A Beauty Chef's 4 Gut-Health Recipes Will Make Your Skin Glow

Updated 01/09/19
Carla Oates—gut health recipes
Maree Homer

Why is gut health such a buzzy term right now?

"I think it really comes down to the increased awareness we’re seeing for the importance of gut health. When I first started The Beauty Chef, the realm of gut health was still quite new and it was really only through my own experience with gut and skin issues that I began to understand the incredible impact nourishing my gut could have on my skin, health, and wellbeing. Although I did a lot of research examining the link between gut health and skin health, the world of inner beauty and our understanding of the beauty of bacteria and probiotics was really in its infancy—and a totally foreign concept to the beauty industry, too.

Why is gut health such a buzzy term right now?

"I think it really comes down to the increased awareness we’re seeing for the importance of gut health. When I first started The Beauty Chef, the realm of gut health was still quite new and it was really only through my own experience with gut and skin issues that I began to understand the incredible impact nourishing my gut could have on my skin, health, and wellbeing. Although I did a lot of research examining the link between gut health and skin health, the world of inner beauty and our understanding of the beauty of bacteria and probiotics was really in its infancy—and a totally foreign concept to the beauty industry, too.

How does gut health have the capacity to change your life? Why?

"It doesn’t sound very glamorous, but the gut is truly where the seeds for optimal health, beauty and wellbeing are planted. Our gut is where 70% of our immune system lies, it’s where we make nutrients and detoxifying enzymes, metabolise hormones and neutralise pathogens. Not only does this have a huge impact on the health of our skin, but our immunity, metabolism, brain function and mood.

"Since then, however, there has been a paradigm shift and with more and more research supporting the link between gut health and our overall health, beauty, and wellbeing, people are beginning to understand that health is beauty and beauty is health. In a broader sense, there has also been a movement towards organic wholefoods, chemical-free skincare, and personal care products as we become more aware of the toxins and chemicals we’re exposed to and how they affect our health—and gut health is at the center of this research, which is incredibly exciting to witness."

Carla Oates—beauty recipes
Courtesy of The Beauty Chef

How can diet change your gut health?

My philosophy has always been that 'beauty begins in the belly' and it’s true. What we eat can have a medicinal effect on our bodies. Not only because food literally feeds our cells, but because when it comes to our bacteria, the species and balance of microbes in our gut are directly influenced by what we eat.

"If you think of a garden, our gut is like the soil and in order for plants to thrive and grow strong, the soil needs the right nutrient levels and bacterial balance to support growth. In the same way, in order for us to be healthy and flourish, we need to eat the highest quality, most nutrient-dense whole foods possible."

What are the main ingredients people should eat for improved/maintain optimal gut health?

"In my experience, one of the simplest ways to support gut health is to include more fermented foods in our diet. While fermentation has been around for thousands of years among traditional cultures, there has definitely been a resurgence in their popularity, and for good reason. Fermented foods are rich in beneficial bacteria and while there are a bunch of delicious fermented foods you can include in your diet at home—including kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso —over the years I’ve found lacto-fermented foods to be particularly beneficial for both gut and skin health.

"This is the method of fermentation we use to create all of The Beauty Chef formulas and uses the Lactobacillus species of bacteria. This process supercharges the ingredients and boosts their bioavailability, creating a natural broad-spectrum and food-based probiotic as a result. What makes lacto-fermented foods so powerful in terms of gut health, however, is that not only are they probiotic, but prebiotic too, helping to feed the beneficial bacteria in our gut and aside from helping to ease digestion, fermented foods can help to strengthen the gut wall, reduce inflammation and support immunity."

Carla Oates—The Beauty chef
Courtesy of The Beauty Chef

What are the changes you notice in your health, skin, body, and mind?
"It truly depends on the individual but once you start to improve your gut health you’ll notice more balanced digestion, experience more energy and clarity of mind as well as clearer, firmer, more glowing skin and healthy, strong hair and nails. For many people, they notice the improvements in their skin first simply because our skin is such a great barometer for what’s going on inside our gut and where there’s gut inflammation, there’s also skin inflammation." 

What are your favorite recipes for brain function? Gut health? Brain fog?
"I’m such a foodie so it’s hard for me to pick a favorite recipe, but when it comes to brain function (and glowing skin, of course!), it’s important to make sure you’re including enough anti-inflammatory healthy fats in your diet. Omega-3 fats are particularly beneficial and found in oily fish such as salmon, krill oil and sardines as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.

What are the changes you notice in your health, skin, body, and mind?
"It truly depends on the individual but once you start to improve your gut health you’ll notice more balanced digestion, experience more energy and clarity of mind as well as clearer, firmer, more glowing skin and healthy, strong hair and nails. For many people, they notice the improvements in their skin first simply because our skin is such a great barometer for what’s going on inside our gut and where there’s gut inflammation, there’s also skin inflammation." 

What are your favorite recipes for brain function? Gut health? Brain fog?
"I’m such a foodie so it’s hard for me to pick a favorite recipe, but when it comes to brain function (and glowing skin, of course!), it’s important to make sure you’re including enough anti-inflammatory healthy fats in your diet. Omega-3 fats are particularly beneficial and found in oily fish such as salmon, krill oil and sardines as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.

Any foods that support gut health also help brain function as your gut is where you make 90 % of the feel-good hormone, serotonin. For supporting gut health, I’m a big fan of slow-cooked soups and stews with lots of veggies and anti-inflammatory herbs and spices with bone broth. And probiotic, fermented foods of course.

What should we steer clear of? Why?

SPICED AUTUMN SMOOTHIE BOWL

Spiced Autumn Smoothie Bowl—easy recipe
Courtesy of The Beauty Chef

Ingredients for the smoothie bowl:

1/ 3 cup (30 g) rolled oats, soaked in cold water for 1 hour, drained & rinsed
1 frozen banana, coarsely chopped
1 scoop BODY Inner Beauty Powder Vanilla

1 1/ 2 tablespoons almond butter

1 teaspoon raw honey

1/ 4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/ 2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/ 8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1/ 2 cup (125 ml) almond milk
 

1/ 3 cup (30 g) rolled oats, soaked in cold water for 1 hour, drained & rinsed
1 frozen banana, coarsely chopped
1 scoop BODY Inner Beauty Powder Vanilla

1 1/ 2 tablespoons almond butter

1 teaspoon raw honey

1/ 4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/ 2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/ 8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1/ 2 cup (125 ml) almond milk
 

Ingredients for the honey granola:

2 tablespoons rolled oats

1 tablespoon flaked almonds

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped Brazil nuts

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped walnuts

3 teaspoons raw honey

2 teaspoons pumpkin seeds

2 teaspoons sunflower seeds

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180 °C.

Ingredients for the topping:

Fresh fig, torn

Bee pollen (not suitable for those with bee allergies)

Marigold petals

Directions:

KALE BOWL WITH QUINOA, FERMENTED VEGETABLES, WAKAME, AND AVOCADO

Kale quinoa bowl recipe
Courtesy of The Beauty Chef

Ingredients for the bowl:

1⁄2 cup (100g) quinoa, rinsed 1 cup (250ml) water
7g wakame
1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 bunches (approx. 800g) kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons white sesame seeds, plus extra to serve

2 teaspoons black sesame seeds, plus extra to serve

1⁄2 teaspoon chili flakes

11⁄2 cups (230g) sweet and sour fermented vegetables 

1 avocado, halved, stone removed and flesh sliced lengthways

1⁄2 cup (75g) raw cashews, roasted and coarsely chopped

1⁄2 cup (100g) quinoa, rinsed 1 cup (250ml) water
7g wakame
1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 bunches (approx. 800g) kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons white sesame seeds, plus extra to serve

2 teaspoons black sesame seeds, plus extra to serve

1⁄2 teaspoon chili flakes

11⁄2 cups (230g) sweet and sour fermented vegetables 

1 avocado, halved, stone removed and flesh sliced lengthways

1⁄2 cup (75g) raw cashews, roasted and coarsely chopped

Ingredients for the tahini sauce:

1⁄4 cup (60ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice 1⁄4 cup (60g) tahini

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2cm knob of ginger, peeled and finely grated

3 teaspoons tamari

2 teaspoons raw honey 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions:

SPIRULINA, COCONUT AND VANILLA OMEGA-BOOST SMOOTHIE

spirulina smoothie
Courtesy of The Beauty Chef

Ingredients:
1⁄4 avocado, peeled
3⁄4 cup (180ml) coconut drinking milk

1 large handful baby spinach leaves

1⁄2 frozen banana, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon ground LSA

1 tablespoon Vanilla BODY Inner Beauty Powder 
1 teaspoon CLEANSE Inner Beauty Powder

2 ice cubes

1 medjool date, pitted

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

pinch of Himalayan salt

Ingredients:
1⁄4 avocado, peeled
3⁄4 cup (180ml) coconut drinking milk

1 large handful baby spinach leaves

1⁄2 frozen banana, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon ground LSA

1 tablespoon Vanilla BODY Inner Beauty Powder 
1 teaspoon CLEANSE Inner Beauty Powder

2 ice cubes

1 medjool date, pitted

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

pinch of Himalayan salt

Directions:

Place all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth.

ZUCCHINI SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS

Courtesy of The Beauty Chef

Ingredients for the pasta:

2 zucchinis

extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling Himalayan salt, to taste

1small handful basil leaves

shaved parmesan cheese, to serve

Ingredients for the meatballs:

1 tablespoon olive oil

% onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

35g pork mince

35g beef mince

10og organic chicken livers, finely chopped

1/2 cup (5og) finely grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

1 cup (6og) almond meal

1 large egg

1 small handful oregano leaves, finely chopped

finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

1 teaspoon Himalayan  salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

l cup (6oml) olive oil

Ingredients for the sauce:

1 tablespoon  olive oil

1/2 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

1 small handful basil leaves, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Directions:

To prepare the meatballs, heat the oil in a small frying pan over low-medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic until softened. Transfer into a medium bowl and set aside to cool slightly.

Once cooled add the remaining ingredients.

Using clean hands or a wooden spoon, mix together thoroughly. Shape into 24 meatballs and place on a tray. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Heat a little of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs in batches, turning frequently, for 3-5 minutes, until browned all over. Transfer onto a clean tray and set aside.

Meanwhile, to prepare the sauce, heat the oil in a large frying pan over low-medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic until softened. Add the tomatoes and l cup (60ml) water and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until softened. Add the basil, maple syrup, and salt and stir to combine.

Add the browned meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce becomes thick and meatballs are cooked through.

To prepare the zucchini spaghetti, use a spiraliser to cut the zucchini into spaghetti-like lengths.

Alternatively using a mandolin, thinly julienne into lengthways strips. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and toss to coat.

To serve, pile the zucchini spaghetti into bowls.

Top with meatballs and sauce, fresh basil and shaved parmesan cheese.

Shop The Beauty Chef book below along with some of our favorite kitchen essentials to get started on your gut-health journey: 

Carla Oates The Beauty Chef: Delicious Food for Radiant Skin, Gut Health and Wellbeing $24
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Nordstrom at Home Set of 4 Measuring Cups $39
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Nordstrom at Home Nordstrom At Home Teardrop Cutting Board $59 $40
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Nordstrom at Home Nordstrom At Home Acacia Wood Cheese Board $39
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Norstrom at Home Large Wood Bowl $39
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Nordstrom at Home Nordstrom At Home 2-Piece Salad Serving Set $39
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Tory Burch Set Of 4 Lettuce Ware Canape Plates $88
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Nordstrom at Home Marble & Wood Lazy Susan $49
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Anthropologie Bistro Monogram Coaster $10
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Anthropologie Anthropologie Mimira Ceramic Platter $24 $19
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