s about 1” thick. Using a floured knife, cut it into four squares. Then cut the squares in half on a diagonal and once more, to create 16 mini triangles.

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5. Transfer the triangles to the baking sheet and bake until golden, about 15-18 minutes.  Let cool, then sprinkle with icing sugar.

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headshot Renée Reardin is a lifestyle writer and stylist living in Toronto. To learn more about her, visit www.reneereardin.com, and follow her on Twitter @reneereardin.

Easy Mini Blueberry Pancakes

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To food lovers, Canada Day doesn’t just mean red and white getup, fireworks, and a few cold ones. July 1st is also the unofficial start of Blueberry Month. And because it would feel awfully wrong not to take advantage of these tiny, anti-oxidant-packed berries at their finest, we’re starting the season off right with one of our easiest, tastiest and most crowd-pleasing recipes.

Whether you’re hosting Sunday brunch or just cooking up an indulgent breaky for one, mini blueberry pancakes are sure to please. Made with ingredients you probably have in your pantry, these little bites are super easy. So why not whip up a small batch for a weekend pick-me-up, or a large batch as part of a morning feast with the fam? Just make them ahead of time, and slip them in the oven right before serving.

Ingredients:

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries

Directions:

1. Beat the egg in a large bowl, and then add the milk and beat again.

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2. Add the dry ingredients, and beat until smooth. Add blueberries to batter and stir.

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3. Heat a lightly buttered, medium-sized frying pan on medium-high heat. Scoop about 1 Tablespoon of batter at a time onto the griddle to make mini pancakes, and brown on both sides.

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4. Pile them into small stacks or just serve as bites. Keep them in a heated oven until all pancakes have been made, and serve hot with maple syrup and/or butter.

headshot Renée Reardin is a lifestyle writer and stylist living in Toronto. To learn more about her, visit www.reneereardin.com, and follow her on Twitter @reneereardin.

 

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