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pumpkin Archives - Brown & Coconut

8 Fall Foods that Make Amazing Face Masks

8 Fall Foods that Make Amazing Face Masks

It’s no secret that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can offer a plethora of benefits to the body, both inside and out. Just during the season of fall alone, there are tons of fruits and vegetables that are staples of this season getting devoured by the masses. But in addition to eating these seasonal favorites, some skin benefits can be observed by slapping these foods on our faces. Fall Foods Facials, has sort of nice ring to it right? Read on for 8 fall foods that make amazing face masks.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin is arguably one of the most popular fall foods. It gets served up in drinks, pies, soups, breads, cookies, muffins, cakes, you name it. I even saw pumpkin popcorn at the supermarket recently! This vegetable is a staple in many household during fall, and even winter months. And while it is oh-so yummy, it’s also a treat for your skin. Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A which helps protect your skin from loss of elasticity, wrinkles, and poor skin tone, all caused by damage from free radicals. Pumpkin also contains vitamin C, which again, helps fight free radical damage. What’s more is this orange veggie contains acne fighting, sebum balancing zinc, as well as, collagen and melanin regulating copper.

 

Sweet Potato

There’s no question that sweet potatoes baked in a pie are absolutely scrumptious (it’s my favorite pie in case you were wondering), but what is equally as delectable is this root vegetables benefit to your skin. Sweet potatoes, like pumpkin are a great source of skin protecting Vitamin A (also known as beta-carotene) and free radical fighting vitamin C.

Winter Squash

Like pumpkin and sweet potato, winter squash  is a vitamin A containing vegetable that fights free radicals and helps to keep your skin looking and feeling youthful. It also contains anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids.

How to use: Go straight for the gold with these vegetables and smear some mashed pumpkin, sweet potato, or winter squash on your face leaving it on like a mask. Go ahead, you know you want to…

 

Cranberry

8 Fall Foods that Make Amazing Face Masks

These tart little red berries are consumed year round in juices, cooked up in breads, savory dishes, baked sweets, sauces, and jams, but what can it do for you skin, you ask? Well, these yummy berries have not only been used in the treatment of oily skin, but are know for their ability to fight free radicals and prevent premature aging. Cranberries also possess antiseptic properties, making it them perfect for the treatment and prevention of acne and breakouts.

How to use: Take fresh (unsweetened) cranberry juice dabbed on a cotton ball and wipe over your face as a toner. You can also mix cranberry juice and a little honey to use as a face wash.

 

Apples

Apples are eaten year round, but definitely get more “air -time” during the fall. They get baked into all sorts of yummy fall desserts, they get made up into candy apples, turned into apple cider, and is it just me or does it seem like its not officially fall until you or someone you know has gone apple picking?

But what can these crisp, delectable fruits do for your skin? Well, for starters, apples contain collagen-boosting vitamin C, along with Vitamin A and E which together with Vitamin C, fights free radicals to help to prevent premature aging, including fine lines, wrinkles. Apples also contain copper, which helps to produce melanin which maintains your skin color.

It is said that some apples can offer limited protection from UVB rays. You should not use apples as a sunscreen replacement, however.

Note: Red Delicious and Granny Smith are said to be the most beneficial apples for the skin.

How to use: Blend your apple in to a pulp and spread across your face, you can also use freshly squeezed apple juice as a toner. Take a cotton ball, dab it in the freshly squeezed apple juice and wipe across your entire face. An apple pulp and honey mixture also makes for a great face mask.

 

Figs

8 Fall Foods that Make Amazing Face Masks

Figs are another festive food than can work wonders on your skin. Fig is not only hydrating, but an excellent exfoliant that gently works to remove dirt and debris, including dead, poor clogging skin cells.

How to use: Spread fig pulp directly on your face, for no more than 3-5 minutes. Due to the exfoliating enzymes in the fig, you want to be careful not to over-exfoliate your skin.

 

Nutmeg

Nutmeg is often used during the fall and even the holiday season to flavor both savory and sweet dishes, but did you know it can also help with pain and inflammation? This spice is the perfect remedy for those painful, swollen breakouts.

How to use: Mix a dash of nutmeg with a little honey and dab onto affected areas. Leave on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse.

 

Cinnamon

8 Fall Foods that Make Amazing Face Masks

Cinnamon is a spice widely used year round, but also makes an appearance in so many fall sweet treats. Not only is it delish, but it can be used on the skin to stimulate blood flow, bringing oxygen to the surface of the skin, helping to plump things up and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Cinnamon can also be used to clear up acne by drying out your breakouts.

How to use: Mix honey and just a dash of cinnamon and apply to the face, leaving on for a few minutes then rinse. Be careful not to overdo it. Cinnamon can be extremely irritating and drying. Do not do this mask more than once per week. As a spot treatment for acne, mix honey and cinnamon and dab just on the affected area, leave on for 10-20 minutes (depending on how sensitive your skin is) then rinse. Kick this spot treatment up a notch by adding both cinnamon and nutmeg to honey and applying to affected areas.

Which mask will you make this season?? Comment below!

~Letisha

10 Creative Ways to Use Pumpkin This Fall

 

Halloween may be over but the cherished “pumpkin season” has yet to come to an end. Reusing your pumpkin saves you money and creates a colorful menu for weeks to come! Before you toss your jack-o-lantern into the nearest receptacle try out  a few of these fun and clever ways of reusing this halloween staple:

 

10 Creative Ways to Use Pumpkin:

1. Soothing Mask

As lovers of all things masks, you know we couldn’t pass up on this opportunity! Pumpkin masks are full of essential vitamins, like Vitamin A, C & E, as well as antioxidants and fatty acids. These incredible ingredients soften the skin, improve cell turnover, and brighten your complexion. Let’s not forget to mention that the zinc in pumpkin does wonders for treating acneic skin. Mix a 1/4 cup of pumpkin that has been pureed with a spoonful of honey. Apply the mask and allow to sit for 15-30 minutes. Rinse, pat dry and moisturize!

2. Fall-Inspired Smoothie

The amazing nutrients in pumpkin work wonders inside your body, too! Chop your fresh pumpkin into chunks and boil until tender, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool and remove any skin. In a blender combine the fresh pumpkin with a frozen banana, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, maca powder and coconut milk. This delicious smoothie is full of vital nutrients and tastes like Fall in a glass! To save you time, freeze any unused, boiled pumpkin for future smoothies!

3. Exfoliation:

If you want to smell like a delicious Autumn treat, look no further than that lovely pumpkin. Pumpkin is full of alpha hydroxy acids, which helps with cell turnover and exfoliation. Talk about glowing skin, huh? Scoop out the insides of fresh pumpkin and place into a blender (set aside any seeds). Add in honey and cinnamon and puree until smooth. In a small bowl combine the pumpkin mixture with a few spoonfuls of sugar. Use this mixture to gently exfoliate your skin (avoid sensitive areas like your face).

4. Pumpkin Bread:

This delicious snack is the perfect treat for the holiday season. Baking with a fresh pumpkin is a wonderful way to preserve that fresh flavor while still packing your baked goodies chalk full of powerful nutrients. To create your own pumpkin puree for your bread, start by washing and halving your pumpkin (cut away the stem and pulp). Bake the halves face down covered in foil for about 1 1/2 hours at 375 degrees until tender. After cooling, cut away the skin and scoop out the insides and mash it until a puree forms. Use this puree in place of the store bought puree in your bread recipe.

5. Roasted Seeds:

It’s no secret that pumpkin seeds are just delicious. They are easy to make and are the perfect late night snack. Start by rinsing the seeds under cool water, then spread the seeds onto a baking sheet. Roast the plain seeds for 30 minutes. After roasting, season the seeds with your favorite spices and roast for another 20 or so minutes.

6. Mashed Pumpkin:

A side of mashed pumpkin is the perfect addition to any fall dish. Soften the pumpkin by cutting it into chunks and boiling them for about 25 minutes. Remove the skin and mash the chunks into a desired consistency. Add a few shakes of sea salt and pepper and voilà!

7. Pumpkin Soup:

The perfect treat for any brisk Autumn day. This delicious squash soup recipe is the perfect way to use any left over pumpkin. Simply subtitute the squash for your fresh pumpkin!

8.Compost:

If you just can’t stand to eat anything pumpkin, just toss it right into your composter! Be sure to cut it into smaller chunks so it decomposes faster.

9.Pumpkin Pie:

This Thanksgiving essential is the perfect way to get rid of your pumpkin. Boil chunks of the pumpkin for about 25 minutes. Once cool, cut off the skin and blend until a puree forms. Use this puree in place of the canned pumpkin you  typically use. This preservative free puree can be frozen and used for holiday treats all season long!

10. Waffles:

This breakfast favorite is going to taste all the better when made with fresh pumpkin puree. This delicious pumpkin waffle recipe is perfect for any fall morning. Just swap out the canned pumpkin for your homemade puree (as seen in #4). Did we mention this yummy recipe has 5g of protein per serving?!

 

What are your favorite ways to reuse your Halloween pumpkins?

 

Peace, Love & Coconuts!
-Zeena

Save Your Halloween Pumpkin!

Still have your pumpkin left over from Halloween?

You’re not the only one. It’s easy to pop the sucker on the porch and forget all about it. If you’re lazy like us and didn’t want to take the time to carve a jack-o-lantern, your pumpkin is probably still is great shape!

So what the heck do you do with it now? Well, you could leave it on that porch of yours through Thanksgiving, OR reduce it down to pumpkin puree so you can use it in a variety of pumpkin dishes!

Making Pumpkin Purée

pumpkin pulp

What you’ll need:

  • A whole pumpkin
  • Serrated knife
  • Pot with steaming compartment
  • Ice cream scoop or large spoon
  • 1 small bowl
  • 1 large bowl

Directions:

  1. Grab your pumpkin off that porch pronto!
  2. Wash it with soap and water.
  3. Cut pumpkin in half from stem to stem.
  4. Take an ice cream scoop or large spoon and scrape pulp & seeds from the inside and set aside in a bowl.
  5. Now take your pumpkin halves and cut down into smaller boiling pumpkinchunks so they can fit in your pot. My pumpkin was huge so I had to steam in batches.
  6. Steam each batch for about 30 minutes or long enough so that pumpkin is soft and penetrates easily with a fork (should have  a mashed potato-like consistency)
  7. Once it’s soft, remove from pot and scrape out the pumpkin meat and place in a bowl. You may discard the exterior skin. You’ll notice that a lot of water will seep out of the pumpkin meat into your bowl. Unless you will be using your puree to make pumpkin soup, you may strain this water out.
  8. Now that you’re left with the pumpkin meat, grab an electric mixer and beat until pumpkin becomes a smooth puree. Pulp will begin to wrap around the  paddle(s) of your mixer. Continue to beat your pumpkin letting the pulp build up on the paddles, occasionally stopping to remove and discard this buildup. Do this until all pulp strands are gone and you’re left with smooth pumpkin puree.pumpkin puree

You can use this puree to make a ton of yummy pumpkin dishes.

Why not make our Super Moist Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins??

As for your pulp and seeds….

You remember what was scraped out of your pumpkin early on? Pick through that and remove the pumpkin seeds then throw away the pulp. Rinse and dry the seeds. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and sprinkle with a little seasoning, salt, and/or pepper.

Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit until seeds are toasted on both sides. Shake cookie sheet a couple of times while cooking to flip them around on cookie sheet. Should take no more than 20-30 minutes.

 Peace, Love, & Coconut PUMPKIN!

Just kidding coconut!

Come back!…. WE STILL LOVE YOU!

~ Letisha

8 Reasons to Eat More Pumpkin

It’s pumpkin season! Everywhere pumpkin is popping up: bagels, breads, coffee, lattes, teas, spreads, cookies, beers, soups, donuts, and so much more! While all of these are a tasty way to enjoy pumpkin, it serves a bigger and better purpose. It is actually incredibly healthy! Below I’ve highlighted the top 8 ways pumpkin is great and why you should add a little more pumpkin to your diet this fall. 🙂autumn-72294_640

1.    Vitamin E

This vitamin is great for helping the immune system and providing protection against certain cancers.

2.   Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for proper eye -sight and immune functions.

3.    Manganese

This mineral helps the body absorbs other key nutrients, keeps bones strong, balance sugar and hormone levels, and maintains nerve function.

4.    Beta-carotene

Beta-carotene is also an anti-oxidant that protects the body against free radicals and support brain functions.

5.    Iron

Iron is essential in cell function and assists muscles in using oxygen throughout the body.

pumpkins 6.     Zinc

Zinc, which is often added to foods, is important for cell function and essential in the early stages of human growth and development.

7.     Dietary Fiber

Regulates nutrients absorbed in the small intestine and promotes heart health by removing cholesterol from the body

8.     Potassium

Helps to regulate chemical balance in the body and other minerals. Potassium is responsible for muscle movements and impulses of nerves.

 

 

There are tons of ways to prepare and eat pumpkin so that you get all of its great benefits. Check out some websites below that can help!

Peace, Love, & Coconuts.

~ Nalani

Fall-Inspired Homemade Protein Shakes!

Check out these 3 fall-inspired protein shakes to satisfy your fall-flavor cravings, while nourishing your body!

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake

Pumpkin Smoothie

A creamy blend of pumpkin and the right fall spices to get you in the mood for the holidays. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (soy, almond, or regular milk work too) – add more as needed
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 serving vanilla protein powder (typically 1-3 scoops depending on brand)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Nutmeg to taste
  • Dash Allspice
  • 4+ ice cubes

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth. Enjoy!

 

Apple Pie Protein Shake

Tart apple shake with cinnamon and nutmeg to complete this fall creation.

apple smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium apple (use unsweetened applesauce if your blender wont take hard apples)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (soy, almond, or regular milk work too
  • – add more as needed)
  • 1 serving vanilla protein powder (typically 1-3 scoops depending on brand)
  • 1 – 2 tbsp apple butter (I like Eden Organics brand)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • dash of ground nutmeg
  • 4+ Ice Cubes (add more as needed)

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth. Enjoy!

 

Gingerbread Pear Protein Shake

Pear Gingerbread Smoothie

Yummy pear with bold molasses and ginger to recreate the classic fall flavor of gingerbread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium pear
  • 1 small banana (optional)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (soy, almond, or regular milk work too) – add more as needed
  • 1 serving vanilla protein powder (typically 1-3 scoops depending on brand)
  • 1 or 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 4+ Ice Cubes (add more as needed)

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth. Enjoy!

*For each protein shake, feel free to add more or less milk, ice, and/or of each spices to reach your desired  consistency and flavor.

~ Letisha