Chilli-spiked stuffed date truffles

MAKES 12

Truffles are delightful balls of chocolate, spiced here with cayenne pepper to help spark your digestive fire. Cacao and almonds are rich in skin-strengthening magnesium, potassium and copper, and almonds are also a great source of vitamin E and biotin, which helps protect the skin from dryness and dehydration.

Ingredients

12 medjool dates

Filling

  • 1⁄4 cup (20g) desiccated coconut, plus extra to decorate (optional)
  • 30g almond butter
    1 tablespoon finely chopped roasted almonds, plus extra to decorate (optional)
  • 3 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus extra to decorate (optional)
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (available from health food stores)
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch of Himalayan salt, plus extra to decorate (optional)

 

Raw chocolate coating 

  • 1⁄2 cup (50g) cacao powder
  • 50g cacao butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Method

  1. Line a medium tray with baking paper.
  2. Cut the dates down the centreline, going halfway through to expose the pit. Remove and discard the pits.
  3. To prepare the filling, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Stuff the dates with the filling, pressing the cut edges back together to seal. Arrange on the prepared tray. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until firm.
  5. To make the chocolate coating, half-fill a small saucepan with water and bring to the simmer. Place all of the ingredients in a heatproof bowl. Take the pan o the heat and set the bowl over the top. Ensure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Leave for 5 minutes, or until the cacao butter and coconut oil melts. Stir to combine.
  6. Holding the stu ed dates on a fork, or using toothpicks, dip and roll the dates one at a time in the chocolate, to coat evenly. Place back on the lined tray.
  7. To decorate, sprinkle a little desiccated coconut, roasted almond, cayenne pepper and/or Himalayan salt alternately on top of the dates, if desired. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until set.

 

Note: You can store these in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

ASK CARLA | What makes The Beauty Chef unique?

Image: Real Living Magazine, Styling by Lisa Burden, Photography by Maree Homer

 

The Beauty Chef began through my own personal journey with skin issues as well as those of my daughter. I was looking for a real solution for my daughter’s eczema and allergies and I couldn’t find anything on the market that targeted the underlying root of the problem, as opposed to band-aiding it. Having suffered from eczema as a child, and frequenting a naturopath, I had a good understanding of the correlation between what you put into your body and the state of your complexion. With time, after making changes to my diet and consuming specific nutrients, my skin healed.

When my daughter experienced similar issues around eleven years ago, I put her on a gut healing protocol as I had read some nutritional papers on the link between digestive health and eczema. I removed certain foods from her diet and introduced lacto-fermented, probiotic-rich foods into her diet. The change to her skin and health was profound and I noticed when I ate these cultured foods, my skin was “glowing”.

From there I created GLOW, The Beauty Chef’s first Inner Beauty Powder, rich in 24 bio-fermented superfoods, prebiotics and probiotics based on the brand’s philosophy, “Beauty Begins in the Belly”. I am very passionate about the area of gut health, for glowing skin, health and wellbeing and am proud that we are the pioneers in this area; working alongside naturopaths, nutritionists and microbiologists, delivering potent but delicious food-based formulas to help people be the healthiest, happiest versions of themselves.

 

OUR PRODUCTS ARE GUT FRIENDLY

Our philosophy at The Beauty Chef is that ‘Beauty Begins in the Belly“.

Our gut is where 70% of our immune system lies, where we make nutrients and antioxidants that help to synthesise and protect collagen, metabolise hormones, make detoxifying enzymes and neutralise pathogens. More and more studies show that consuming probiotics can be helpful for a range of skin problems. The root cause of many skin issues is inflammation and research is showing that where there is gut inflammation, there will be skin inflammation. Studies also show that people with a healthy gut microbiota have a better fatty acid profile in their skin, which means their skin is more hydrated and moisturised.

Our products are literally alive with beneficial bacteria that help to balance digestive health!  If you want beautiful, glowing skin, you need to start with a balanced, healthy gut.

 

OUR PRODUCTS ARE BIO-FERMENTED

More than twenty years of research have gone into the development of our unique and natural bio-fermentation process called FloraCulture™, which involves introducing a mother culture made up of a variety of Lactobacillus strains and beneficial yeasts into the ingredients to ferment for a period of 6-8 weeks. The bacteria break down the ingredients, making the nutrients more available for the body to use, so in essence, supercharging the food (as well as helping to neutralise any anti-nutrients like phytic acid found in grains and legumes).

Our Flora Culture process also produces a natural, broad-spectrum probiotic; unlike a probiotic you may get in the supermarket which carries only one or two strains, our products offer multiple natural, food-based strains. Lacto-fermented foods not only produce probiotics, they also act as prebiotics – which feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Both are important for helping to balance and boost gut health.

 

OUR PRODUCTS ARE MICROBIOLOGIST APPROVED

We work with leading microbiologists, employing cutting-edge research to deliver a scientifically formulated food-based probiotic which we believe is essential for digestive health and skin radiance.

We are devoted to doing more and more research into the correlation between gut health, and certain strains of bacteria and how they impact the health of the skin and overall health and wellbeing.

 

WE USE ORGANIC & NATURAL WHOLEFOODS

All of our ingredients are natural and wherever possible we use Certified Organic or Biodynamic wholefoods as opposed to synthetic vitamins. Studies show organic foods have greater levels of nutrients than conventionally grown produce, and when these foods are combined with our natural fermentation process, powerful, live and bio-active formulas are created, making our Inner Beauty Products truly good for your body, beauty and belly.

While some people are low in certain nutrients and synthetic nutrients may be very helpful, I believe that these types of supplements should be customised for the individual. For example, a person with too much iron is not going to benefit from a hair and skin supplement that is rich in iron. In fact, too much iron is a pro-oxidant and can help generate free radicals in the body. Unless you know your blood levels of certain nutrients, synthetic supplements may promote premature ageing as opposed to preventing it. Nutrients in foods come in a far more balanced form and in fact, complement each other.

For example, your body needs zinc, vitamin C and magnesium to be able to utilise essential fatty acids in the body, which is why we put seeds, vegetables, grains and legumes together in our GLOW Inner Beauty Powder. And the carotenoids (antioxidants) in Dunaliella Salina found in our GLOW powder become more available when consumed with fats (found in the seeds in the formula), as carotenoids are oil soluble.

 

Is there anything you would like to ask Carla? Let us know in the comments below!

Beef bone broth

MAKES APPROXIMATELY 2 LITRES

Beef broth is a highly gelatinous, richly flavoured gut, joint and beauty tonic. Your broths can be popped into your sauces, used as soup bases or simply enjoyed in a cup as a nourishing, remedying warm drink.

Ingredients

  • 2 kg grass-fed beef soup bones
  • 1 leek, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, skin on, quartered
  • 1 carrot, unpeeled, coarsely chopped 1 tomato, quartered
  • 2 sticks celery, plus leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (unpasteurised) 5 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the bones, leek, onion, carrot and tomato in a large roasting tray and roast for 45 minutes, or until well browned and slightly blackened.
  2. Transfer the roasted bones and vegetables into a large heavy-based saucepan. Pour o any fat in the tray.
  3. Pour 1 cup (250ml) of water into the baking tray and stir, scraping the base to remove any stuck pieces and the cooking juices. Pour into the saucepan.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the bones. Pour in enough cold water to generously cover the bones.
  5. Bring to the boil over high heat. Decrease the heat and gently simmer for at least 6-8 hours, and up to 36 hours, topping up with water as required to keep the bones submerged. Skim the fat and impurities o the surface occasionally; this will help to give you a clearer broth.
  6. Use tongs to remove the bones from the broth. Line a large sieve or colander with a double layer of muslin cloth. Strain the broth, discarding the remaining solids. Set aside to cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove and discard the
  7. set layer of fat that forms on top of the broth. Use as required.

Note: Bone broth can be stored in the refrigerator for 5-7 days or frozen in batches for up to 4 months. Simmering times for beef broth can vary between 8 and 24 hours, even up to 3 days! I recommend using a slow cooker for longer simmering times. The longer you simmer the more minerals will be released from the bones.

Rooibos, fig, vanilla & nut butter smoothie

SERVES 1 –  makes 1 1/ 2 cups/375ml – 12 1/2 fl oz

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250ml – 8 1/2 fl oz) brewed rooibos tea, chilled
  • 2 fresh figs
  • 1/ 4 cup (60ml – 2 fl oz) drinking coconut milk
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1 scoop Vanilla BODY Inner Beauty Powder 
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon raw honey, or to taste

Method

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Top with figs, honey and Brazil nuts or your choice of nuts.

 

Looking for more recipe inspiration? Download our FREE Belly Beautiful e-Book, filled with snack and smoothie recipes for inner and outer beauty.

Peach, oat & orange blossom smoothie

SERVES 1 – makes 1 1/ 2 cups/375ml – 12 1/2 fl oz

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats, soaked in cold water overnight
  • 1/ 2 cup (125ml – 4 fl oz) brewed chamomile tea, chilled
  • 1 medium ripe peach, quartered & pitted *alternatively use 2 tinned peach halves (in natural juice)
  • 1/ 4 frozen banana, coarsely chopped
  • 1/ 4 cup (60ml – 2 fl oz) natural yoghurt
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 3cm knob ginger, peeled & coarsely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons flax seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon GLOW Inner Beauty Powder
  • 1/ 4 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/ 8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • chopped hazelnuts, to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Top with chopped hazelnuts to serve, if desired.

 

Looking for more recipe inspiration? Download our FREE Belly Beautiful e-Book, filled with snack and smoothie recipes for inner and outer beauty.