“Many of Australia’s most delicious and healthful grains were overlooked during the low-carb craze. Sorghum is a prime example.”
3 Australian Superfoods
The world loves Australia. More than a million New Zealanders visit annually. Americans love our koalas and are obsessed with our slang.
Posted: 30 August 17
By Louisa McKay
Germans flock to our shores for the sand and surf. Canadians strap on their backpacks to explore the outback. Wherever they come from, visitors inevitably fall in love with Australian cuisine, too. Why is that?
The reason is simple: Australians are known the world over for their incandescent beauty. Think Nicole Kidman or the Hemsworth boys. That beauty comes from our healthy lifestyle, which includes eating nutritiously with a focus on indigenous fruits and veggies.
Costhetics is proud to be the Internet’s most informative (and friskiest) resource on all things related to aesthetic enhancement and beauty news in Australia. That’s why we’re shouting from the rooftops about three locally sourced superfoods that can help you look and feel like a million dollars:
Agent Orange: Turmeric & Skin Beauty
If you’re a fan of curry, you’re no doubt familiar with turmeric. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, gives the spice its distinctive orange colour. Curcumin is more than just a pretty face. It can help you have a pretty face, too. When taken internally, curcumin reduces two of the known causes of acne breakouts, insulin and inflammation.
The value of turmeric has not gone unnoticed by superstars around the world. Among the spice’s proponents:
- Thandie Newton
- Sir Michael Caine
- Victoria Beckham
- Priyanka Chopra
One way to enjoy turmeric is in a spiced beverage each morning. It will give you the same boost as coffee, but without the caffeine, not to mention the fact that it’s healthful and filled with antioxidants.
1-2-3 Turmeric Tea
Food and Wine magazine has delicious recipes for turmeric drinks on their website. Here’s one that’s a real hit with the Costhetics team:
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1tsp fresh ginger
- 1tsp turmeric powder
- 1tsp raw honey
- 2 cup boiling water
- A pinch of nutmeg
- A pinch of clove
- A pinch of black pepper
- Almond, coconut or hemp milk (to taste)
- Step 1 – Blend spices and water until smooth and a uniform colour is achieved
- Step 2 – Strain
- Step 3 – Add milk and honey and enjoy!
Sorghum: Queensland Gift Worth a King’s Ransom
Many of Australia’s most delicious and healthful grains were overlooked during the low-carb craze. Sorghum is a prime example. Sorghum, a type of grass originally cultivated in Egypt, is rich in Vitamin B2, which is essential to promoting and maintaining healthy skin. It also contains Vitamin C, which combats free radicals, sun exposure, and environmental pollution.
As if that weren’t enough, superfood Sorghum is rich in the amino acids L-lysine and L-proline. These acids are essential to the production of collagen in the body, which, in turn, gives structure to the skin. Another benefit of Sorghum is its ability to increase the secretion of mucus, which helps sooth the skin of people with dermatitis, rosacea, and eczema.
Sorghum even has a positive effect on scars. It contains Allium, a specific antioxidant that has been shown to
- Boost blood flow to scar tissue
- Develop new skin
- Minimise the appearance of scar tissue
Sorghum Makes a Side Dish a Meal
Sorghum is an ingredient that you can use morning, noon and night, folding it into breakfast pancakes or tossing it in a cold lunchtime salad. Martha Stewart tops her black pepper biscuits with sweet sorghum syrup. That’s just a sample of how versatile this grain can be. At dinner, you can transform a ho-hum veggie dish into Green Beans a la Sorghum:
- 1 cup Sorghum grain (available in supermarkets and health stores)
- ½ kg green beans with ends trimmed
- 1tsp olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/4tsp sea salt
- 1/4tsp black pepper
- 1/4cup crumbled goat cheese
- Prepare sorghum according to package directions
- Set aside
- Bring a pot of water to the boil and blanch green beans for 3-4 minutes. (Do not overcook. Beans should be bright green and just tender.)
- Drain beans
- Toss beans with oil, garlic, salt, and pepper
- Roast at 160C for 20-25 minutes until the beans begin to blister
- Remove from oven and toss with goats cheese and sorghum
The dish may be served warm or at room temperature.
Pitaya Puts Acai to Shame in 5 Different Ways
If you like the nutritional benefits of acai, pitaya (dragon fruit) gives you more bang for your vitamin buck. A member of the cactus family, pitaya has significantly more Vitamin C and iron than acai, and is a delicious way to help promote good bacteria in your gut for digestive health.
Like turmeric and sorghum, this exotic Australian dragon fruit is rich in antioxidants. It is a true superfood when it comes to your skin and can:
- Promote skin health
- Soothe sunburned skin
- Provide moisture to dry skin
- Treat acne
- Combat visible signs of ageing
Good Skin Eats: Scallops & Dragon Fruit
2017 was a good year for Australia’s seafood lovers and the scallop industry. Despite a rough winter, scallops were thriving, with a total catch of nearly 3,000 tonnes. That makes this a great time to enjoy Sexy Scallops with Dragon Fruit Garnish, a simple 6-ingredient main course.
- 1 dragon fruit, chilled for easy cutting
- 2tsp chives, chopped
- 1tsp lemon juice
- 8 large or 16 small scallops
- 1tsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Carefully wash then peel the dragon fruit and finely dice the flesh
- Combine with lemon juice and chopped chives and set aside
- Dry your scallops (this will make them brown better)
- Season with salt and pepper
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat
- Sear the scallops until golden, 2-3 minutes per side, depending on size
- To plate, serve 3 large scallops (6 small) per person, topped with the dragon fruit garnish
A Word (or Two) of Caution about Natural Foods
Saying a substance is natural is not the same as saying it is all good. That’s why Costhetics stands by the motto: “Everything in moderation.” Whatever you decide to put into or on your body, make sure you know the pros and cons before you overload your system into bad health. For example:
- Dragon fruit can pack on the pounds. It is high in fructose and can stymie your weight-loss efforts. Additionally, the skin of dragon fruit may contain pesticides, so it is important to wash and peel it carefully.
- Turmeric can increase the risk of kidney stones if you eat too much of it. This is particularly problematic for people who suffer from gout. In general, a teaspoon of turmeric a day is considered safe.
- Sorghum, when it has been picked too soon, contains hydrogen cyanide. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide can improve digestion and stimulate respiration. When you overdo it, however, it can cause respiratory failure.
We’d write more about Australia’s super-healthy, super-delicious superfoods, but all this talk about edibles has gotten our team so darn hungry, we’re going to head to Woolies and cookie up a healthy staff meal. We wish you were here to share the bounty!