Super skin salad

So they say you are what they eat, and this salad is designed to feed your skin all the goodness it needs to be fabulous. And it is pretty darn tasty and filling for a salad too, trust me.

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To make, you’ll need:

Baby spinach leaves
Watercress
Cucumber
Tomatoes
Avocado
Sweet potatoes
Beetroot
Mackerel
Pumpkin seeds
Eggs
Carrots

I’ve left the amounts blank – just use as much ingredients for the amount of people you are  feeding/how hungry you are.

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For the dressing:

3 x table spoons of garlic infused olive oil
3 x table spoons of olive oil
2 x tablespoons of white wine vinegar
1 x teaspoon of dijon mustard
1 good squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 a teaspoon of honey or to taste
1/2 teaspoon of mixed/italian herbs (dried or fresh)
A pinch of salt and pepper

To start, preheat your oven to 200C.

Grab your sweet potatoes, give them a scrub under the tap, dry then chop into equal sized smallish chunks. Lay them out on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and stick them in the oven for about 20 minutes.

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Next up pop your eggs into a pan of gently boiling water. Six minutes will give you hard boiled eggs with a delicious gooey centre, a minute or two longer for fully hard boiled eggs. Once they are done, run them under cold water for a minute and set aside.

Wash your spinach and watercress and pile into a bowl.

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Grate your carrot, then chop your cucumber (peeled if you are feeling fancy), beetroot, tomatoes, avocado and pile on top of your leaves.

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For the dressing, I follow Jamie Oliver’s lead and make it in an old jar. Just throw all your ingredients in, screw on the lid and give it a good shake over your shoulder as if you are making a cocktail.

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Your sweet potatoes should be ready to pile on top now nice and warm out of the oven, then you are just left to flake your mackerel over your salad mountain, sprinkle over the pumpkin seeds…

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Peel your egg and cut in half to place artfully on top. Ta-da!

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When you are ready to serve, pour over your dressing. And dig in.

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So what’s in it that is so good for you?

Spinach – These green leaves are loaded with the most useful nutrients for skin including vitamin A, B, C and E as well as potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin A is needed for sebum production to keep skin and hair moisturised. It also helps skin rebuild tissues, and is an essential vitamin when it comes to healing scrapes, wounds and other damages to the skin – also healing spots up. It’s also a great anti-aging nutrient.

Watercress – These peppery leaves have some pretty serious stuff going on inside it. Amongst many great nutrients, it has a high concentration of  vitamin C and beta-carotene. In fact, watercress has more vitamin C than oranges and four times as much beta-carotene and vitamin A than tomatoes and broccoli.

Tomatoes – Tomatoes contain lycopene which give them their bright red colour – it helps to stimulate skin circulation and protects against harmful UV rays which cause premature ageing, skin cancer and sun damage. They are also packed with vitamin C which is a good antioxidant. This will help in the fight against ageing, as it stimulates the production of collagen which makes your skin supple.

Sweet potato – This veg counts towards one of your five a day, unlike an ordinary potato, and they really pack a punch when it comes to skin. They are high in vitamin A and  contain vitamin C and beta-carotene. Beta-caroten is most easily absorbed by the body when it is teamed with a bit of fat – and the olive oil in the dressing will help do exactly that.

Cucumber – Is mainly water and will help to hydrate and replenish the skin.

Avocado – Avocados are a natural moisturiser, they will help nourish your skin and make it glow. They are high in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid which maintains moisture in the epidermal layer of your skin, helping to make it soft and moisturised. Oleic acid is also involved in regenerating damaged skin cells and reducing facial redness and irritation.

Pumpkin seeds – These tasty little nuggets are full of zinc, which helps minimise the time skin takes to heal itself and also helps even out oil production.

Mackerel – This oily fish is full of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA helps to reduce the damage of the suns UV rays which causes wrinkles and skin sagging. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce spots, acne and redness, it helps to reduce excess oil production and is an antioxidant.

Beetroot – Beetroot is rich in anti-oxidants. They help the skin from oxidation processes by free radicals. Beetroot is a natural detoxifier, and will help purify the blood making the skin glow.

Carrots – Carrots are high in beta carotene, an antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A inside the body. It helps repair skin tissue and protects against the sun’s harsh rays.

And there you have it, the healthiest meal your skin could ask for.

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1 Comment

  1. April 29, 2015 / 11:20 am

    Oh my word Claire this salad looks INCREDIBLE! I am totally on board for giving it a whirl – thank you for pointing me in this direction : )

    Monica x