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Choco Almond Smoothie with Chunky Buckwheat Cacao Granola

Almond Smoothie


Here’s a quick recipe inspiration for ya': Choco Almond Smoothie with Chunky Buckwheat Cacao GranolaIt’s been my go-to breakfast during this last stretch before baby Olivia pops.


This super healthy recipe is sweet enough to satisfy my dessert cravings + filling enough to keep me off the couch. Perfectly nourishing for moms-to-be but also anyone looking for an energizing way to start their day.


Tip: When using cacao, look for organic, fair-trade if possible.


Choco Almond Smoothie


Serves 2

  • 1 ½ frozen banana, diced in cubes
  • 2 cups almond milk,
  • 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ice cubes



Step 1: Add all the ingredients to a high speed blender.


Step 2: Vroooommmm, mix it all up!


Step 3: Serve in a pretty glass jar + top your favorite granola. I topped mine with Choco Buckwheat Granola.


Chunky Buckwheat Cacao Granola


  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup buckwheat
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup cacao powder



Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F.


Step 2: In a large bowl combine rolled oats + buckwheat + coconut flakes + chia seeds + coconut palm sugar. Roughly chop nuts + add them to the mix.


Step 3: In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, melt coconut oil. Add maple syrup + vanilla extract + salt + cacao powder. Whisk to combine, until the consistency is smooth.


Step 4: Pour liquid ingredients over dry + fold coat.


Step 5: Spread mixture out in an even layer on a lined baking sheet. Press firmly with a wooden spoon to ensure that the mixture is compact. Bake for 15-20 minutes.


Step 6: Remove from oven, flip granola in large chunks + place back in oven to bake for another 10 minutes. Repeat every 3-4 minutes until toasted + fragrant.


Be very careful: This granola is very easy to burn. Take my word for it. The thing is, the dark color of the granola makes it hard to tell if it is cooked or not, so instead of going by sight alone, go by smell. Another good way to test if your granola is done is by tasting a hazelnut, which takes the longest to cook. If the hazelnut tastes nutty + pleasantly roasted, you’ve showed your oven who’s boss.


Try it + let me know how it goes, okay?



Mayi Carles


PS: This week I was a guest on The Cultivate Show, the podcast for parent entrepreneurs who want to be great business people and even better parents. I talked about life waiting for Olivia + how my business will evolve with her arrival. The episode is now live. You can listen to the podcast here!

Clean Chocolate Nut Blondies

Instagram Post


Remember my preggo craving a couple of posts back? The result: Clean Chocolate Nut Blondies, my greatest invention. Left lots of you licking your screens. (Click here to follow my messy adventures on Instagram).


So I transcribed the recipe.


Here it is. You’re very welcome!



Clean Chocolate Nut Blondies Blog


This is, hands down, baby Olivia’s new favorite treat. I hope your belly enjoys it as much as mine!


(Curious. Did you like the illustrated recipe format? Or do you prefer the written version instead? Thought I’d try something new for a change, but I wanna make sure you dig it before I get too excited.)



Mayi Carles

Clean Glazin Raisin Pretzels



Last week, dad + David + I went to go see Alejandro Junger LIVE, the Uruguayan M.D. who created the Clean Program. If you’re not familiar with his work, I totally recommend a Google search. Doctor, one of the very few I listen to these days, is absolutely brilliant.


So, I made Clean Glazin Raisin Pretzels in his honor. Just in time for Valentine’s Day.


You can steal the recipe below.


Raisin Pretzels


  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour or flour of choice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoon firm coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 3 cups of warm water
  • Extra flour, as needed



Step 1: Heat the almond milk + maple syrup in a measuring cup to around 110 degrees F. Sprinkle the yeast on top + let it sit 5 minutes. If your yeast is good, it will bubble.


Step 2: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the flour + salt + sugar. Cut in the coconut oil, using a fork or a stand mixer. Then stir in the raisins. Thoroughly combine this mix with the yeast mixture, using your hands or a stand mixer, then knead dough on a floured surface or in the bowl for 5 minutes, adding more flour as needed to keep it from being too sticky to knead. I mixed dough in the bowl + added a total of 6 tablespoons extra flour by the end of the 5 minutes.


Step 3: Lightly grease the mixing bowl. Set dough in the bowl, cover the bowl with a towel + put the bowl in a warm place for 50 to 60 minutes or until it’s doubled in size.


Step 4: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F + lightly grease a baking tray. In a long + shallow container or dish, dissolve the 1/3 cup baking soda in 3 cups of warm water, then set aside.




Step 5: Get out the risen dough. Punch the dough to deflate, then form evenly-sized pieces (8-10 large pretzels or 16-20 smaller ones). Roll each section of dough as thinly as you possibly can (the thinner the better), then twist into a pretzel shape. Dip each into the baking soda water, shake to dry, then arrange the pretzels on the baking tray. Pretzels are done when they have turned golden-brown + you can smell them (about 15-18 minutes).






  • 1/4 cup yogurt of choice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup to taste
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk, adjust to control thickness
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract



Stir together all ingredients. Apply glaze to each pretzel directly before serving, or use glaze as a dip instead.





I Need Your Help

Since I can no longer watch the news or anything remotely stressful because baby Olivia starts kicking real hard in retaliation, I need your help filling up my movie wishlist. I’m talking about no-suspense (or drama of any form), feel good films. Or documentaries. Something I can pair with these Clean Glazin Raisin Pretzels + won’t give me indigestion, if you know what I mean.


I can tolerate a bit of crying if the ending is like BOOM, pure magic. But no Titanic or La Vita è Bella sh*t, please. Even Animal Planet is becoming a little too extreme for us.


If you’re an AppleTV + Netflix junkie, will you help this 5 month pregnant lady pick out some happy movies?


Thank you soooo much!


Coming Soon!

Life is Messy Kitchen, the printed book, comes out March 2. Holy Batman + Robin!


Be sure to pre-order your copy at www.lifeismessykitchen.com if you don’t like paying full price.



Mayi Carles


Photography Credit

Marcela Macias

Ron Ponche de Abuelita Nany

ronponche_1 copy


I submitted my Abuelita Nany’s signature Ron Ponche recipe to Sweet Paul Magazine’s Holiday Contest this year.


For 87 years granny’s kept this famous recipe a secret, until I bribed her with this competition, cuz if there is something granma’ loves more than cooking + seeing your face after savoring what she made, is winning.


Happiness is… ferociously following granma’ around the kitchen with a video camera to document this heirloom recipe. Until the very end she was still trying to sneak up on me, ninja-style so I couldn’t measure her “to taste” additions. “Abu, you told me this recipe called for 8 egg yolks. I just counted TWENTY FOUR!!!”. Sneaky granny. Sneaky sneaky indeed.


Happiness is… faking I didn’t actually learn how to recreate my Abuelita Nany’s Ron Ponche, so she keeps on making it herself for years + years to come. Cuz nothing says “es la Navidad” like the smell of rum coming out of grandma’s kitchen.


Happiness is… hitting submit on Sweet Paul Magazine’s Holiday Contest page + never hearing back + still feeling like a jackpot winner.


Happiness is… sharing everything this recipe means to me + my family + our history with YOU!


Ron Ponche de Abuelita Nany


Here’s what you’ll need to make Ron Ponche de Abuelita Nany, because you should. Make it, I mean. Because even if you’ve been naughty this year you deserve an indulging extravagance.



  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 4 cups evaporated milk (we used Nestle)
  • 24 egg yolks (not 8 as granny will have you fooled) + whisk with 1/8 cup whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons corn flour or corn starch + diluted in 1/2 cup water
  • 1 bottle of rum (Granny likes Bacardi)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


ronponche_2 copy



In a large pot add sugar + milk + evaporated milk. Cook in “Baño María” (in English this is called “Water Bath” or Bain Mary), until it boils. Stir occasionally. It took us approximately 20 minutes.


Bring the fire down to low heat. Dilute corn flour in water before adding to the mix. This step is important. If the corn flour is added when dried it can create ugly clusters of muchiness. Add the wet corn flour mixture to the mix. Stir well.


Add vainilla. Stir, until well combined.


In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks. Add 1/8 cup milk. Add this to the cooled down mix in slow motion, using a mesh strainer. Stir stir stir stir like a crazy person.This is one of granny’s secret steps. Skip it if you want Frittata Ponche instead of Ron Ponche. NOT!!! Most people get this part wrong + end up cooking their eggs. You should notice eggs yolks “strings” coming from the strainer. That’s the idea.


The add 1 bottle of rum. Let cool completely.


ronponcheconvaso copy

ronponcheconvaso_1 copy


Bottle in beautiful recycled glass bottled + gift for christmas using these Holiday Gift Tags (ahem ahem).


CLICK TO TWEET: Your gifts deserve the cutest Holiday Gift Tags in the land. Check these out http://etsy.me/1BEwfci from @mayicarles


Keeps in the refrigerator for up to a month. Serve in a fancy cup with ice or in a whisky glass. Make it festive!


ronponche_4 copy

ronponche_3 copy

ronponche copy


When I told my family “I DID IT!!! Eagle Minor One Niner has landed the recipe. I repeat Eagle has Abuelini’s Ron Ponche recipe”, it felt like I had landed on the moon or holding The Ring, as in my preciouzzzz.


Of course I documented the entire experience in film + photos, for myself, for my kids + their kids. But then I saw the footage + I was like, “I can’t keep this too myself”. So here’s an editor’s cut version of the footage. It’s raw + intimate + mostly in Spanish, but I knew that wouldn’t stop you from enjoying all the magical moments. Take a peak!



your turn

Tell me what tastes like Christmas in your family? Any treasured Holiday recipes or funny stories around food? I wanna know EVERYTHING, in the comments below. Especially if it involves a sneaky granny buahahaha.



Mayi Carles


Photography Credit

Marcela Macias


contest winners

And without further delay, the Life is Messy Kitchen Virtual Potluck winners are:

  • Ana from La Guinda del Pastel
  • Sandra García
  • Matt and Olia


Hip hip HOORAY!!! Congratulations to the messies who won + everyone who helped me with my judge duties. This was sooooo hard you guys.


Winners please e-mail me at mayicarles@gmail.com with a quick “I won” + your mailing address. I’ll take care of the rest.


If you have no ideas what the hell I’m talking about, giveaway what the whaaat, go here!

Messy Kitchens Unite!

Life is Messy Kitchen


Your support is the reason I get to do AMAZING things.


All this recipe recreations from Life is Messy Kitchen are making me blush. It’s clashing with my red Holiday-ish lipstick. Ohhhh STOP IT!!! Okay don’t.


I’m beyond humbled. Flattered to the point of nervous giggling. People are REALLY picking up the book + remaking deliciously nourishing dishes you guuuuuys!!!


Don’t wake me up just yet. Let me savor this for a bit longer please.


Today, is a tribute to the messies of the world. Real people with hungry loved ones + a tight kitchen + not every cooking appliance known to mankind. Real people who struggle to make healthy eating a priority because they are too busy changing the world. Pinky, is that you? No way, I spilled pancake syrup on my pajamas too!


You know those cookbooks full of pretty photos + recipes that never come out according to plan? The ones with rainbow cakes that look more like a poo Tower of Pisa in real life? The ones with pancakes that taste like cardboard? The ones where you can never get anything to look like the picture of the page? Yeah… Life is Messy Kitchen is NOT one of those books.


This book is to meant to be eaten. Well maybe you shouldn’t eat the actual book book without consulting your doctor first, but you know what I mean. I didn’t set out to make another cookbook that sits on the shelf + accumulates dust. I wanted to see people playing in the kitchen… were happiness is born. I just never expected this avalanche of support. Not like this.


Take a peek at what some of your messy compatriots have whipping out already:


LIMK Recreation 1



LIMK Recreation 2



LIMK Recreation 3


  • Bei from Tigriteando did the Avo-Pesto, which apparently passed the most important test of them all, the Sneaky Little Hands Test.
  • Despina Spanaki from Sugarbaby Art fell for the Detox Tonic. Simple + so good for you.
  • Carla M. Jones made Avocado Pesto + turned it into a dip. Awesome!


LIMK Recreation 4


  • Romina Guaraz + her Spa Water recreation. Simply perfect!
  • Jewels by Trish made brownies. YUM! You have got to check em’ out. Note to self: Get those measuring spoons for Christmas!
  • Abi struggled to pick a recipe but decided eventually to prepare the Kale and Black-Eyed Peas Stew. She skipped the celery + rather than serving it with brown rice, added quinoa. Perfect for a winter day.


LIMK Recreation 7

LIMK Recreation 6



LIMK Recreation 5





  • Kathryn Stewart got crakin’ on a mountain of pecans for this show-stopping Maple Pecans recipe. Perfect for the Holidays. “I didn’t even adapt it because her original version worked so beautifully, and as I’m writing this, I’ve eaten all but roughly 10 pecans, which I’m graciously saving for my sister-in-law for when she gets into town tomorrow.”
  • Gaby Noriega conjured my Avo-Pesto sensation with a creative alteration.
  • Ana Lara literally just started blogging, but that didn’t stop her from making + sharing my Tabbouleh and Pita Bread recipe.




  • Sarah O’Toole tweaked a tiny little bit my German Bread by adding a very Fall-ish secret ingredient. Can you guess which one it is?
  • Nuvea Santos Cobb tried the Avo-Pesto too. Is there a pattern here people? I think people went for it first because it’s sooooo easy to make + all you need are a few simple ingredients.
  • Roxy González experimented with my Avo-Pesto recipe. Improvised with what she had in the kitchen + nailed it!
  • Nancy Gaines from Domesticraft made me giggle with her T-Rex inspired recipe photo shot.












A massive THANK YOU!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to each + every one of you who has taken the time to recreate a Life is Messy Kitchen recipe.


Psst… if you suspect your recipe recreation was eaten by inbox trolls because you don’t see your dish displayed at the top, quickly send me an e-mail. I’ll fix it Felix in a hot flash.



And because I love to reward caring, I’m going to giveaway signed copies of Life is Messy Kitchen + some of my favorite kitchen party props to THREE messies from today’s tour. But…I need your help.


In the comments below, tell me which recipe twist you are most excited to try from the bloggers above. Based on your hand raises, I will choose the lucky winners next Friday, December 12.


Thank you so much for playing along + helping me make the tough call. Being a judge is HARD! Especially a hungry one.



Mayi Carles

PS: I love featuring your Life is Messy Kitchen recipes. Send me your pictures… your posts… your testimonials. I might be tempted to buy a Super Bowl ad spot to give it some air time.