Healthy Eyes Recipes

Delicious recipes to help keep your eyes healthy

There are many eye-health superfoods that you can eat to help protect your eyes. You can pack a lot of eye health foods into your meals!

The lutein and zeaxanthin found in leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli and lettuce protect the eyes from light-induced oxidative damage which can lead to the development of an incurable eye disease called age-related macular degeneration.

The zinc found in eggs is important for vision because it helps to maintain the mineral levels in the retina while helping to build a biological pigment, melanin, which protects the eye.

Vitamin C can lower your risk of developing cataracts and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries will give your body that extra boost of vitamin C.

Almonds are an easy snack to pack and are full of vitamin E. This vitamin plays an important role in protecting certain parts of the eye by neutralizing the oxidation, which is important as the lens of the eye is particularly susceptible to oxidative damage that can cause cataracts.

The omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, is a major component of maintaining good retina and brain health.


Eye Healthy Zucchini Chocolate Cake

Beta-carotene
Lutein
Zeaxanthin

 

Featuring

Zucchini and chocolate. Zucchini is high in the antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene. These antioxidants enhance vision and help prevent age-related macular degeneration, which is an incurable eye disease. Chocolate also includes antioxidants. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (such as canola or avocado oil)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 2 1/2 cups zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
* To sour milk, add approximately 1/2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk. Let stand for 5-10 minutes and it is ready to use in your recipe. This method also works for plant-based milks such as oat and soy.

Method

  1. Add non-hydrogenated margarine, vegetable oil, and sugar to a large bowl. Add eggs and mix well. Add vanilla and mix.
  2. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, zucchini, milk, and chocolate chips; mix just until blended.
  3. Pour batter into a 9x13" plan (or two 8" or 9" circular pans) nd bake at 325° for 55-60 minutes (or 45-50 minutes for circular pans). Cake is done when inserted toothpick comes out clean.
This recipe is delicious served with vanilla gelato and fruit, or you may choose to add frosting and/or make a layer cake. Enjoy in moderation!

Superhero Berry Smoothie

Vitamin C
Lutein
Zeaxanthin

 

Featuring

Vitamin C in berries, banana, and orange juice as well as lutein and zeaxanthin in kale or spinach. All are very good for your eyes!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup frozen berries
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup vanilla (or plain) greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup kale or spinach
  • 1/4 cup 100% orange juice

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to the blender.
  2. Ensure you've secured the top in place.
  3. Blend on high until smooth.
  4. Pour into a glass and enjoy!


Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Beta-carotene (Vitamin A)

Featuring

Adding sweet potato to this classic Italian recipe boosts the "eye health" nutrition. The carotenoids in the sweet potato are powerful antioxidants essential for our eye health. Betacarotene helps protect your cornea (the surface of the eye) and allows us to see under conditions of low light. Lutein and zeaxanthin prevent macular degeneration.
Serve on its own or alongside roast chicken and steamed veggies. 

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato (approximately 454g)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese (for garnish)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Wash and dry the sweet potato. Poke holes in the sweet potato using a fork. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake the sweet potato for approximately 60 minutes, or until soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Once sweet potato is cool, remove and discard the peel. Add the sweet potato flesh to a medium bowl and mash. Add the garlic, salt, nutmeg, and egg and mix until well combined. Add the flour a little at a time (approximately ½ cup at a time) and mix well until you have a soft dough. Use more or less flour as needed. Dough is just right when it is not too sticky and not too dry.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While you wait for the water to boil, make the gnocchi.
  4. On a floured surface, separate the dough into 8 parts. Roll each part out into a long snack and cut into ~1 inch x ½ inch pieces. The dough cuts easily. You can use a clean recycled plastic gift card for cutting.
  5. Carefully drop the pieces into boiling water, stirring occasionally. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until they float to the surface. Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper (optional).
Serves 4-6.

Pumpkin Cookies

Beta-carotene (Vitamin A), Lutein, Zeaxanthin

Featuring

This nutritious and delicious cookie is made with wholesome pumpkin. Pumpkin's brilliant orange colouring comes from the carotenoids betacarotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants essential for eye health. Betacarotene helps you see in the dark. Lutein and zeaxanthin prevent macular degeneration. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (or 1 cup canned pumpkin)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½cup vegetable oil (e.g., grapeseed, canola, or avocado oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, add sugar and oil and mix well. Add egg and mix well. Add the pumpkin and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Finally, add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and chocolate chips and mix until just combined.
  4. Drop onto prepared baking sheet (½-2 tbsp per cookie) and bake for 12-14 minutes, until the tops spring back.
  5. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Eye Healthy Turkey Chili

Beta-carotene (Vitamin A)

Featuring

Chickpeas and lentils are sources of bioflavonoids and zinc, which can help protect the retina and lower the risk for developing macular degeneration and cataracts. This recipe also contains leafy greens, red bell pepper, carrots, and tomatoes, which are all great for eye health!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Approximately 450g extra-lean ground turkey
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 package (227g) button mushrooms, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp dried oregano leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 can (796ml) while tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can (540ml) lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (540 ml) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, or beet greens
  

Method

  1. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add turkey, carrot, celery, and mushrooms. Break up turkey with a spoon, until turkey is browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, and salt. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in tomatoes and tomato paste, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
  5. Add lentils, leafy greens, and red bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with a whole grain bun and a salad or raw veggies.
Serves 8.

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Medallions

Beta-carotene (Vitamin A)

Featuring

Sweet potatoes (or yams) are high in beta-carotene and are great for your vision.

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into ¼ inch thick slices/medallions
  • 3 tbsp canola or avocado oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  

Method

  1. Position rack in upper third of oven and then preheat oven to 425°F. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray or use parchment paper or a reusable baking sheet liner.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine sweet potatoes, oil, salt, black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Toss to coat.
  3. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet; be sure not to overcrowd.
  4. Bake until tender and golden brown, turning occasionally. Cooking time is 25 to 30 minutes.
Serves 4.

Macaroni & Cheese with Butternut Squash

Beta-carotene (Vitamin A)

Featuring

Butternut squash is an excellent source of betacarotene. our bodies turn betacarotene into vitamin A, which helps maintain eye health. Making meals from fresh whole ingredients is a great way to decrease the amount of processed food you eat. This is quick and easy to make and the butternut squash gives it a boost of betacarotene for eye health.

Ingredients

  • pkg (about 450g) elbow macaroni
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 tsp flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree*
  • 2 cups grated cheese (can mix in your favourites!)
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp mustard
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
 *Making the butternut squash puree in advance and freezing in 1 cup portions is a time saver. Use in this recipe, or throw into oatmeal or a smoothie for an eye-healthy boost!
 

Method

  1. Cook macaroni as per directions on the box or package.
  2. While the macaroni is cooking, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Once melted, add the flour and stir with a whisk. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add milk little by little and stir well until there are no lumps and the mixture begins to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add nutmeg, mustard, butternut squash puree and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cover, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once the macaroni is cooked "al dente" (cooked but still slightly firm), drain and add to the cheese mixture and mix well.
Serves 4.

Special Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Beta-carotene (Vitamin A)
Zeaxanthin
Lutein

Featuring

Pumpkin's brilliant orange colouring comes from the carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants essential for eye health. Beta-carotene helps you see in the dark. Lutein and zeaxanthin prevent macular degeneration.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup canola or avocado oil
  • 398ml pumpkin puree*
  • 2 cups buttermilk**
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cloves

Special Ingredients (choose 1 of the following if desired)

  • 1½ cups raisins
  • 1½ cups chopped apple
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup crystallized ginger
*You can roast and puree your own pumpkin, or use 1 14-ounce can of pumpkin puree.
**Make your own buttermilk by adding 2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to 2 cups milk; let sit for 5 minutes.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and prepare 2, 12 muffin pans by spraying with nonstick spray or use paper baking cups. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl: mix sugar and vegetable oil together. Add eggs, mixing well after each addition. Add buttermilk and pumpkin. Mix well.
  3. Add whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves,. Mix until just combined.
  4. Fold in your special ingredient.
  5. Using a ¼ cup measure, fill each measuring cup.
  6. Bake 18-22 minutes until puffed and golden.
Makes 24.

Sautéed Rainbow Swiss Chard

Lutein

Featuring

Swiss chard—along with spinach and kale—is one of the best dietary sources of lutein. Lutein helps reduce risk of macular degeneration. Lutein is thought to block blue light from reaching the underlying structures in the retina, thereby reducing the risk of light indiced oxidative damage that can lead to macular degeneration.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of fresh rainbow swiss chard, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Rinse the swiss chard leaves under water.
  2. Tear or cut the thick stalks from the leaves.
  3. Cut the stalks into ½ inch slices. Chop the leaves into 1 inch wide strips. Keep the stalks and leaves separate.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan or large frying pan on medium high heat. Add minced garlic and sliced onions and cook for about 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant.
  5. Add the swiss chard stalks and toss with the oil, garlic, and onions in the pan. Lower the heat to low, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add the chopped chard leaves, toss with the pan contents. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Add the vinegar and toss with the leaves, stalks, garlic, and onions in the pan. Serve immediately.
Makes 4-6 servings.

Zucchini and Carrot Muffins

Beta-carotene (Vitamin A)
Vitamin C

Zeaxanthin
Lutein

Featuring

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene which can help you see in the dark. Zucchini is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin which can help prevent macular degeneration. Apples are high in vitamin C which may protect against cataracts.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ⅓ cup ground flax
  • ⅓ cup oat bran
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • ½ cup grated zucchini
  • 1 peel apple, grated
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and prepare a 12 muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl: combine oil, sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. In a medium bowl: combine whole wheat flour, ground flax, oat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients just until moistened. 
  5. Next, stir in carrots, apples, raisins, and nuts, if using.
  6. Divide batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups.
  7. Bake at 375°F for 15 to 20 minutes. The muffins are done when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. Let cool and enjoy!
Makes 12.

Eye-Healthy Zucchini Boats

Beta-carotene (Vitamin A)
Vitamin C
Lycopene

Zeaxanthin
Lutein

Featuring

Zucchini and tomatoes. Zucchini and tomatoes are a good source of eye healthy antioxidants, including betacarotene, vitamin C, zeaxanthin, and lutein. These antioxidants fight free radicals and reduce the risk of developing glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.

Ingredients

  • 3 zucchini (about 6 inches in length)
  • 1 cup (150g) grape tomatoes, diced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Method

  1. Cover a 9x13 inch baking pan or a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil. Pre-heat oven to 350℉.
  2. Trim the ends off of the zucchini and cut in half lengthwise. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the seeds leaving about 1/2 inch of flesh all around. Arrange on a baking pan or baking sheet.
  3. Dice the tomatoes and add to the zucchini boats. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired (using as little salt as you can enjoy).
  4. Sprinkle boats with parmesan cheese.
  5. Baked uncovered until zucchini is tender and cheese is melted, about 15-20 minutes. You may wish to place under a broiler for a couple of minutes until cheese is golden.
Makes 6.

Pan-Roasted Salmon with Sour Cream Dill Sauce

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Featuring

Omega-3 fats. Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fats, which are important for retina and brain health.

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets (about 200g/6oz each)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4  cup sour cream (5-7%)
  • zest of 1 lemon, or 1 tsp
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Dry the salmon by pressing it between paper towels. Lightly season the salmon with salt and pepper (if desired). Heath oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the salmon fillets - skin side down if they have skin - and immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 6 minutes.
  2. Flip the fish and cook on the second side for 1 minute longer, or until the thickest part registers 130℉. Transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, and dill. Serve over salmon or on the side for dipping.

Serves 4.

Refreshing Melon & Mint Salad

Beta-carotene (Vitamin A)
Vitamin C
Lycopene

Featuring

Watermelon, honeydew melon, and cantaloupe, which are high in antioxidants: vitamin C, deta-carotene, and lycopene. These antioxidants can lower the risk of developing cataracts and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Beta-carotene can help prevent night blindness.

Salad Ingredients

  • 2 cups honeydew and/or cantaloupe, cubed (or use a melon baller)
  • 3 cups watermelon, cubed (or use a melon baller)
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced (approximately 1/2 of a cucumber)
  • 1 cup (4 oz) feta cheese, diced
  • 1/4 cup red red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup (28 g) fresh mint, chopped

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 lime, juiced (approximately 2 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together salad dressing ingredients.
  3. Pour over salad and mix gently.

Crunchy Carrot & Apple Salad

Betacarotene (Vitamin A)
Antioxidants
Omega-3 fatty acids

Featuring

This eye healthy salad is a favourite. It's naturally sweet and crunch! Bonus! The dressing keeps the apples from browning so they look just as tasty as they did when you prepped them.

Ingredients

  • 2 or 3 medium carrots (or 6-8 small carrots), peeled and sliced into medallions
  • 1 large or 2 small apples, core removed, thinly sliced and then cut into thirds
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seed kernels
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Method

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice.
  2. Add carrot medallions and sliced apples.
  3. Sprinkle with raisins and pumpkin seed kernels.
  4. Toss salad and enjoy!
* Chef's Tip: Honey crisp, pink lady, or green apples taste great in this recipe, as do garden carrots or carrots from a farmer's market.

Squash Soup

Betacarotene (Vitamin A)

Featuring

This soup is a great way to warm up in chilly weather. Full of "eye healthy" betacarotene, this soup is a delicious addition to any lunch or supper.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 squash (approx. 5 lbs. total) – butternut, acorn, or kabocha are all delicious options
  • 2 apples or pears
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4-8 cups no salt added broth or soup stock
  • Cayenne pepper  start with a pinch and add more to taste
  • Nutmeg  start with a pinch and add more to taste
  • Salt  start with adding 1 tsp and add more to taste
  • Black pepper  start with a pinch and add more to taste
  • 1 cup half & half cream (optional)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375 °F.
  2. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Brush the cut side of the squash with olive oil and place cut side down on baking sheet (lined with parchment paper for easier clean-up)
  3. Peel and core apples and/or pears. Brush with olive oil and place on baking sheet. Peel garlic cloves and brush with olive oil. Tuck under apple or pear pieces for protection from heat in oven.
  4. Bake in oven for 45-50 minutes or until the squash is tender. Allow to cool.
  5. Scoop out the squash and place in a food processor or blender. Add apples/pears and garlic. Puree. 
  6. Transfer puree to a large saucepan. Add enough stock to give the soup the desired consistency (4-8 cups).
  7. Heat soup gently over medium heat. Add cayenne pepper, nutmeg, salt, and black pepper to taste.
  8. If you prefer your soup creamier, you can add up to 1 cup of half & half cream right before serving.

Avocado Saucy Dip


Vitamin C
Betacarotene (Vitamin A)
 

Featuring

Vitamin C in the tomatoes and avocados, which lowers risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Betacarotene in tomatoes, which converts to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A protects the cornea and allows us to see under conditions of low light.

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe avocados, pitted and scooped from the skin
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp coarse sale
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Method

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine avocado flesh, lemon juice, yogurt, cayenne pepper, and salt. Process until smooth.
  2. Remove sauce to a bowl and add cut tomatoes and sliced green onions. Stir just until combined.
  3. Enjoy as a dip with tortilla chips or carrot sticks, or as a sauce. Serve it with fish (omega-3 fatty acids) or eggs (zinc) for an extra boost if "Eye Healthy" nutrients.