Summer appies with skin-loving ingredients

Ahhh…summer. It is finally patio weather and I could not be more thrilled. Unfortunately patios are typically synonymous with high fat foods, negating any bikini-body workouts you may have put in. But here’s an idea: host your own little get together on your own patio, and make healthier, yet just as delicious versions of what you would get at a restaurant. Better yet, make little appies that include ingredients known to promote skin health. I bet you didn’t know that was possible, huh? As usual, I have selected a handful of skin-enhancing ingredients and the creative genius, Divya concocted another fine recipe for you. Pair with some cold drinks and you’re set for a guilt-free patio experience! Don’t forget to put on sunscreen though… ;)

You can’t go wrong with a rich and creamy dip with crispy bread. It’s the classic pairing of something smooth with something crunchy that makes “chips and dip” irresistibly good. I was inspired to create a trio of dips that is not only healthy, but tasty too. The trick is to add some flavour with spices – NOT fat.

{1} The first dip is a yogurt, lemon and mint dip that is inspired by Greek cuisine. Lemon zest and mint bring out the natural acidity of the yogurt to make a tangy dip with a little zing. I used low-fat probiotic yogurt to reduce the fat, but feel free to use some Greek yogurt instead.
{2} The second “dip” is inspired by the Italian bruschetta topping. This dip has a few more Mediterrean flavours from the green olives.
{3} The third dip is a spinach hummus which is inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine. It has a touch of ginger and lemon zest to brighten up the green flavour of the spinach.

serves 2-3

Yogurt Dip
1 cup probiotic yogurt
Zest of one lemon
3 mint leaves, chopped
Lemon pepper and salt to taste

Tomato-olive “dip”
2 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
1/3 cup green olives, chopped
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic, finely chopped
3 basil leaves, finely chopped
Pinch of oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Spinach hummus dip
1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
1 lemon, juiced
Zest of one lemon
1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed well
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/3 cup baby spinach, loosely packed
salt and pepper to taste

Tortilla chips
3 medium wholewheat tortillas
1.5 tbsp olive oil

Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F. In the meanwhile, cut the tortillas into triangles and lay them out on a baking sheet as shown below. Lightly brush the olive oil on one side. Bake for 7 -8 minutes.

Step 2: Prepare the dips.

Yogurt dip: Mix the yogurt with a whisk or blender until smooth. Add the lemon zest, mint, salt and lemon pepper and mix well.
Tomato-green olive dip: Mix all the ingredients well.
Spinach hummus: Mix all the ingredients in a blender. Add a little more buttermilk if the paste is too thick.

Plate the dips and garnish with diced tomatoes/chopped herbs. You’re done!

Isn’t this a fun way to add in some of those skin-loving ingredients into your summer appies? Here’s why they are good for your skin:

Probiotic yogurt: By adding live cultures from yogurt into your regular diet, you will not only strengthen your intestinal health, but according to traditional Chinese medicinal beliefs, you will also strengthen skin barrier. Yes ladies + gents, it’s possible – a yogurt a day could keep the dermatologist away!

Mint Leaves: Fresh mint is rich in vitamins A, C, B12, folic acid, thiamine and riboflavin as well as minerals such as calcium, copper, fluoride, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. I would also consider mint a beauty food because it has been known to soothe, hydrate and rejuvenate the skin. It also aids with digestion which is important because {healthy stomachs = healthy skin}.

Tomatoes: Contains the free-radical scavenging lycopene, which can protect the skin against photo-damage and environmental pollutants. It’s no wonder the beauty industry has been latching onto tomatoes as the new ‘fountain of youth’.

Chickpeas: Chickpeas contain 50% of the recommended Daily Value (DV) of fiber intake. Better yet? 2/3 of the fiber is insoluble, keeping our digestive tracts working in overdrive, thereby promoting healthy and active colon function. If you aspire to attain or maintain a svelte physique, you will be happy to know that chickpeas also keep you fuller, longer. Oh, and a handful of antioxidants such as Vitamin C, E and beta-carotene doesn’t hurt either.

Spinach: Its richness in phytonutrients makes spinach one of the best skin foods in the world. Brimming with vitamin C, E, beta-carotene, manganese, and zinc, spinach contains powerful antioxidants that will help scavenge away wrinkle-causing free radicals.

Buttermilk: Buttermilk is another smart way to incorporate probiotics into your diet. If you are suffering from acne or skin sensitivities, remember that probiotics are a must. Buttermilk contains less fat than regular milk, but it is still rich in potassium, vitamin B12, calcium and riboflavin, all necessary for flawless complexions.

Let us know how it goes!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,