Category: WFW Skin Edition

Skin edition is a less science-based, more fun-based approach to experimenting in the kitchen*. Each entry contains a recipe for a topical, all natural application for the skin that is paired with an edible recipe with the some of the same ingredients. I’m learning as I go, so not all recipes will be final versions, but you are welcome to experiment with me and let me know what changes you would make. Have fun and enjoy!

*I am a nutrition expert, not a skincare expert. I have no dermatological training, so use common sense – if you are allergic to a food when you consume it, don’t rub it into your skin.

Coffee + Anti-Cellulite Scrub

Well, if you thought it couldn’t get any simpler than my chia pudding/face mask, you were wrong.  In fact, I wonder if this might be a bit of a stretch for the concept…you’re just making coffee and stirring.

I’m gonna count it, but please let me know if you think this is too much of a cop out!

There’s some unscientific internet search-based info that says “caffeine reduces cellulite!” and some more scientific info that says “…..umm…maybe!”  But given that coffee grounds are usually a trash, or at best, compost byproduct, and GREAT for being a gritty, exfoliating rub, my verdict is: “it can’t’ hurt!”

So go ahead, brew yourself…

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…a nice little cup of coffee with fresh-ground…grounds…

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I enjoyed mine with a mini chocolate chip granola bar.  Make no mistake, this is basically a cookie.  A few tablespoons of oats a healthy treat does not make.  And the first ingredient was sugar.

Then, use the grounds in the following recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c fresh coffee grounds
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp honey
  • Drizzle of olive oil

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in a bowl

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And stir to mix:

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Then, take yourself to the shower and start scrubbin’. My cellulite, like most women’s, is on my thighs, but I gotta draw the line somewhere to keep this site G-rated.  It is coarse, and rough, your skin will turn pink, especially if you’re a pale white girl with hyper-sensitive skin, like me.

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I definitely notice softer skin, though apparently you have to do this rather consistently to get any kind of significant cellulite reduction.  Ah, well.  I guess in the meantime I’ll keep knocking out squats to get thighs like these.

Gel Mask + Vanilla Chia Pudding

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A soothing facial and a healthy and delicious dessert?

YES.

Chia seeds are what you think they are – they grow into chia pets.  And can be used in pranking coworkers if you want to make their computer keyboard into a sprout farm when they go on vacation and leave you in a gray, windowless cell of an office.  But they have LOTS of other [dare I say even more practical] uses.  They’re high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and even calcium, and unlike flax, which has to be ground for your body to absorb the omega-3’s, chia can be eaten whole.  The soluble fiber they contain makes them form gels in liquids, which means they can be an emulsifying agent in vegan baked goods in place of eggs….orrrrr pudding.  If you like tapioca, you will like chia 🙂

This is a simple recipe – if you can use measuring spoons, you have all the skills necessary (and if you can’t use measuring spoons, you probably have bigger problems that you should be attending to instead of making chia pudding).

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 6 Tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:
Blend the chia seeds and milk; refrigerate uncovered for about an hour, stirring occasionally.  Remove about 2 Tbsp to put on your face, placing on clean, dry skin (warning, this is a drippy one; so maybe relax laying down for a while, and plan to wash your hair after).

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Add the sugar and vanilla to the rest of the chia and milk in the bowl, stirring to mix, and allow to set for another hour in the fridge.  Enjoy with berries or other fruit (like mangoes, bananas, or pomegranate).

Pore Therapy + Vanilla Meringues

Happy #SkinEditionSunday!  Time to relax and give yourself some care and attention.

Egg whites are “known” the internet over to even skin tone, reduce oil, tighten skin (temporarily) and shrink pores…all of which I experienced with this little egg facial myself.  Add to that the fact that eggs are dirt cheap (at $3 a dozen, that comes out to a mere $0.25 per egg!) and a great source of other nutrients like protein, choline, and even the elusive vitamin D, and you have a perfect Skin Edition contender.  You can bask in your glowing, tight skin, with a cup of tea and some meringue cookies just like the ladies in high end spas who shell out $95 for a facial.  And, this is the simplest Skin Ed recipe yet!

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 c sugar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Separate the egg whites from the yolks in two separate bowls.

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Using a hand mixer, whip the whites they’re foamy and form soft peaks

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Set aside a small amount (about a 2″ cookie’s worth) for your skin.

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Apply to your clean face over a sink, and rinse off with warm water about 15 minutes later, or when the whites have dried.

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To the rest of the whites, blend in the cream of tartar.  Add the sugar a little at a time to allow it to incorporate evenly.  About halfway through adding sugar, add vanilla.  Batter will be ready when it feels stiff and looks glossy.

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Gently spoon onto a baking sheet – I always use my silicon liner, which prevents sticking and makes for easy removal – spacing evenly.  I got 20 small cookies from this much batter.

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They’ll naturally all look unique and cute.  Put the baking sheet in the oven and close the door.  Then – now this  is important! – turn the oven OFF!  Do NOT reopen it.  Leave the cookies in there for 2 hours.  You can also do this overnight, or when you’re about to run out and do errands.  If your oven is kind of crappy, like mine, leave it on for the first 2-3 minutes and then turn it off.  The heat inside will bake them without burning and let them crisp up as the oven gradually cools.  I enjoyed mine with some unsweetened tea – they are super sugary, 2 tsp of sugar for each little one!  I think it helps keep portion size to one or two when you dress it up with a nice plate and mug…what’s that, you like the mug?  Why thanks, I made it…and in fact could make you one, if you’d like…my Etsy store is called StonewareBySarah and is always open for custom requests!

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Coconut almond exfoliating masque/Whole wheat scones

Well, everyone does it…sometimes, despite an entire graduate education in nutrition, you buy the wrong product.  I totally missed the word “light” on my coconut milk (I have a great idea for another coconut masque and frozen whipped coconut bites!) and because of the lower fat content, couldn’t follow the original plan. Front of package labeling got me…the word “light” was too….light.

But as the saying goes…when life hands you the wrong kind of coconut milk, just make scones.  So I did, with a stop partway through the recipe to grab some batter to hydrate my poor winter face.  Here’s how.

coconutalmondmasquescones

For your face:
Ingredients

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 can LIGHT coconut milk
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 c almond flour
  • 2 eggs

Directions
I had to make the almond flour; to do this I simply put toasted almond slivers in my blender and ground them until coarsely fine.  Then, I measured out a cup and added all the other ingredients to the blender and pureed it.  Remove about 1/4c of this mixture and place in a separate bowl, then massage onto clean skin.  Allow to set for 10-15 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.

For you to eat:
Ingredients

  • 2 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Raw sugar (for sprinkling on top, ~1/3 c)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375F.  Blend the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (except the raw sugar!).  Add the coconut milk mixture from above, and stir manually until mixed.  Batter will be wet and sticky.  Using two spoons, drop dough (~1/4-1/3 c in size) onto a baking sheet (use parchment paper or a silicon mat to prevent sticking) and sprinkle raw sugar on top.  You should be able to get about 16 from that amount of batter.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Enjoy with tea or milk, and store them in the fridge in an airtight container.

The scones surprisingly don’t taste like any of their components – you can’t tell they’re made with coconut, bananas, or almonds.  They ARE just plain satisfying – crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and not too sweet.

Hydrating Chocolate Masque/Flourless Chocolate Cake

Tis the season for chocolate, and some studies show a benefit for skin in improved UV protection when consumed.  Dark chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa, and more flavonoids, which are naturally occurring plant compounds (“phytonutrients”).  It doesn’t seem like there’s much research supporting a benefit for topical application, but I’m willing to be a guinea pig….I mean it’s chocolate, aren’t you?  DO IT FOR SANTA.

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For your skin:
Purpose:
Hydration and rejuvenation

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c cocoa powder
  • 1/2 and avocado
  • 1/2 c ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 c honey

Directions:
Blend all ingredients (1) in a mixer or with a hand mixer until smooth (2).  Separate out 2 Tbsp of the mixture and massage onto clean skin (3).  Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off with warm water.

For you to eat:
Ingredients:

  • The rest of the mixture from above
  • 2 additional eggs
  • 8oz of semi sweet chocolate
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2/3 stick of butter

Directions: Blend the eggs into the rest of the masque mixture.  Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate with the butter until smooth (4). Fold in the sugar.  Then blend that into the rest of the masque batter with the mixer on a low speed (5).  Pour into an 8 in round pan, place the pan into a larger pan containing water, and bake at 300 for 45 minutes, or until it doesn’t jiggle in the middle when you shake it.  Allow to cool completely, then serve (6) with a dollop of ricotta (high in protein and no sugar, great alternative to whipped cream!).  This is RICH – a little piece is very satisfying 🙂  Bring it to a special party to share – serves 16.

Sometimes people think that dietitians don’t eat sweets – sorry to burst your bubble, we do.  But when I indulge, I want it to be really, really good, so I can savor every bite. Delicious food is one of the purest pleasures of life – it shouldn’t be abused by going overboard, wasting excess, or eating imitation products that only leave you wanting more!

Yogurt Hair Masque –> Strawberry Cheesecake

I’m trying to grow my hair out…I think my whole life has been spent between stages of “trying to grow it out” and “it’s too long to manage!”  Long hair always seems like a great idea, but then the ends get dry and frizzy, and chopping it off seems like a better idea.  I condition every night, but I think adding some extra moisture to the ends could really help…enter this yogurt masque…

For your hair:
Ingredients:

  • 2 c greek yogurt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1lb fresh strawberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:
Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Remove 1 1/2 cups; massage into hair (stand over a sink, it’s drippy!) and clip up.  Let it soak in for a half hour, then rinse out in the shower (added bonus, it smells FANTASTIC) and shampoo as usual.

Pardon the awful, over the should shot.  Someday I will get a better camera.

And I do think my ends are softer.

For you to eat:
Add 3/4 c sugar and 8oz of room temperature cream cheese to the part still in the blender and puree until smooth.  Pour into a crust (I cheated and used a pre-made one, then put the extra into a silicone pan as a crustless cake), and bake at 350 for 55-65 minutes. It’s finished when it doesn’t jiggle in the center when you shake it.

Let it cool, then chill in the fridge.  Eat it, share it, love it.  You won’t miss the full on cream cheese and sour cream version, and this is much higher protein and lower fat – but tastes AWESOME.  The strawberry flavor somehow tastes concentrated and more intense.  Five people tasted this test batch – and raved.

Credit for recipe inspiration: http://bakingbites.com/2009/04/vanilla-yogurt-cheesecake/

WFW Skin Edition: Hand & Body Scrub –> Sweet Vanilla Polenta

This one is amazing.  Seriously.

Short story: a few days ago I used some oven cleaner I found under the sink to clean the stove pans that go under the burners…scrubbed away with bare hands and a sponge, and didn’t notice the toxicity of it until I washed up.  My hands were DRY.  No amount of lotion I put on made a difference, and eventually the skin on my palms FLAKED OFF.  It was gross; I felt like the crypt keeper.

After using the cornmeal scrub, my hands feel BETTER than normal…softer, smoother, and even my cuticles were hydrated.

So here’s what I did…

For your hands and body:
Purpose: Exfoliate and moisturize hands, feet, and body (this one’s too rough for the face)

Ingredients:

  • 1 c cornmeal
  • 1/4c canola oil (+ 1/4c additional canola oil, separate)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:
Blend the cornmeal and spices with a fork until evenly distributed. Stir in 1/4 c canola oil until mixed thoroughly; it will lightly clump at this stage.  Remove 1/4c of this mixture and place in a separate bowl.  Add the additional 1/4c canola oil and stir well.  Massage onto hands, feet, knees, or legs in a circular pattern; put gloves on to allow the oil to soak in for 15-20 minutes.

Rinse of with warm water and mild soap.

For you to eat:
Ingredients:

  • Remaining mixture from above recipe (cornmeal, spices, and oil prior to removing 1/4c for the scrub)
  • 4 c water
  • 1/4 c sugar

Directions:
Toast the cornmeal mixture over high heat in a 6-qt pan on the stove.

Add the water, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Add sugar.  Reduce to a simmer, stirring frequently, until thick (about the consistency of hummus).  Serve immediately, hot, with a splash of milk or cream.

Pour the rest into a pan and refrigerate.  Reheat later to enjoy again – tastes great for breakfast with some milk and almonds!

Credit for the original recipes/inspiration:
http://www.marthastewart.com/node/875224
http://joythebaker.com/2009/02/vanilla-brown-sugar-breakfast-polenta/

WFW Skin Edition: Green Tea Peel Off Mask –> Fruit Gummies & Jam!

This was a super-fun experiment!  However it was truly an experiment; I would definitely do a few things differently, noted below the picture.

For your face:
Purpose: Remove dead skin; tighten pores

Ingredients:

  • 2 packets Knox plain gelatin*
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 egg white*
  • 1/2 c green tea (brewed)

Directions: Brew the tea, and add gelatin, stirring to dissolve.  Juice the lemon and stir that in too.  Crack an egg over a separate bowl, only letting the white spill out.  Discard the shell and yolk (or save to pump up a scramble!). Take 1/4 c from the tea/gelatin/juice mixture and add it to the egg white.  Mix it together thoroughly – this is your mask!  Over the sink, rub a layer onto your face.  After 5 minutes, apply another layer – repeat a third time to make it really thick, then let it dry completely.  Peel off from the edges.  Wash your face with warm water to get any remaining bits off (and, maybe plan to wash your hair after this too!).

Funny observation: It will get really tight on your face as it dries.  If you smile or laugh, it will crack, however, it is nearly impossible not to smile or laugh at some point in the process, especially if you’re doing it with a friend. 🙂  The process of cracking it makes it harder to pull off in large pieces, but does have the same effect of exfoliating your skin.

Why it works: The green tea is soothing, and the egg whites will tighten your pores.  Lemon contains vitamin C, which will (allegedly) brighten your skin.  The physical action of peeling will remove any loose cells as you take off the mask.

*What I would do differently next time: Even with 3 coats, the mask got a little too stiff and it was difficult to pull of large sections.  I think this could be due to the gelatin to egg white ratio, so I think 3 packets of gelatin would help.  Either that or only use half the egg white.  But more gelatin might be helpful for the fruit gummies, too.  Let me know what you think when you try it!

For you to eat:
Ingredients:

  • 1 c fresh or frozen berries
  • 1/2 c applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 c cranberry or other berry-like juice
  • 1/4 c water
  • remaining green tea/gelatin/lemon mixture from the recipe above (NOT the part your put on your face with the egg white in it!)

Directions: Over the stove, heat the water and berries until boiling and simmer for 5 minutes.  Puree this mixture in a blender or with a hand mixer.  Add the applesauce and bring to a boil again, then remove from heat.  Add the juice to the green tea/gelatin/lemon mixture, and then stir into the pureed berries.  Pour into a baking dish and allow to set in the fridge for several hours until gelled, then cut into cubes.  Note that you can eat them as is, or smoosh them to be jam on toast!

What I would do differently next time: Use cranberries instead of mixed berries!  The consistency is perfect for cranberry sauce 🙂

I used versions of these recipes from the below sites, so check them out if you want more in depth info on either one!

http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2011/09/homemade-gummy-fruit-snacks-healthy-snacks-for-kids.html

http://www.bellasugar.com/DIY-Peel-Off-Face-Mask-Recipe-23368880

WFW Skin Edition: Banana Sugar Scrub –> Chocolate Chip Pancakes

For your face:
Purpose: Remove dead skin without drying

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp raw sugar

Directions: In a bowl, mash the banana with a fork, mixing in the juice from the lime half.  When it’s smooth, blend in the baking soda.  Add the sugar last, as this will start to dissolve on contact.  Put a small amount (~1 Tbsp) on your (clean) face, and rub in small circles.  Rinse off in 5-10 minutes.

Funny observation: If you didn’t blend it well enough, there might be some banana chunks that will make it look as though a camel has sneezed on your face.  Do not be alarmed, and remember that the ability to laugh at yourself is important for lightheartedness and sanity.

Why it works: The acid from the lemon and enzymes in the banana help to chemically remove dead skin cells, while the sugar scrub performs the same function mechanically.  The baking soda is also good for exfoliating, but I believe dissolved entirely; however it does react with the acid to give the mixture a lighter, fluffier consistency.

For you to eat:
Ingredients:

  • Banana mixture from above
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c milk
  • pinch of salt
  • chocolate chips (optional)

Directions: Mix the egg, vanilla, and milk into the banana mixture.  Blend the flours, baking powder, and salt together in another bowl, and add the wet mixture to it.  Stir lightly to mix – do not over mix, as this will make the pancakes rubbery!  Pour onto a hot griddle and add the chocolate  chips (or berries!); flip when bubbles rise to the top.