Suffer from fine lines? Or sagging skin? Forget Botox – health guru Elizabeth Peyton-Jones’ book ‘Cook Yourself Young, shows the key to key to looking more youthful is changing what we eat…
Problem area…Puffy Eyes
‘Bags may be to do with oedema (swelling) showing the kidneys need help,’ says Elizabeth. Stock up on antioxidant-rich foods low in potassium. Red and purple fruit can get rid of unhelpful toxins and reduce inflammation.
Solution…Vitamin burst juice
4 medium carrots
Problem area… Facial Redness
Broken veins on our chin and cheeks can creep up on us as we get older, leaving us with a continuous flushed look. ‘This may indicate a lack of flavoids – plant based molecules rich in antioxidants,’ according to Elizabeth. ‘Eating fruits, such as apples and figs, will help raise flavonoid levels’
Solution…Barley Salad with Figs and Rocket
100g pearl barley
4 fresh figs, quartered
50g rocket leaves
2 spring onions, sliced
leaves from a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley or coriander, roughly chopped
30g almonds, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
50g feta cheese, or ½ avocado (optional)
1. Tip the pearl barley into a sieve and rinse well under cold filtered water to remove the excess starch. Pour into a pan and cover with cold filtered water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer over a medium-low heat for 40–50 minutes, until tender but with a slight bite. Drain and run under cold filtered water until cool. Drain once more. Set aside in a large salad bowl.
2. Combine the figs, rocket, spring onions, herbs and almonds with the barley. Toss through the lemon juice and oil, then crumble over the feta or slice over the avocado, depending which you are using.
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Problem area…Fine Lines
‘Lines can signify gut stress,’ says Elizabeth. ‘Try a four-day cleansing detox, taking out dairy, wheat, sugar, meat, alcohol and caffeine.’ And drink lots of water – at least eight glasses a day.
Solution…Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup
Carrots, sweet potato and squash are all orange: a sign they contain youthing carotenes, which protect against cell damage. This creamy soup is rich in A and B vitamins, minerals and tryptophan, which helps the production of feel-good hormone serotonin.
350g butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
150g carrots, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 chopped onion
750ml vegetable stock, ideally home-made
½ tsp ground cumin
15 drops of amino acids
2 large pinches of nutritional yeast
2 handfuls of pine nuts
freshly ground black petter
small handful of chopped parsley leaves (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Roast the squash with the sweet potato and carrots for 15 minutes.
2. Add the coconut oil to a saucepan and gently fry the onion until translucent. Add the squash, sweet potato, carrots and cumin and stir for one minute. Pour in the stock and bring to a simmer.
3. Continue to cook until the vegetables are soft. It should take about 10 minutes. Add the amino acids, nutritional yeast and half the pine nuts and cook for a further five minutes. Liquidise the soup in a blender, food processor or with a hand-held blender. Test for seasoning, adding a little pepper if you want.
4. Toast the remaining pine nuts in a dry frying pan. Pour the soup into bowll and sprinkle the pine nuts on top with the parsley, if using.
By Emma Firth
All recipes taken from ‘Cook Yourself Young’ by Elizabeth Peyton-Jones, available now, (£14.99, Quadrille)