9 Plant-Based Recipes That are Incredible For Your Skin - Women's Health

9 Plant-Based Recipes That are Incredible For Your Skin

From nutritionist Karen Fischer.

by | Aug 9, 2021

Want to boost your fruit and veg count, fast? Too easy. From deliciously nourishing power bowls to super sweet treats, these genius recipes are here to rock your world.

Golden granola

Makes: 4 serves

Prep: 15 mins

Cooking: 20 mins

  • 4 cups organic rolled oats
  • 2 cups quinoa flakes
  • 4 tbs rice malt syrup (brown rice syrup)

Optional extras:

  • 4 tbs chia seeds, flaxseeds (linseeds) or hemp seeds
  • ½ cup sliced dried pear or apple (check the dried fruits are preservative-free)

  • 1 cup raw cashews, crushed

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a large baking tray with a silicon mat or baking (parchment) paper and set aside. 

2. Then, using a medium-sized bowl, mix the oats and the quinoa flakes together.

3. Heat the rice syrup in a small saucepan on medium heat until the syrup becomes runny, then drizzle the syrup onto the oat mix and stir until combined. Pour the mixture onto the tray and spread it out evenly. Place the tray into the oven and cook the mixture for 20 minutes or until slightly golden (do not overcook). 

4. Remove the tray from the oven and allow the mixture to cool. Then place it into a container and mix in the optional ingredients. Seal tightly with a lid and use within a month. Serve with plant-based milk of choice and freshly peeled pear.

Karen Fischer

Sesame-free hummus

Makes: 1 cup

Prep: 10 mins

  • 1 x 400g can organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and well rinsed
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (begin with ½ and then adjust to taste)
  • 1 tbs rice bran oil  
  • 5 tbs (100 ml) filtered or spring water
  • 1/8 teaspoon quality sea salt (canned chickpeas are salty so adjust to taste)

1. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and then blend until nice and smooth. 

2. Store the dip in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Your hummus will last for 4–5 days.

Variation: Beetroot Hummus

1. Whip up a base hummus using the quick, easy method above.

2. Next, peel and grate one small fresh beetroot and add 2–3 tbs of the grated beetroot to your hummus then blend until smooth. It’s that simple!

Karen Fischer

Quinoa nourish bowl

Makes: 2 serves

Prep: 30 mins

Cooking: 45 mins

  • 2-4 baby beets/beetroots, whole
  • ½ x 400g can organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • Oil of your choice
  • Quality sea salt, to taste
  • 1 small–medium sweet potato, peeled and sliced into round discs
  • ½ cup uncooked red or white quinoa
  • 1 cup filtered or spring water
  • 1 serving vegan mozzarella or 2 chicken thigh fillets, sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • ½ cup finely sliced red cabbage
  • Fresh chives, finely chopped, or pea shoots/ sprouts, to garnish
  • Cashew Cream (see page 118)

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a baking tray with a silicon mat or baking (parchment) paper and set aside.

You can boil, steam or roast the baby beets. First, wash and scrub the beets then, if roasting, place the beets onto
a tray and cover with a little oil (you will peel the beets after roasting).

2. Then, cook in the oven for about 45 minutes or until soft. Love your work!

3. Next up, place the chickpeas into a pot or container that has a lid, coat with 1 tsp of oil (if using), sprinkle on salt, close the lid and shake lightly to evenly coat the chickpeas. Then place the chickpeas and sweet potato onto the same baking tray as the beets — these ingredients will only take 30 minutes to cook, so add them to the beet tray 15 minutes after the beets have been placed into the oven.

4. To cook the quinoa, rinse with water in a fine sieve then place into a pot with the water. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil, then remove the lid and turn to a low heat, which will allow for a light simmer. Once the water has reduced and the quinoa is just cooked turn the heat off, cover with the lid and set aside to continue steaming for another 5 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, cook the chicken if you are using it instead of mozzarella. If using chicken, salt the chicken and pan fry
it on medium–high heat until thoroughly cooked through and nicely browned.

6. Now prepare the zucchini. Rinse it and cut off each end. The zucchini noodles can be made with a vegetable spiralizer or a basic peeler to create a long, flat noodle shape. Check on the vegetables and chickpeas throughout the cooking process to ensure they don’t overcook.

7. Remove the mozzarella from the refrigerator and slice it into 1cm thick slices. You can briefly fry the slices in a pan on low heat to make it look like haloumi. Then, remove the vegetables from the oven and peel the beets. 

8. Assemble all the ingredients into two large, wide bowls, top with chives or pea shoots and serve alongside Cashew Cream. That’s it – you’re done. Dig in!

Karen Fischer

Smoothies

Carob Smoothie

Makes: 1 serves

Prep: 5 mins

You can pre-freeze fruit overnight if you want to

  • 1 peeled pear (cut into cubes and pre-frozen)
  • 1 heaped tbs carob powder (roasted or raw)
  • 1½ cups organic rice milk (GF option) or oat milk (contains gluten)
  • ½ tsp hemp seed oil or flaxseed oil (begin on ¼ tsp if you’re new to this)
  • 1 tsp real maple syrup or brown rice syrup (optional)

1. Place all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender and then blend until smooth. We decorated this smoothie with Carob Mylk Chocolate Bar mixture (see page 119). Yum!

Banana Beet Smoothie

Makes: 1 serves

Prep: 10 mins

Pre-freeze fruit overnight

  • ½-1 banana (sliced and pre-frozen overnight)
  • 2 cups plant-based milk of your choice
  • ¼ cup plant protein powder of choice (such as pea protein)
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1–2 tbs grated fresh beetroot/beet (peeled)

1. Place the banana, milk, protein powder and ice cubes into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Pour half of the mixture into a jar and then place it into the freezer.

2. To the second half of the mixture, add the beetroot and blend until smooth. Pour the beet mixture into a jar, then pour the banana smoothie on top. We decorated this one with some Golden Granola.

DAO Smoothie

Makes: 1 serves

Prep: 6 mins

Pre-freeze pear if desired

  • ¼ cup celery, washed, strings removed, then finely sliced
  • 1 small handful pea shoots or mung bean sprouts, thoroughly washed
  • ½ large pear, peeled, core removed, then diced (pre-frozen)
  • ½ cup filtered water or spring water
  • 4 ice cubes

1. Place all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth. Then simply drink up for one very geneours hit of green goodness and hydration.

Healing Hemp Smoothie

Makes: 1 serves

Prep: 3 mins

Pre-freeze fruit if desired

  • 1½–2 cups plant-based milk of your choice
  • ¼ cup hemp protein powder (the plain kind, not flavoured)
  • ½ banana or ½ peeled pear (pre-sliced and frozen)
  • 4 ice cubes

1. Place all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth. The perfect way to treat your body and your tastebuds.

Karen Fischer

Green detox soup

Makes: 2 serves

Prep: 15 mins

Cooking: 20 mins

  • 5–6 cups filtered or spring water
  • 1¼ cups white potato, peeled and then diced
  • 1¼ cups Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and quartered
  • 1 cup asparagus, ends trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup leek, washed and finely diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1–3 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped (or 2 tsp garlic powder)
  • ¼-½ tsp quality sea salt
  • ¼ bunch fresh chives, finely chopped
  • ½ serving Roasted Chickpeas (see recipe, below)
  • Cashew Cream (see recipe)

1. Start by placing the water in a large pot and bringing to the boil. Next, it’s time
to add the potatoes, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, leek, celery, garlic and salt. 

2. Cover with a lid, bring back to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Top up with water during the cooking process if needed, and then boil for 20 minutes.

3. Remove from the heat and allow to slightly cool. Then pour the soup into a high-speed blender and add the chives. This can be done in two batches, depending on the size of the blender. Blend until smooth. Taste the soup and add more salt and garlic if you want to. 

4. Pour into a bowl and decorate, if desired, with the Roasted Chickpeas, Cashew Cream and some extra chives.

Roasted Chickpeas

Makes: 4 serves

Prep: 5 mins

Cooking: 30 mins

  • 1 x 400g can organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp good quality oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt (fine, not coarse)

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a large baking tray with a silicon mat or baking (parchment) paper and set aside.

2. Drain and then rinse the chickpeas thoroughly in fresh water using a strainer/colander and gently pat dry with a clean tea towel. Place the chickpeas into a sealable container along with the oil and salt, secure the lid and gently shake to evenly coat the chickpeas with the seasoning and oil. Then spread the chickpeas in a single layer on the tray. 

3. Bake for 20 minutes, then roughly attempt to flip over the chickpeas with an egg flip and cook for another 10 minutes or until crunchy. Serve warm or cold and store the remainder in a sealed container in the refrigerator. How simple was that?

Cashew Cream

Makes: 1 batch

Prep: 5 mins plus soaking time

  • 1 cup raw cashews, unsalted
  • 3/4 cup filtered or spring water
  • ¼ tsp quality sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional)

Activation soaking method: If you have time, soak the cashews overnight in warm water to activate the cashews – ideally do not soak them for more than 6 hours. Quick soaking method: Pour boiling water onto the cashews and soak them for about 30 minutes or until they are soft and swollen. After soaking, drain and rinse the cashews well using fresh water. Place them into a high-speed blender along with the water, salt and garlic powder, if using, and blend on high until smooth.Store in an airtight jar or squeezie sauce bottle in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Variation: Beet Cream

Make the Cashew Cream as above, and during the blending process add 2–3 tbs of grated fresh beetroot, until the desired colour is reached. Super delicious stuff!

Karen Fischer

Banana popsicles

Makes: 10

Prep: 30 mins

Cooking: 30 mins

  • 5 large ripe bananas, peeled and cut in half 
  • 1 batch Carob Mylk Chocolate Bar mixture (see below)
  • 10 popsicle sticks (from a craft/art shop or large kitchen stores)

1. Before you begin, place the whole, unpeeled bananas into the freezer for 30 minutes so they’re cold. If you want to use nut butter toppings, make these now. Prepare a plate or tray covered with baking (parchment) paper for your bananas and set aside. Make the Carob Mylk Chocolate Bar mixture but do not put it in the refrigerator to set. Instead, place the mixture in a deep, narrow cup as this actually makes it easier to dip and coat the bananas later down the line.

2. Remove the bananas from the freezer, cut it in half and insert a popsicle stick into each half. Holding the stick, dip the banana into the melted chocolate. Add the toppings to the first banana now (on one side only, and while the chocolate is still soft). You can use any method you wish for the nut butter application – we used a piping bag and a small nozzle to create a thin zigzag design. If you’re not using toppings, hold the choc-coated banana upright while the chocolate sets.

3. Follow the same method with your remaining bananas. If the chocolate mixture gets hard, place the container
in some hot water. Place the banana
tray into the freezer and freeze overnight (serve them frozen). They’ll last about 10 days in the freezer. If you’re very lucky!   

Carob Mylk Chocolate Bar Mixture

  • 1 cup cacao butter buttons or shavings
  • 2 tbs maple sugar
  • ½ cup roasted carob powder (roasted works best as it’s darker)

Makes: 2

Prep: 10 mins

Cooking: 10 mins

1. Fill a small saucepan with about 2cm of hot water and then place a bowl on top, ensuring the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.

2. Place the cacao buttons in the bowl and gently heat on high heat until the buttons have melted. 

3. Remove the bowl from the heat and then allow it to cool for about 10 minutes.Meanwhile, make your sugar into fine icing sugar by placing it into a regular blender, blending on and off three times or until it resembles icing sugar. 

4. Strain it to remove any lumps and blend again if needed. Then add the carob powder and the melted
cacao butter to the blender and blend smooth.

5. Wait 5 minutes, then blend it until smooth again. Once it has begun to thicken and cool, then blend once more. Yep crazy easy!  

Karen Fischer

Hungry for more?

Check out The Healthy Skin Kitchen (Exisle 2021, $37.99) by Karen Fischer, BHSc, Dip.

 

Karen Fischer

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But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 

Nagnata

Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

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New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 

Nike

Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

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Tracksmith

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Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

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Lululemon

Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

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