Candice Kumai’s fave beauty-boosting breakfast recipes

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This January, as part of Well+Good’s (Re)New Year, famed plant-based and classically trained chef Candice Kumai is providing five weeks of healthy recipes to help not only transform your eating habits, but set you up for year-long success. Week One, she curated recipes specifically meant to clean your gut. Last week, it was all about power and energy—AKA meals that are as packed with protein as they are flavor. And this week, she’s crafted a whole week of beauty recipes so you look and feel your best.

Some people just have a glow to them, you know? Even without an expensive highlighter or facial mist, their skin looks dewy and just, well, healthy. The secret? It’s because it is. Former model-turned chef Candice Kumai has spent her career experimenting in the kitchen with natural super foods and beauty boosters. She knows what works and what’s overhyped.

The breakfasts rounded up here are all made with ingredients she knows have an inside-out effect. Antioxidant-rich foods, like berries, help protect the skin against free radicals, which can damage and even kill skin cells. You’ll also see a lot of vitamin C-heavy foods, which have been linked to giving collagen a boost.

Then there are the special boosters, like spirulina (a powerhouse of vitamins), bee pollen (for immunity), and yes, the mother of all beauty powders, the aforementioned collagen, which has been linked for keeping skin plump.

And considering how hydration is essentially the number one beauty rule, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that almost all of Kumai’s fave breakfasts are served up in a glass. Also part of her beauty Rx: drinking eight to ten cups of water, trying yoga out this week for circulation, deep breathing, and clocking eight hours of sleep, each night.

Scroll down for five beauty-boosting breakfast recipes.

Candice Kumai beauty shake
Photo: Candice Kumai

Monday: Blueberry beauty shake

Serves 2

2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 frozen banana
2 cups frozen blueberries
4 Tbsp (1 scoop) rice or pea protein powder

1. Add ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Candice Kumai beauty porridge
Photo: Candice Kumai

Tuesday: Greek yogurt and amaranth berry porridge

Serves 2

1 cup amaranth
1 cup coconut milk or almond milk
2 cups water
1/4 tsp sea salt

To Top:
1 cup mixed berries
1 Tbsp local, grade A honey, or agave nectar
2 Tbsp almond butter
2 Tbsp Greek yogurt
Flaxseed meal

1. In a medium saucepan, boil the water and  alt-milk. When water boils, pour in the amaranth and reduce heat to a light simmer and add the sea salt. Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until a porridge like consistency forms.

2. When the amaranth is all cooked through, pour into a bowl. Top with the almond butter, yogurt, honey or agave, mixed berries, and more alt-milk, if desired. Sprinkle with some flaxseed meal. 

Candice Kumai breakfast smoothie
Photo: Candice Kumai

Wednesday: Berry breakfast smoothie

Serves 2

1 1/2 cups coconut water
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
2  tsp spirulina (optional)
2 tsp collagen powder (optional)
1  Tbsp probiotics/ acidophilus 
2  Tbsp resveratrol 

1. Add ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Candice Kumai raspberry elixir
Photo: Candice Kumai

Thursday: Raspberry beauty elixir

Serves 2

1 1/2 cups coconut water
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup organic frozen raspberries
1 tsp fresh lavender (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
2 Tbsp resveratrol
1 cup ice

1. Add ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Candice Kumai lavender smoothie
Photo: Candice Kumai

Friday: Lavender blueberry smoothie

Serves 2

2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 cups kale
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 Tbsp fresh lavender (or 1 tsp dried lavender)
1 tsp bee pollen
1 Tbsp green superfood powder blend

1. Add ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Here’s how to transform your year in more ways, including how to build strong, healthy habits year-round.

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