What Are Zoats: Zucchini Oats 101
Top Benefits of Our Overnight Oats
· High is fibre and healthy complex carbs
· Easiest meal prep you’ll ever do
· Endless varieties of flavours and add-ins
· Starting your day off super nutritiously
· No heating required, almost hand-off prepping
· Helps regulate blood sugar and energy
· Nice, cold and crunchy on a summer morning
· Perfect for busy families during the week
· Low in calories and great for weight loss
· Sneak more veggies into your meals
· Satiating and filling for hours on end
· Chocolaty yet really good for you
· Budget-friendly and kid-friendly
As you can see, making even traditional overnight oats without any zucchini is a huge step up from what’s often eaten for breakfast – we’re looking at you, sugary cereal, bacon and eggs.
Adding just a tiny bit of shredded zucchini to your oats will further improve your healthy breakfast.
But in any case, having a batch of homemade vegan overnight oats in your fridge really helps you make healthier eating choices. This is the most convenient and healthy breakfast you can grab!
Remember that rolled oats themselves are really healthy and your add-ons can either increase or decrease the nutritional value of your overnight oats.
What Are Zoats: Zucchini Oats 101
Zoats are rolled oats that are mixed with shredded zucchini and either served cold in the form of overnight oats or cooked on the stove to create creamy zucchini oatmeal. So, zoats are a recent trend in the health food world, not a typo.
Undetectably healthy, zoats can be a gateway to adding some more vegetables into the meals of children or picky eaters. If they are on board with chocolate oatmeal, these zucchini oats will easily find their way into their bellies.
Some recipes for zoats are made with egg whites, which are meant to help bind the ingredients together. As vegans, we skip that part and just use some healthy flax seeds instead. We haven’t found a binder to be truly necessary, either.
Your zucchini oatmeal can be spiced up to disguise the vegetables really well. From using cocoa powder or nibs to creamy coconut milk, nut butter and lots of berries, this nutrient-rich breakfast can be anything you want.
How to Make Vegan Overnight Zoats
It’s surprisingly easy to make vegan overnight zoats. Start by grating a medium zucchini into a medium-sized bowl and add your other hand-selected ingredients, such as rolled oats, flax seeds, cocoa and cinnamon
Give it a good stir, add some almond milk or coconut milk (depending on the creaminess you’re looking for and your weight goals) and mix again with a spoon to combine.
Divide the chocolate zucchini oat mixture into two jars or food containers and place them in your fridge until you’re ready to devour them.
Zoats can be enjoyed hot or cold the next morning – we like them straight out of the fridge topped with some seasonal fruit during summertime, but we also definitely crave a warm oatmeal breakfast when it’s chilly outside.
Overnight oats can simply be reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes – this doesn’t just offer you a warm breakfast, but the cooking process also makes for a softer, creamier oatmeal that will disguise the grated zucchini even further.
Ingredients for Our Chocolate Zoats
Okay, so what do you need to make these healthy chocolate zoats in a matter of minutes? Here we go.
· Rolled Oats – use between half a cup and a cup per serving; our recipe makes two filling servings but you can prepare larger batches of this oatmeal, too.
· Zucchini – feel free to start with a small amount and work your way up once you trust this whole concept.
· Cocoa & Cinnamon – cosy and delicious spices that take your oatmeal up a notch and hide the zucchini flavour really well!
· Almond Milk – this is your low-calorie and low-protein vegan milk alternative but you can swap it for soy milk or coconut milk!
· Fruit – bananas are pretty much a must to make this zucchini oatmeal nice and sweet; add other seasonal fruit, such as berries, apple or figs.
Basic Overnight Oats Formula
The sky’s the limit when it comes to zoats. To give you an idea of the many delicious combinations you can create, we wanted to share with you this basic overnight oats formula.
1. Oats – typically made with old-fashioned rolled oats, but you can also use quick oats. Check for the gluten-free label if required.
2. Liquid – you can let your oats soak in water for the cheapest and most convenient option; this makes for the lowest calorie version, too. Our recipe calls for some almond milk, but any plant-based milk alternative is fine! Try coconut milk, soy milk or oat milk.
3. Healthy Fats – add some chia or flax seeds for a pudding-like texture in your overnight oats. When making zoats, these seeds help to bind the ingredients together. Stir in some nut or seed butter (almond, cashew, pumpkin, peanut, sunflower seed, etc.) for more creaminess and longer satiety.
4. Sweeteners – go for wholesome versions like dried fruit or date paste, no-calorie stevia or agave and maple syrup; ripe banana might also make your overnight oats sweet enough.
5. Fruit – speaking of sweet, add all of the delicious fruit you can imagine and have fun with your toppings! We recommend adding them in the morning; we love blueberries, apples, figs, strawberries and nectarines.
6. Toppings – this is where it gets fun! Choose from dried fruit such as raisins or goji berries, cocoa nibs, shredded coconut, walnuts, almonds, granola; you can also add some vegan yogurt either on top or right into your overnight oat mixture.
7. Flavourings – delicious spices like cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, nutmeg, gingerbread or pumpkin pie, mix in some pumpkin puree or even plant-based protein powder!
8. Veggies – this is optional, but we need to mention this in our zoats recipe. Finely grated zucchini, carrot and shredded cauliflower have been tried and approved by us.
We love some texture in our oats, and variety makes for a much more fun breakfast experience! Go crazy with all of the healthy and delicious goodies you can add.
How much time should your zoats spend in the fridge? When making overnight zoats, you should let them soak for at least 4 hours so they become soft and well-combined.
As the name implies, overnight works best!
Your Health Coach