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Natural Awakenings National

Recipes for Ageless Beauty

Apr 22, 2011 11:00PM ● By Renée Loux

Beautify your body and skin from the inside out with these recipes that pair age-defying nutrients and nourishing ingredients with incredible taste and texture.

Chocolate-Avocado Parfait with Blueberries & Mint

Chocolate and avocado may sound like an unusual couple, but when these antioxidant- and omega-rich champions get together, the results are scrumptious.

Yields: 4-8 servings

2 cups diced avocado
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp maple syrup
2-4 Tbsp organic evaporated cane juice or sugar (optional)
2 Tbsp coconut oil (optional; look for a mild aroma)
1-2 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
1 tsp balsamic vinegar (aged is best)
½ tsp shoyu (organic soy sauce)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pint blueberries
Handful of fresh mint leaves

1. In a food processor, blend avocado, maple syrup, organic sugar, coconut oil, vanilla extract, balsamic and shoyu until smooth and creamy.
2. Sift the cocoa powder to remove lumps, using a simple metal strainer. Add cocoa powder to the avocado mixture and blend until very smooth. If time allows, let the mixture rest, covered in the fridge for an hour, for flavors to marry and develop.
3. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature. Place a few blueberries in the bottom of a wine, parfait or martini glass. Top with a generous dollop of chocolate-avocado mixture and garnish with more blueberries and chopped mint.

Green Tea Chai Frappe

Green tea and chai spices blend together for a delicious boost of antioxidants and liquid nourishment. Fresh almond milk is easy to make, calcium-rich and highly digestible; just blend soaked almonds with water and strain. In a pinch, raw almond butter may be used.
Blend with ice to make a frozen frappe or warm gently on a cool, crisp day.

Yields: 2-4 servings

2 green tea bags
2 cups hot filtered water
1 cup raw almonds, soaked eight hours in filtered water, drained and rinsed
3 Tbsp raw almond butter
2 cups filtered water

1-1½ Tbsp chopped ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp maple syrup to taste
2 Tbsp agave nectar or raw honey to taste

Beforehand: If using raw almonds, soak them for eight hours in filtered water, drain and rinse.
1. Steep green tea bags in hot water for 3-5 minutes. Remove and squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible. Cool tea in the fridge or freezer (or drop in an ice cube to speed the cooling process), unless served warm.
2. In a blender, add cooled tea, drained almonds or almond butter, ginger, spices, maple, and agave or honey and blend all until super-smooth. Start with less sweeteners and add more to taste.
3. Pour through a strainer or sieve to separate pulp. Press with the back of a large spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
4. Return to blender and blend with ice for a frosty frappe, or warm over low heat to warm the spirit.

Massaged Greens

Leafy greens respond well to a good rubbing with oil, with a pinch of salt and seasoning. Fresh herbs always taste great. Keep it simple or add green onion, garlic and ginger for a tasty variation.

Yields: 2-4 servings

6 cups chopped greens: any type of kale, spinach, chard or mixture
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp flax oil or additional olive oil
1 Tbsp umeboshi plum vinegar or lemon juice
2 tsp shoyu
1 tsp agave nectar or maple syrup (optional)
2-3 green onions, chopped (optional)
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed (optional)
2-3 tsp ginger, finely grated (optional)
Sea salt to taste
1½ cups or more of chopped basil or parsley
Pinch of fresh oregano, thyme or marjoram (optional)

1. Wash the greens and remove any tough stems.
2. Chop finely and toss with olive oil, flax oil, umeboshi plum vinegar and/or lemon, shoyu, agave or maple, green onion, garlic and ginger.
3. Use freshly cleaned hands to massage with love, paying attention to tougher parts.
4. Allow to stand and marinate, rubbing now and again for an hour or two.

5. Toss in herbs and allow to stand 10 minutes to absorb flavors; stores well for a day or two.

Honey Avocado Masque (for normal to dry skin)

Honey and avocado are a luscious blend to nourish skin. As an emollient, avocado is rich in oils, vitamins and minerals, and the honey supplies antioxidants and enzymes. Lemon juice is a natural source of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) for skin renewal. Together, they yield velvety skin.

1 avocado
1½ Tbsp raw honey
1 Tbsp lemon juice

1. Mash avocado and blend with honey and lemon juice in a small food processor or blender until smooth.
2. Cleanse the face.
3. Steam face to open pores over a hot pot of water; or drench a washcloth with steaming hot water, wring out, let cool to a comfortable touch and cover cleaned face with it for two minutes.
4. Apply avocado honey mixture evenly over all parts of the face, avoiding the eyes. Let stand for 15 minutes.
5. Wash off with warm water, followed by a cool water rinse. Apply natural toner or face spray and moisturizer.

Variations on the theme

Exfoliation for dry skin: Mix 2 Tbsp rice flour thoroughly with the avocado and honey. Apply as directed.

Exfoliation for oily skin: Mix 2 Tbsp ground oatmeal thoroughly with the avocado and honey. Apply as directed.

For both, wash off gently with warm water and a cloth, being mindful not to rub too hard, followed by a cool water rinse.

Recipes are courtesy of Renée Loux. For more recipes visit

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