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College Kitchen: Beauty and the eats

Forget expensive cosmetics: essential makeover tools await in the kitchen cupboards.
A body scrub made of ingredients that you can find in your kitchen, leaves your skin smooth.
Image by Bridget Bennett
A body scrub made of ingredients that you can find in your kitchen, leaves your skin smooth.

Lazily waking in the wee afternoon hours, performing at-home manicures after watching multiple reruns of “Behind the Music,” eating meals with more than one course: Was it all a dream?

Sadly, the winter break days of having hours to prepare meals and indulge in self-pampering are over. Once again we hit the books and forgo above-average hygiene and sophisticated eating habits.

Whether your vacation was spent being catered to by parents or partaking in solo spa treatments, transitioning back to reality can be sudden and abrasive for the mind and body.

The College Kitchenista has prepared a back-to-school survival guide so you can eat well and look great.




Treat: Olive Oil Body Scrub

Minnesota winters can suck the life out of skin. This potion can renew your baby-soft birthday suit after only a few uses. Olive oil’s healthy fats seal moisture into skin and serve as a protective barrier from the elements without clogging delicate pores. Salt and sugar act to strip the skin of dead skin and old dirt that has built up over time.


1 part coarse raw sugar

1 part coarse sea salt

1 part extra-virgin olive oil


Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Massage into dry patches of skin and rough areas such as elbows and knees. Rinse with warm water.



Eat: Lemon-Basil Olive Oil Sugar Biscuits

Olive oil is an unsaturated fat, so it’s good for your skin and your waistline. These cookies put butter to shame in a light dessert treat.


2 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 eggs

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil leaves

1 pinch salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Separately, mix sugar and olive oil. Add eggs. Beat until fluffy. Add zest, juice and basil. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.

On an ungreased cookie sheet, drop spoonfuls of the dough about three inches apart. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Saffron Olive Oil Cookies.




Treat: Oatmeal Banana Face Mask

Using oatmeal baths to soothe the itch of childhood chicken pox may be a distant memory, but those who have reached adulthood can still benefit by using this super grain as a skin saver. Oatmeal contains a natural anti-inflammatory agent that can soothe the itch of pox or the irritation of winter’s harsh winds.


1 banana

1 egg

1 cup oatmeal

1 teaspoon olive oil


Mash the banana so it is a fine paste. Beat egg. Mix all ingredients together. Carefully wipe small globs onto your face and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.



Eat: Bananas Foster Breakfast Porridge

The soothing fibers of oatmeal clean your skin and digestive tract. This filling breakfast will keep you full and focused for the hours of class ahead.


2 bananas

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup oatmeal

1 cup soy milk


Using soy milk, cook oatmeal as directed. Cut banana into long diagonal slices. In a small skillet melt butter over medium-low heat. Add sugar. When the sugar has dissolved, add the bananas. Stir gently until the bananas begin to brown and are coated evenly in the syrup. Pour the entire contents of the skillet onto the cooked oatmeal.




Treat: Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

The harsh acid of apple cider vinegar balances the pH levels in your scalp and hair, leaving your locks shiny and renewed.


1 part apple cider vinegar

1 part warm water


Mix and pour into spray bottle. After a shampoo, generously spritz the mix into your hair. Let sit for several minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.



Eat: Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Along with a small kick of acidity, apple cider vinegar is naturally sweet. Complement this sweetness with a splash of orange juice for a light dressing that is made for a non-fuss bed of greens.


1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon spicy mustard

1/4 cup orange juice


In a small bowl, mix all ingredients with a whisk. Pour over salad. Toss.


Resuming classes after a long break can be draining. Fill up and put your best face forward with these all-natural beauty remedies and recipes.

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