Beauty is more than skin deep.
There are fruits, vegetables, adaptogens, and a myriad of treats that do more than fill bellies—they are the foundation of a radiant exterior. Beauty foods are easy to incorporate into diets with any budget. Spend time in any grocery store or on sites like Thrive Market or CAP Beauty and you’ll find these bountiful goodies at your fingertips.
While beauty foods break down within a body, they enhance it. They fortify our organs and encourage a healthy gut, vibrant skin, thick hair, and strong nails. Eating beauty may sound like a fad but, contrarily, it is part of a thoughtful lifestyle. (See The Good Trade’s roundup of ingestible beauty supplements here.)
Now envision a barbecue. Burgers, cheese, chips, and booze. Delicious. How does this meal help you, though? Barbecues are hard to navigate in this age of conscious eating. There are so many questions to ask about our food now. Are the burgers GMO-free? Do the buns contain gluten? How much sugar is in the pie? All these questions can take the fun out of summer’s most anticipated pastime.
A caring host and considerate food prep can change that. Ditch the normal party fare, and opt for healthier recipes—ones that taste as great as they make you feel. Sprinkle beauty foods into the menu and watch your guests glow.
Need guidance? Some of our favorite wellness and health food gurus helped us create a menu to get you started. Cook. Devour. Enjoy.
1. Mānuka Ayurvedic Turmeric Tea
5 tsp organic ground turmeric
5 tsp ashwagandha
5 tsp cinnamon
2.5 tsp ground ginger
1 pinch ground black pepper
10 tsp coconut oil
10 tsp vanilla extract
10 tsp Activist Mānuka Honey
10 cups 300+ MGO nut milk (hemp milk suggested)
Heat all ingredients in a saucepan on low to medium heat, whisking to combine. Blend in your blender for 30 seconds to a minute, to make it frothy. Cool for 30 minutes and serve iced!
Activist Mānuka on Mānuka & Turmeric:
Activist Mānuka Honey is a beautiful raw resource from Mother Nature, which contains considerably higher levels of enzymes and antibacterial properties than found in other honey.
Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
2. Nori Wrap Hand Roll
5 boxes organic mixed green salad (add a handful of arugula if you enjoy the taste)
5 large very ripe avocados
10 large spoonfuls of Hawthorne Valley ginger carrot sauerkraut
Big handful of cilantro
5 finely chopped cucumbers
10 sheets Eden Cove Nori
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Finely chop so ingredients are all same size and use the avocado as a binding agent. Take one sheet of Nori and scoop out two spoons worth, side by side, at one end of sheet and roll it towards the other end. Tuck one end in, and bite!
Claire Olshan of Dada Daily on Seaweed & Sauerkraut:
Seaweed is full of humectants that draw in moisture from the environment, and vitamin E. is also great for hydrating the skin.
Sauerkraut is fermented and an amazing probiotic, which helps digestion and metabolism, which also contributes to healthy, glowing skin.
3. Summer Loving Raw Tart
1/2 large head of cauliflower, florets only
3/4 cups sunflower seeds
3 tbsp flaxseed
1 clove garlic, ground
1 tbsp coconut aminos or tamari, chopped
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp Pink Mountain Salt, plus more for sprinkling
Sunflower Ricotta (recipe found in our book, High Vibrational Beauty)
Basil Pesto Heirloom tomatoes, sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil
Prepare cauliflower “rice” by tossing the florets into a food processor and processing until broken down and rice-like (or by grating them on a large box grater). Measure out 2 cups and save the rest for another recipe. Combine the sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, and garlic in the food processor and process until the seeds break down, for about 15 seconds. Add in the 2 cups cauliflower rice, coconut aminos or tamari, yeast, and salt. Process until well blended.
Spread the dough out on a parchment-lined dehydrator sheet, about 1/4 inch thick. Dehydrate at 145°F for 1 hour and then 115°F for an additional 5 to 6 hours, or until it is the consistency you like. Add toppings, starting with a spread of ricotta and pesto, and top with the tomatoes, olives, basil, and a drizzle of oil. Top with a sprinkling of salt, and enjoy.
Note: you can bake this at 300°F for 15 minutes, checking every 5 minutes thereafter. Remove from the oven when lightly golden brown and crispy.
Kerrilynn Pamer & Cindy DiPrima Morisse of CAP Beauty
on Tomatoes & Pink Mountain Salt Tomatoes:
[On tomatoes]: the magic’s in the lycopene. Think watermelon, red peppers, and berries, not coincidentally, the foods of summer. All of these foods have been known to help protect your skin from the summer rays.
CAP Beauty’s Pink Mountain Salt is sourced by hand from the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in Pakistan. This fine ground crystal salt is packed with 84 vital minerals and trace elements to sustain and promote complete body function and wellbeing. This salt encourages remineralization and we know that true beauty begins within.
4. Summer Romaine with Miso Dijon Dressing
2–3 heads romaine lettuce, washed
1 cup walnuts, toasted
2 tbsp white miso (can also substitute chickpea miso to make this soy-free)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
To make the dressing, add all dressing ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. This can be stored in the fridge for up to one week, and loosened with some water (1/2 tbsp at a time), as it will thicken slightly as it sets.
Toss dressing and romaine in a bowl until each leaf is lightly and evenly coated. Arrange lettuce on a platter and sprinkle with toasted walnuts.
Mia Rigden of The Rasa Life on Miso & Walnuts:
Miso: This fermented soybean paste is a wonderful source of probiotics and lends a salty, umami flavor. Eating probiotic-rich foods helps to cultivate a strong microbiome, which is great for your skin, your mood, your immune system, and overall health. A pantry staple!
Walnuts: A wonderful source of monounsaturated fats, omega 3s, and proteins. Walnuts are a nutrient powerhouse that act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food, which is not only great for your internal health, but also helps us keep your skin clear and protected from harmful UV rays, and can make your hair nice and glossy!
5. Coconut Ceviche with Tomatillo, Lime, & Cilantro
2 cups young coconut meat, or 1 bag Exotic Superfoods® young coconut meat, thinly sliced into 2 inch–long strips
2 1/2 cucumbers, deseeded and diced
5 cups quartered tomatillos, or 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
2 1/2 cups torn cilantro leaves
2 1/2 jalapeños, deseeded and diced (use more or less depending on your heat tolerance)
Juice of 2 limes
1 1/4 cups coconut water
5 tbsp olive oil
5 avocados, diced (optional)
Sea salt to taste
Stir together all ingredients. Allow mixture to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Meredith Baird of Nucifera on Raw Foods & Coconut
Summer is the best time for adding a lot of raw food into your diet. It’s naturally hydrating and full of beneficial antioxidants and minerals. I love this recipe because it’s also full of healthy fat from the coconut. It’s pretty much the ultimate beauty food!
6. Coconut Vanilla Panna Cotta With a Blackberry Mint Compote
Panna Cotta Ingredients:
3 cans full fat unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
6 tsp vanilla extract
20-25 drops liquid Stevia (sub for honey or maple syrup)
3 gelatin packets
3/4 cup water
Blackberry Mint Compote Ingredients:
6 cups fresh organic blackberries
3 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup filtered water
3/4 cup monk fruit sweetener (sub for honey or maple syrup)
Juice from 2 lemons
Dash of cinnamon
Fresh mint leaves
Directions for Panna Cotta:
Add 3/4 cup water to a small bowl and sprinkle the packets of gelatin, stirring gently, allowing the gelatin to bloom for about 10 minutes.
In a saucepan, add 3 cans coconut milk, 3/4 cup of almond milk, 20-25 drops of liquid stevia, and heat on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. When the coconut milk mixture starts to steam, remove the saucepan off the heat (do not boil). Add 6 tsp of vanilla extract. Add the bloomed gelatin to the coconut milk mixture and stir to completely dissolve the gelatin.
Place serving cups on a small tray. Pour the coconut milk mixture evenly into the serving cups. Allow panna cotta to cool down. Cover cups with plastic or beeswax wrap. Place the tray in the fridge overnight or a minimum of 4–6 hours.
Instructions for Blackberry Mint Compote:
In a saucepan add 6 cups blackberries, 3 tsp vanilla extract, 3/4 cup filtered water, 1 cup monk fruit sweetener, lemon juice, cinnamon, and 15 mint leaves, and bring to a soft boil. Cook for 15 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Allow compote to cool down. Once panna cotta has set, top off with compote. Garnish with fresh mint leaves. Enjoy!
Evelyn Braczko of Bare By Evelyn on Blackberries:
Blackberries are rich in antioxidants, protect the skin from UV damage, fight free radicals, prevent premature aging, [are] high in vitamin C, [and] promote collagen production and skin hydration.
James Francis Kelley is a writer and stylist based in Los Angeles. While he has many interests, he’s most passionate about creating an eco-conscience culture and preparing for a globalized future. If he’s not working, he can be found on Duolingo, biking to electronica music, or browsing Mr. Porter. Find his work on his website, and his musings on Instagram.