Help Protect Skin with Lycopene

Last week I wrote about the benefits of lycopene in helping to protect the skin from sun damage. Since tomato puree is a rich source of lycopene, I have posted below a one of my favourite recipes that includes this simple ingredient. The recipe is suitable for those on a Nutritionhelp yeast and sugar-free diet, and can be used for any meal – including breakfast.

Before I launch into the recipe, I do need to mention that there are some clients who need to be careful about consuming tomatoes. The nightshade family – tomatoes, peppers, aubergine and potatoes – can cause an allergy in some people, either as the individual foods, or the as the whole food-group. If you are struggling to see progress in your Nutritionhelp recommendations it may be worth booking a consultation with me to explore whether any or all of the nightshade family are impacting on health. Occasionally, one or more of these foods may be causing a sensitivity reaction, thus putting an extra load on the immune system. Others who may struggle with the nightshade family, are those who suffer with arthritis. Not all people with arthritis need to avoid these food, but a subgroup may find benefit in avoiding nightshades. The same also applies for some – again not all – with psoriasis. Avoiding these foods is a step to try in the journey of working to support health as optimally as possible.

Another group of people who may find benefit in avoiding tomatoes, along with a few other foods, are those with an elevated histamine status. This is potentially playing a role when there are ongoing allergic reactions in the health status, including anxiety. I will write more about this next week, but for now I just wanted to highlight that while tomatoes may be great for the majority of people and clients, there are some who are better off not going over-board with them. Get in touch with me if you currently avoid tomatoes, and need some ideas for replacing tomato puree etc in recipes.

Cauliflower Crust and Vegetable Tart

Chop 150g cauliflower into florets and whizz in a food processor to make small ‘grains’ like rice. Stir in 30g of sunflower seeds, and a large egg to bind, adding ½ teaspoon of dried oregano and some black pepper. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and grease with coconut oil, and spread the mixture into a circle with slightly raised crust. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 15 minutes until golden brown and crust is beginning to crisp.

While crust is baking, pan roast some vegetables – chop 2 carrots into 1cm chunks and place in a pan with a tablespoon of coconut oil and a sprig of rosemary. Add a lid and gently fry for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, chop 1 courgette, 1 red onion and ½ red pepper into 1 cm chunks. And add these to the pan and continue to cook until soft. Remove from heat. Add 1 beaten egg, 2 tablespoons of tomato puree, black pepper and some oregano and stir together. Spoon the mixture over the crust. Top with some cherry tomatoes cut in half. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes for egg to set and veg to become golden. Serve hot or cold with a crispy side-salad. It also works well to make in advance and use for a quick and easy breakfast.

 

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