Cue cacao oatless zoats!
Just picture gooey, chewy oatless oatmeal upgraded with (tasteless but volume-boosting) shredded zucchini, sweet cacao and maca powder, and loads of cinnamon.
Toss it together the night before, microwave it in the morning, and walk into class (or right back to bed!) with a comforting, nutritious breakfast. Add some melty nut butter, chocolate chips or blackstrap molasses for the true recipe for success!
To get started on your own zoats party, all you need are the ingredients below:
1/4 cup of rice flakes, buckwheat flakes, or a mixture of both (I do half and half)
1 TBSP chia seeds
1/2 cup of liquid (I love green tea, coconut or rice milk!)
1 tsp cacao powder (or more, depending on your chocolate craving)
1 tsp (optional) maca powder
1 tsp (optional) turmeric powder
Cinnamon to taste (I use a lot!)
Vanilla extract to taste
1 small zucchini/yellow squash
Toppings of choice (fruit, nut butter, granola, etc)
To begin, add all of your dry ingredients to a container of choice. This semester, I've been loving mason jars. They're microwave safe, easy to carry with me to class, and spill proof. (The best jar, of course, is a near empty nut butter jar though!)
Mix the ingredients well, then slowly pour in your liquid and stir again. You'll notice that the chia seeds will quickly begin to gel, thickening up the porridge. If you're a runny oats kind of foodie, just add more liquid!
Now, grate your zucchini or squash. Because I use a narrow jar for my container, I typically grate over a plate. But if your ninja skills are more advanced, try grating right into your container for even less clean up! Depending how much volume you want, you can use anything from 1/2-1 zucchinis - or even more if you really want a veggie boost! I promise, after hours of soaking and/or being cooked, you won't even taste these hidden greens.
Once you incorporate the shredded zucchini, it's time to let the oatless oats do their thang! Because I enjoy having lots of time and little to do before class, I make my oats the night before and microwave them in the morning. For those wanting a quick snack with less resting time, just leave the oats to gel for 20+ mins for the ultimate thick, fluffy texture.
Another fun fact? This breakfast tastes just as good eaten as cold "overnight oats" as it does cooked. To keep with fall's cozy theme, though, I like to microwave mine for 2:30 minutes in the morning before class. Gooey goodness alert!
As for toppings, the options are endless. I usually stick to banana coins, berries, nut butter and homemade granola - plus my new addiction of black molasses. Other toppings include raisins or other dried fruit, shredded coconut, or chocolate chips (the ultimate dessert for breakfast!).
My favorite part - besides the actual eating! - is knowing I'm fueling my body up for a busy day of classes! The maca powder and green tea both act as energy boosters; the cacao powder, turmeric and cinnamon all offer antioxidants; the coconut milk's fat and the chia seeds help with satiety while the veggies and whole grains provide complex carbohydrates and vitamins.
Smoothies will always be one of my favorite breakfasts (even during winter!), but it's nice to have a cozier option in my rotation. And I can attest that bringing this feast to class every morning will make you a celebrity - at least in terms of everyone wanting to know what smells so good!
Cold mornings, bring it on! (Cause I'll be bringing my cozy breakfast!)
*Also found at RunningwithSpoon's link party! and recipe part, at Saucy Saturdays and Vegetarian Mama!*
Do you change your eating habits with the season? What's your favorite oatmeal topping? Comment below!