Drinks Gluten Free Lactose Free Vegan Vegetarian

Skinny Chocolate Breakfast Shake

Oats and almond milk give the base to this shake. Combined with all the other ingredients, it's the nutrients and fuel you'll be needing to start your day off right.
Oats and almond milk give the base to this shake. Combined with other ingredients, it’s the nutrients and fuel you’ll be needing to start your day off right.

The terms “healthy” or “skinny” doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor. It’s a thick chocolate shake perfect for breakfast, no gimmicks. Packed full of nutrient dense foods and additional health benefits, this shake will help you to stay focused, full and feeling good as you embark on your AM adventures.

Shakes are simple. It is why they work amazingly well in the morning when too many knocks to the alarm clock mean you have precious minutes to spare for dressing, let alone breakfast. 

A typical shake, but with the right balance of creamy, thick, healthy and tasty.
A shake is a shake except when it achieves the right balance of creamy, thick, healthy and tasty. The Skinny Chocolate Breakfast Shake will not disappoint!

Nailing the flavors is what made this shake go from “okay” to something I consume every other day. The first part of this recipe requires a soak of chocolate almond milk and rolled oats. The oats give the shake some extra heft, but by soaking them you lose that chalk taste which can happen if you blend dry oats into a smoothie. If your mornings are super hectic, feel free to combine everything into your container sans banana and ice cubes the night before. (It’s why I love my Nutribullet and all their storage containers). 

Behold the power of almond milk. This is one of my latest and most favorite finds. Sadly misunderstood, it can be reminiscent of skim milk, flavorless. The reason why I use it in this smoothie (other than being addicted) is because of the extra protein in the almond milk which helps keep you fuller longer. When you add in the banana, any watered down misconceptions are no more. The banana also helps to thicken the shake along with the soaked oats. For those of you don’t like banana, try this shake anyways. The chocolate helps to mask any banana-y taste, and if you can still taste it, use more peanut butter.

Creamy, dreamy and vegan? Yes, all of this can be yours.
Creamy, dreamy, and vegan? Yes, it’s true, and all of it can be yours.

For extra added nutrients, I include chia and flax seeds in the recipe. I keep them in my freezer and use in most of my cooking. They don’t add much in terms of flavor so they’re not required to make the shake taste great, just to simply give your body extra nutrients.

Last but not least is the extra sweetner. To some, honey is not considered vegan and that’s okay. Use whatever you have on hand or feel comfortably using. For me personally, I just like the extra touch of sweetness and the wonderful benefits honey provides for my body. The ripeness of your banana will also dictate the sweetness level of the shake, so taste and sweeten as desired.

Trickster to husbands and meat eaters, this vegan shake is what can bring a person to the dark side, or at least over to your house for breakfast.
Trickster to husbands and non-vegans, this shake is what can bring a person to the dark side, or at least over to your house for breakfast.

It’s a feel good kind of shake. A celebration for your mouth, fuel for your body, and vegan too. What’s not to love? Party on breakfast goers.

To full plates and eating your tarte out,

Skinny Chocolate Breakfast Shake
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  1. 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  2. 1/2 cup of chocolate almond milk
  3. 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  4. 1 teaspoon of honey (or agave)
  5. 1 teaspoon of flax seeds
  6. 1 teaspoon of chia seeds
  7. 1 banana
  8. 4 ice cubes
  9. 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  1. Place your oats and milk together in a container. Refrigerate for three hours to overnight.
  2. Combine the remainder of your ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth and thick, about one minute.
  3. Garnish with cocoa nibs or cocoa powder, serve immediately.
Eat Your Tarte Out | Life, Love and Full Plates
Desserts Lactose Free

Cookies and Creme S’Mores Bars


Marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate, it doesn’t get much more summer than that. Remove the fire element and instead combine a chocolate like graham cracker, nutty brown butter and melty marshmallows, and you’ve got a new summertime treat in Cookies and Creme S’Mores Bars.

Rewind to a few weeks ago when I was feeling lazy due to summer’s ever impending heat. I wanted something sweet, no fuss, and ready in a jiffy. Rice Krispie treats always to come to mind. But imagine my surprise when there’s no crispy rice cereal in my pantry, major fail. What’s a girl to do? Fretting about heading to the store when I just wanted to lounge, I spotted a box of Back to Nature‘s Classic Creme Cookies. Between my husband and I, the box never lasts long so it became a now or never situation. Quickly nabbing them up, I wondered if I really could enhance the perfectly crispy delicious cookies into something downright sinful and live to blog about it? As you can guess, that is where we ended up today.


I gathered my ingredients of marshmallows, cookies and creme cookies, and butter together. In no time I’d be on my way to delectable. But then I remembered we don’t have a microwave. Melting marshmallows without a microwave suddenly seemed so daunting. At this point I was just too excited and decided that the promise of of delicious was just too enticing.  Time to carry on.

On my first trial of this recipe, I only used one package of cookies. The marshmallow to cookie ratio seemed a little off. The bars were pretty flimsy and stuck to everything. They tasted good so I didn’t worry a whole lot. However, knowing my husband likes everything chilled, I decided to put the bars into the refrigerator. We ended up with about the most amazing thing ever! The bars never seized up and become rock solid. Instead, they reminded us of less sticky s’mores with all the flavors of cookies and creme. As they started to melt, they became a challenge to eat, reminding us of all those marshmallows we eat all summer long. We gobbled them up all in the name of “trials for the blog,” and on I went to try a few more times for the perfect treat. What I ended up with was a cookies and creme bar highlighting all those things about summer I love. Crispy cookies, melty marshmallows, the addition of toasty goodness, all slightly chilled. Doesn’t it make you just want to dig in?


To full plates and eating your tarte out,

Cookies and Creme S'Mores Bars
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  1. 1 package of cookies and creme cookies (12 ounces)
  2. 1 package of marshmallows (10 ounces)
  3. 4 tablespoons butter (or butter substitute)
  1. Butter a 9×13″ pan, set aside.
  2. In a ziplock bag, crush cookies using a rolling pin. You want the majority of the cookies to be about the size of your thumb nail or smaller. Sprinkle a handful of crumbs onto the bottom of your buttered pan. Reserve a half cup of cookies, and then set aside the remaining cookies in a separate bowl (should be about two cups).
  3. In a small saucepan on medium heat, melt your butter. Stir constantly until your mixture starts to foam. As the water evaporates, continue stirring as the foaming continues. Pay close attention to color. When it achieves a light tan color, remove it from the heat. Continue to stir for another minute. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. In a large microwave safe bowl, heat marshmallows together (about three minutes) until puffy and mostly melted. You can also do this in double boiler on your stove. Stir in your browned butter and then quickly stir in your two cups of cookie crumbs.
  5. Spread your mixture into the prepared pan. Use a spatula to press the mixture around the dish, and flatten evenly. Sprinkle your remaining half cup of cookie crumbs on top.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to chill about an hour before cutting into squares. Store in the fridge until ready to eat and enjoy!
  1. If you want more stability in your bar and not have to refrigerate them, consider adding additional cookies and creme cookies. You can also add in crispy rice cereal too.
  2. Consider using peanut butter sandwich cookies in lieu of the cookies and creme cookies for a fluffer-nutter twist!
Eat Your Tarte Out | Life, Love and Full Plates
Desserts Gluten Free Kid Friendly Lactose Free Vegan Vegetarian

Everything But The….No Bake Energy Cookies

Nutty, chocolatey, oat filled bites with nuances of coffee and coconut. Everything but the..... Nutty, chocolatey, oat filled bites with nuances of coffee and coconut. Everything but the…..

Cookies for breakfast? Cookies to help give you a boost midday? Cookies all the time! Try these no bake cookies that take no effort to throw together and using bunches of ingredients you probably have on hand. You’ll end up with a nutty, well balanced cookie that packs tons of flavor and a bit of energy to be  enjoyed all throughout the day.

too many cookies = carried away too many cookies = carried away

I love cookies…well maybe that’s an understatement. Any dessert is likely to take up my immediate and undivided attention. Yet when you want cookies in an instant and you’re trying to be healthy, one can run into a conundrum. 

A no-bake cookie from Foundation Grounds packing tons of flavor with very little sugar. Goo Balls, a party for your mouth. A no-bake cookie from Foundation Grounds packing tons of flavor with very little sugar. Goo Balls, a party for your mouth.

Taking a note from the makers of awesome ice cream, specifically Everything But The… and the traditional flavors of no bake cookies (peanut butter, chocolate and oats), a new cookie in my home started to take shape. However, what really solidified it as my favorite no bake cookie was the addition of coffee that I learned by chance in Maplewood, MO. Foundation Grounds, a local coffee house had what they call a Goo Ball, a no bake cookie with coffee in it. Balancing the usual sugariness of no bake cookies and giving it a bit of a zip, the cookie turned out to be unforgettable.


Addicting and satisfying, these cookies won't dare heat your kitchen, but will instead stoke your energy levels. Addicting and satisfying, these cookies won’t dare heat your kitchen, but will instead stoke your energy levels.

While I have no idea what their recipe calls for, I just started adding a bunch of this and a bunch of that to come up with what I thought were the perfect compliments to one another. I started with sugar and butter, the start to any great cookie. From there I kept it healthy adding in peanut butter and almond butter which balanced each other and gave a well rounded nuttiness to the cookie. Cocoa powder and instant coffee added the bitter notes, but also a depth in flavor. And then, the bulk of the cookie came from oats. Finished off with a dash of salt to enhance all the flavors, it was blissful delicious.

Quickly formed no bake cookies sit in coconut powder waiting to be rolled in nutty goodness. Quickly formed no bake cookies sit in coconut powder waiting to be rolled in nutty goodness.

For awhile I didn’t do anything else to the cookie, but realized that I had an ingredient in my pantry I needed to find a use for, coconut powder. It was bought on my sister’s trip to Dubai and it’s not something we see all too often in the states. Basically it’s shredded coconut minced really finely, and a

The The “station”. First up mix city, followed by coconut hills and stopping at plated national.

lot drier. I figured since I had just about everything else in my pantry, why not one more ingredient? The addition added a nice finish and one more note of sweetness and nuttiness. The cookie was complete!

While I love the cookie as is and have all these ingredients in my pantry, you might decide you want to alter it based on what you have available. Here are some options, especially if you have a food allergy:

  • lactose free- use your favorite butter substitute
  • vegan- use your favorite butter substitute
  • sugar free- use your favorite sugar free nut butters, and if you’re able, substitute the sugar for pitted, chopped dates
  • instant coffee substitute- boil your favorite coffee down to get a concentrated flavor. You will have to add more oats to soak up the moisture.
  • nut butter- feel free to use all peanut butter or all almond butter, whatever you have on hand. Consider mixing in Nutella too!

Well that’s it, in ten minutes you could be on your way to pure cookie bliss.

To full plates and eating your tarte out,

Don't you want to finish off that bite? Don’t you want to finish off that bite?
Everything But The...No Bake Energy Cookies
Yields 16
A great and super easy recipe to make when the cookie monster comes a calling. Packed with loads of tasty ingredients, this addicting cookie is enjoyed morning, noon and night.
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 1/2 cup of coconut shreds or powder
  2. 1/4 cup butter
  3. 1/8 cup of almond butter
  4. 1/8 cup of peanut butter
  5. 1/4 cup of sugar
  6. 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  7. 1 teaspoon of instant coffee
  8. 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  9. 1 cup of rolled oats
  1. In a non-stick skillet, heat coconut over low heat until it is slightly browned or starts to smell nutty in aroma. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Mix together the remaining ingredients. Take heaping tablespoons of batter and roll into a ball. Roll into coconut. Repeat.
  1. Substitute pitted chopped dates for sugar if desired.
  2. You can also food process your rolled oats for a finer, less chewy texture.
  3. Great to make with kids and for packing in lunches, enjoying on hiking adventures and car trips.
Eat Your Tarte Out | Life, Love and Full Plates