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Anti-Aging Recipes to Keep You Young
Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow—there's a whole crew of celebs who seem to have Benjamin Button syndrome. They don't look like they've aged a day (or even like they're turning back time). Elizabeth Peyton-Jones, author of Cook Yourself Young, says the secret isn't in mountains of anti-aging products or plastic surgery: It's in youth-boosting superfoods. Her new book is full of foods and recipes with vitamin- and antioxidant-rich foods to help you stay looking and feeling younger. Take a look at these five delicious recipes that pack a serious anti-aging punch, and pick up the book for dozens more meals that'll leave you feeling and looking better than ever.
"Cheesy" Kale Chips
Youth-boosting ingredients: Kale, nutritional yeast, coconut oil
This healthy homemade snack is packed with superfoods. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse on its own, with tons of calcium and cancer-fighting sulforaphane and carotenoids. Nutritional yeast gives these chips their "cheesy" flavor, and when fortified with B12, contains all the essential amino acids and B-complex vitamins you need for a robust nervous system and healthy metabolism. Coconut oil is full of healthy fats and helps rejuvenate skin, hair, and nails, and it helps you absorb fat-soluble vitamins. (Plus, you can work coconut oil into your beauty routine.) For even more flavor options, try adding cayenne pepper or fennel seeds in place of the nutritional yeast.
- 1 1/2 cups kale, washed, thoroughly dried, and cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toss kale in oil and yeast flakes until well coated. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning often, until crisp and golden at the edges. Store in an airtight container for up to three days.
Quinoa Maki Rolls
Youth-boosting foods: Avocado, carrot, cucumber, quinoa, nori
This wannabe sushi roll is a great homemade upgrade from your typical weekday lunch. Avocado (one of our favorite healthy fats) has vital nutrients and antioxidants. Carrots contain high levels of beta-carotene (an antioxidant) and cucumber is high in silica (which helps keep connective tissue like muscles, ligaments, and tendons healthy). Quinoa makes a perfect gluten-free rice substitute that's also high in protein, fiber, and must-have minerals including magnesium, manganese, and copper. Nori (seaweed) is one of the most mineral-dense foods on Earth and is rich in iodine, which helps produce the thyroid hormones that affect metabolism, mood, weight, and energy. Consider those great excuses to whip these up every week instead of ordering a boring desk salad.
Serves: 4 (makes 24 rolls)
- 1 avocado
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/3 cup quinoa
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon wasabi paste, plus more to serve (optional)
- 4 sheets nori
- 1 red bell pepper, finely sliced
- 3/8 inch slice of gingerroot, peeled and finely sliced
- 2 inches cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
- 1 small carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
- gluten-free tamari, to serve (optional)
1. Peel and pit avocado, finely slice the flesh, and sprinkle with the lime juice, tossing gently to coat to prevent discoloration.
2. Cook the quinoa in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, until softened but still with a little bite. Drain. Sprinkle quinoa with vinegar, stir together evenly (and add the wasabi if you want, though you can add it to the filling), and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
3. When quinoa is completely cool, lay a sheet of nori out on a sushi rolling mat or cutting board with a long edge facing you. Spoon 1/4 of the quinoa onto the sheet and spread, leaving a 3/4 inch gap along the edge farthest from you. Lay out 1/4 of the pepper, ginger, cucumber, carrot, and avocado in a line across center of nori sheet (along its length) and spoon over 1/4 teaspoon wasabi paste if you didn't already mix it into the quinoa.
4. Using the mat to help, roll sheet up tightly away from you to form a cylinder. Store in plastic wrap and chill until required. Repeat with the remaining nori sheets and filling. Cut each into six equal rolls with a very sharp knife. Serve with tamari, wasabi, or both for dipping.
Youth-boosting foods: Tomato, apple cider vinegar, mint, cashews
Tomatoes are super versatile and contain tons of lycopene—an antioxidant that protects against cell deterioration. Apple cider vinegar can improve bone health and can help with joint pain, fatigue, dull hair, and dry skin. Mint can be magic for soothing stomach bloating and inflammation while cashews are high in magnesium and add body and creaminess to this soup (replacing the bread that most gazpacho recipes use). For even more flavor, try adding an herb oil or pesto.
Serves: 2 to 3
- 3 tomatoes, quartered and seeded
- 1 red chili, seeded
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded
- 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 cucumber, peeled
- 1 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/3 cup cashews
- 1 tablespoon shredded mint leaves, to serve
1. Finely chop tomatoes, chili, and red bell pepper. Put oil, vinegar, cucumber, garlic, and cashews in a blender and blend to a smooth, creamy consistency. Add all other ingredients except mint and blend for 1 or 2 seconds.
2. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple hours, or serve immediately—depending on how cold you want the soup—by pouring into bowls and sprinkling with mint.
Barley Salad with Figs and Arugula
Youth-boosting foods: Barley, almonds, olive oil, avocado (optional)
Barley helps control blood sugar and reduces cholesterol and visceral fat (the health-damaging stuff that wraps around your internal organs). Almonds are high in vitamin E and magnesium and have been shown to lower cholesterol. Pair with the healthy fat from olive oil and nutrient-dense greens, and you have a crazy-delicious and good-for-you salad.
- 1/2 cup pearl barley
- 4 fresh figs, quartered
- 2 1/2 cups arugula
- 2 scallions, sliced
- leaves from a small bunch of Italian parsley or cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup feta, or 1/2 avocado (optional)
1. Rinse pearl barley in a strainer under cold filtered water to remove the excess starch. Pour into a pan and cover with cold filtered water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for 40 to 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 figs, arugula, scallions, herbs, and almonds with barley. Toss with lemon juice and oil, then top with crumbled feta or sliced avocado.
Almond, Coconut, and Vanilla Ice Cream
Youth-boosting foods: Coconut milk, almonds, vanilla
Coconut milk is a great source of potassium, manganese, molybdenum, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. (Be careful—the full-fat kind is chock-full of nutrients, but also calories.) Vanilla adds antioxidants plus sweet flavor to kick your ice cream craving.
Serves: 4 to 6
- 7/8 cup organic coconut milk
- 1 1/3 cups ground almonds
- 10 dates, pitted
- 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out, or a few drops of vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole almonds
1. Put all the ingredients except whole almonds in a blender and blend until smooth. Preheat the oven to 325°F and toast almonds for 5 to 10 minutes. Coarsely chop, then stir into the mixture.
2. Freeze in a shallow tray.
3. Before serving, break the frozen mass up and briefly whiz the frozen pieces in the blender, then scoop out and serve with berries or other fruit.