Dark Chocolate and Almond Butter Oatmeal Mini Muffins

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Yum. I’ll be thinking of these healthy treats all week long…

Vivi e impara | Live and learn

These delicious mini muffins are irresistible. Dangerously irresistible. So much so that I could not wait another day to share the recipe with you for these decadent little bites.

This recipe makes for a nutritious pre-made breakfast or snack option for the week. But that’s not it, for my health conscious and food allergy-prone readers out there; they are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free. They might as well be calorie-free.

Almond Butter and Dark Chocolate Mini Muffins

If you are looking at these and thinking they are self-indulgent calorie bombs, well, they are, but they are made with real, wholesome ingredients and without any added sugar.


Ingredients (for 12 mini muffins)

  • 2 cups of pure organic oatmeal
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 2 cups of apple sauce
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2-1 cup of dark chocolate chips (optional- add in almonds, berries, or…

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Homemade Peanut Butter Granola

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Health and Nutrition / Recipe

Ever wanted to make your own granola? Try this recipe!

Vivi e impara | Live and learn

I love granola. You know those Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Peanut granola bars? I could eat them everyday as a snack. Sadly, there’s over ten grams of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and fake coloring in these tasty bars.

Knowing that this isn’t exactly nutritious, I decided to make my own granola to enjoy in small portions. This recipe is inspired by Cooking Classy’s Peanut Butter Granola recipe. I added more to this recipe by adding extra spices and protein-rich almonds. Check it out below!

Homemade Peanut Butter Granola


  • 2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 2 Tbsp packed light-brown sugar
  • Sprinkle cinnamon ginger, citrus, nutmeg, cloves for some added spice


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Pour oats into a mixing bowl, set aside. 

Homemade Peanut Butter Granola3. In a microwave safe bowl, combine peanut butter, honey and brown sugar and…

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DIY Hydrating & Tasty Body Scrub

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Beauty / Holistic nutrition

I’m really tired of this winter weather and how it’s affecting my skin.

My skin feels dry, flaky, and I’m sporting an irritated pinkish/red color from the brutal cold conditions outside. No, it’s not like blush, and it’s not cute.

Normally, I’d just go to the nearest convenience store and grab a hydrating lotion, but today I wanted to get a little creative and make my own scrub with ingredients in my house.

It’s natural, organic, and without any chemicals or weird perfumes.

Here’s what I used:

  • 1/2 cup of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Fair Trade & Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of sugar

That’s it! It’s so simple and effective.

DIY Delicious Body Scrub

DIY Delicious Body Scrub

I used a spoon to combine all of the ingredients to make a salty scrub that you can use on your face, arms, legs, anywhere really! It is a delicious and sensual scrub that you will love. Make it a part of your nightly routine and you won’t regret it. 🙂

Let me know what you think in the comments section! Also, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @cacaoandkale  – Ciao for now!

Creamy Spinach Avocado Smoothie

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Food / Health and Nutrition

Anyone else tend to eat more carbs and sugar on the weekend? Instead of ordering pizza, we made a veggie pizza at home using our pizza stone. You’ll love this recipe. It was delicious, but after I finished eating I felt overly full, bloated, and weighed down. The sugar in the wine that complimented the pizza made me crave more and more (side note: it was the night of the Grammy’s).

So after all that, this Monday morning I wanted to make a new smoothie blend this was both detoxifying and satisfying. I like the idea of “detoxing” at the beginning of the week to start off the week feeling fresh and energized.

Creamy Spinach Avocado Smoothie


  • 1/2 cup of spinach
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 scoop of plant protein powder (optional)

Creamy Spinach Avocado Smoothie

Blend all of the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Feel free to add more spinach and avocado, and sip slowly to enjoy all of the benefits of these fresh fruits and vegetables.

Oatmeal Cookies… for Breakfast?

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Health and Nutrition / Recipe

Get ready to have some serious cravings. I’ve adapted a recipe from my popular post, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bites. Check it out below. They are better – and dare I say, even healthier than my other recipe!

Oatmeal Cookies

WARNING: You will never look at packaged treats the same after making these with wholesome and real ingredients.


2 Ripe Bananas, Mashed
1/3 C. Peanut Butter
2/3 C. Unsweetened Applesauce (without high fructose corn syrup)
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
1 1/2 C. Organic Oatmeal
1/4 C. Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (optional)

Oatmeal Cookies


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, if you have it, and set aside.
3. Mix together the bananas, peanut butter, applesauce, vanilla, and cinnamon in a bowl.
4. Add in the oatmeal, chocolate chips; stir until well combined.
5. Spoon a rounded 2 tbsp. of the cookie mixture onto the baking sheet, leaving an inch between each.
6. Bake for 20-30 minutes and allow to cool slightly.

Oatmeal Cookies

Notice any differences between this recipe and my other recipe on Vivi? Leave me a comment and let me know when you try making these delicious treats.

Follow me on Insta @cacaoandkale and @vivieimpara for more recipes and inspiration 🙂

Super Energizing Banana & Kiwi Green Smoothie

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Health and Nutrition

At my last trip to Dean’s Natural Food Market (one of my favorite places in the world), there was a great buy two kiwis for $1 deal. Of course, I fell for it.

I usually don’t add kiwi to my smoothies, so, I thought it would be a great new addition to my usual green smoothie. Kiwis are recognized as one of the world’s healthiest foods, and a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber. Kiwifruit are considered a nutrient dense food, meaning they are high in nutrients are relatively low in calories.

Why not add this delicious tropical fruit to a smoothie? Kiwis blend well with banana and almond milk or coconut milk. Check out my recipe below:

kiwi banana smoothie


  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1-2 kiwis
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk

Kiwi banana smoothie



This blend is also antioxidant rich with the addition of the blueberries. It’s super energizing and refreshing, which makes it perfect for the morning, before a workout, or dessert… I think I’m going to start making this more often. What do you think?

8 Salt-Free Flavor Boosters

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By now, you probably already know that overdoing it on sodium can lead to high blood pressure and up your risk for stroke. But giving up salt can be tough. One way to slash your intake right away is to check labels on processed foods, and avoid fast food restaurants, the menus of which are often chock full of sodium bomb after sodium bomb. But you can also chip away at your salty total with a little bit of kitchen creativity. Many recipes rely on salt as a way to improve the aroma, reduce bitterness, and balance out the flavors of a dish. But real food whizzes know there are plenty of substitutes that add just as much flavor—and provide some health benefits, too.

HEALTH.COM:13 Foods That Are Saltier Than You Realized

We went to a few of our favorite chefs as well as some registered dietitians to find…

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10 Ideas for Portable Breakfast Recipes

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Great ideas for portable breakfast recipes!


This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

1. Peanut Butter Granola: Maple sugar sweetens old-fashioned rolled oats and roasted peanuts. Get the recipe.

2. Whole-Grain Banana Muffins: Grab-and-go muffins are made healthier with Greek yogurt and flax meal. Get the recipe.

(MORE: 11 Recipes That Prove Bacon Makes Everything Better)

3. Creamy Mango Smoothie: Could breakfast get any easier? This tropical-flavored drink is ready in just five minutes. Get the recipe.

4. Avocado Toast: Here’s a benefit to starting your day with toast topped by creamy avocado: The fruit is loaded with fiber plus cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats. Get the recipe.

(MORE: 9 Healthy Predinner Snacks)

5. Bacon-Cheddar Grits: When there’s no time to eat at home, grits (and the parfait on the next slide) can be transported easily: Pack them in a spillproof jelly jar or a reusable container with a…

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