What we now call Halloween was derived from a celebration called Samhain (a Gaelic word pronounced “SAH-win”). This pagan festival originated from an ancient Celtic spiritual tradition and is customarily celebrated from October 31 to November 1 (the half-way point between the Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice) to welcome in the harvest and usher in the dark half of the year. Celebrants believe that the veil between the physical world and the spirit world are thinnest during Samhain, allowing more interaction between the living and otherworldly beings.
Today Halloween is all about costumes, carved pumpkins, and trick-or-treating. We can give it deeper meaning, however, by invoking the original sentiment. We can welcome the harvest by cooking nourishing, seasonal food, and we can acknowledge the dark through self-care practices designed to nurture our skin in the colder months.
Here is a Fall harvest recipe that includes one of our favorite skincare superfoods, cranberries:
Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Kale
2 medium butternut squash
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup cooked quinoa (sub vegetable broth for water to create a richer flavor)
1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped (about 6 lightly packed cups)
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional for roasting squash
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus additional for roasting squash
1 can low sodium chickpeas (15 ounces), rinsed and drained
zest of 1 orange plus 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/3 cup reduced sugar dried cranberries
grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Halve the butternut squash, scoop out the seeds, and arrange the halves on a baking tray, cut sides up. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake 45-55 minutes, just until the squash is fork tender. Remove from oven and let it cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
- While the squash is baking, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium low. Add the garlic, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook 30 additional seconds, until it is fragrant. Stir in the chickpeas, orange zest, orange juice, cooked quinoa, and cranberries.
- Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick border around the sides and a 3/4-inch border along the bottom. Reserve the squash flesh for another use (or if you want heavily stuffed squash, mix it in with the rest of the filling). Stuff the kale-quinoa filling into the squash halves, then return the squash to the oven. Bake at 375 degrees F until hot, about 10 minutes. If you’d like to add cheese, sprinkle it on top, and serve the squash warm.
Generally, you require richer moisture in the colder months than in the warm ones. Honor your skin’s changes and mark the transition of the seasons by shifting your routine to match your needs. This post on Fall Skincare Goals offers a guide to some of our favorite products, rich in nourishing EFAs and active ingredients that help support your glow, even in the darkest months.
Heathy Halloween, and happy #SustainableSelfCareSunday, everyone We hope you enjoy the magic of this season while also taking exquisite care of yourself.