BEAUTY THROUGH CONSCIOUS NOURISHMENT June 28, 2015 23:22

We are big believers in food as medicine for the mind, body, and soul at Bergamot Beauty, so we are thrilled to have Haseena Samtani share some of her favorite recipes to help keep you feeling good on the inside and looking vibrant on the outside. AND she shares a detoxifying DIY mask we can't wait to try!
 
Green smoothie:                                                                                                                                                              
1 packed cup of any greens 
1 cup frozen berries
1/2 banana 
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon soaked chia seeds                                                                                                                        
Combine in blender until smooth. If consistency is too thick add more coconut milk or any other liquid of your choice. Almond milk works great too! This may be a larger portion, my husband and I usually split it. The chia seeds should keep you satiated for a while. A great way to start the day!                                                                                                   
Quinoa Kichdi:
Kichdi typically refers to a spiced rice and lentil dish. Often the rice or grain will include a variety of spices. It's the ultimate Indian comfort food and super for its healing properties. Recipe courtesy of my sweet mother-in-law who has made this for me countless times - during pregnancy, after giving birth, and to this day. My toddler loves it too!     
1 cup quinoa
1 cup water
7-8 fresh curry leaves
1 stick of cinnamon broken up into small pieces
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Two handfuls of any greens, spinach, chard, kale 
1/2 cup chopped sweet potato (small cubes)
1/2 cup carrots (small cubes)
1 finely chopped Serrano chilli
2 tablespoons fresh dill
1 tablespoon ghee or any oil you would like to cook in                                                                                                       
Heat the ghee over a medium flame. Once hot add the mustard and cumin seeds, they will pop so stand back! Then add the curry leaves. Give it about 30 seconds and add the cinnamon and ginger. Mix well then add the cut veggies and serrano chili. Cook until vegetables are about half done. Then add the quinoa and fresh dill along with one cup of water. You may need more water as it cooks, the consistency when done should be light and fluffy so adjust accordingly. Cook until water is absorbed and veggies are tender. Turn off the stove and stir in the chopped greens and cover to steam for a few min. Garnish with fresh coriander. Serve with raita for a complete meal.
Raita:                                                                                                                                                                           
This is a great accompaniment to the kichdi or even just on its own.
One whole small cucumber
2 tablespoons fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
A pinch of ground cumin
A pinch of black salt
Grate the cucumber, if you want the yogurt a little more runny then keep this as is, if you like a thicker consistency then squeeze out the water (but don't discard it! You can add it to cold ice water and add a squeeze of lemon to make a refreshing and hydrating drink.) Add the yogurt and mix well. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to season to taste. I don't add any sugar to my raita, but I do realize that not everyone enjoys the sour taste of natural yogurt. You can add some raw cane sugar to the recipe or even a little olive oil to mellow out the taste. You can also make raita with a variety of other vegetables and fruit including carrots, spinach and pomegranate. Yum!
DIY mask:
This mask is a variation on a traditional one that every Indian mom I know has used on herself and her daughters. I don't use exact proportions with this.
A little gram flour (find at Indian, specialty, or international grocery stores)
A pinch of turmeric
Activated charcoal
Manuka honey
Mix together to make a paste like consistency. With the honey the mask will be rather thick. I buy charcoal caplets that I break open for this. This mask is detoxifying as well as hydrating and leaves my skin so soft. Best to spray with a hydrosol after and slather on some lovely oil, your skin will glow!