Using zucchini in overnight oats might seem strange to you. But, being faced with this zucchini overload, I thought to myself – why not? If you can use grated apple (with great success) in overnight oats, then surely zucchini will be also great. I was not wrong.
Overnight zucchini oats makes for a nutritious breakfast
I bet you didn’t know this about zucchini but it’s a veritable nutrient powerhouse. It packs in manganese, potassium, magnesium, Vitamins A, C, K and B6, folate, copper, phosporus and thiamine. It’s also rich in antioxidants and aids healthy digestion because it’s full of water and contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.
So, adding zucchini to your oats, which are among the healthiest grains (being a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants) seems like a pretty good idea, doesn’t it?
This recipe also contains quinoa flakes, which also provide a healthy amount of dietary fiber, with about 1.9 grams per 1/4 cup, and 3.2 grams of protein. Because they contain all nine of the essential amino acids that you must obtain from food sources, quinoa flakes are considered a complete protein just like whole grain quinoa.
And let’s not forget the chia seeds – an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants which also provide fiber, iron, and calcium – and cacao powder which is also rich in antioxidants, magnesium, an energy mineral and vital electrolyte, which is associated with calming the body’s nervous system.
Should I keep going? I’ve also included Greek yoghurt and kombucha which are fabulous for your gut health, and some fabulous nutritious seeds. And so you see, this bowl of overnight zucchini oats packs quite a healthy punch. I am loving these in the morning and feel it sets me up for a great day, foodwise.
Overnight zucchini oats are versatile
You already know I love versatile recipes. Who doesn’t, right?
This base recipe can be tweaked and adjusted not only to suit different tastes and whatever ingredients you have in your pantry, but to also give you a nice variety of breakfasts if you fall in love with these overnight oats (like I have) but are not satisfied with the same version over and over every morning.
The tweaks you could try are:
- matcha – include a teaspoon of green matcha powder either instead of or together with the cacao. It will give your overnight oats a funky shade of green but the taste is lovely and gives you a nice kick of energy in the morning. Who says matcha is only for drinking?
- peppermint – a little bit goes a long way, so try mixing in maybe half a teaspoon at most to start with and see how you go. I like peppermint so enjoy it in my breakfast – kind of like having a dinner mint in the morning which also leaves your breath nice and minty (bonus!) – but perhaps this is not for everyone.
- orange zest – I have not tried this yet but it’s on my list! Try mixing in a bit of orange zest (I think half an orange or less would be plenty) to give you that classic jaffa (orange and chocolate) flavour.
- more cacao – if you’d like your overnight oats to be more chocolatey, feel free to include more cacao powder (another tablespoon should do it). You might need to up the maple syrup as well (by another tablespoon) because the cacao can be quite bitter.
This amount makes enough for breakfast and a snack
That’s right. I make this amount the night before and pop it in the fridge overnight to allow all the flavours to blend together and infuse, and create a lovely creamy (though quite thick) mixture.
In the morning, in the same bowl, I add some pepitas and sunflower seeds and mix them through. Then I grab a small glass jam jar (300ml), fill it up with some of the mixture nearly to the top, leaving room for some fresh sliced fruit (whatever you like or have, but berries are great, or mango, plums, bananas).
I put a lid on that jar and have that portion of the overnight oats for a snack mid-morning, when I start feeling peckish. It’s brilliant. It’s best to keep it in the fridge but if you work in an air-conditioned office, it will keep just fine on your desk. And I eat the rest of the bowl for breakfast, topped with more fruit. So good!
Another great use of that homegrown zucchini!
Those zucchini keep growing! We grow them absolutely organically – all they need is enough water. Here you can see how big they are compared to some standard size cucumbers.
We should probably pick them smaller but they grow super fast and we don’t find that the bigger ones have less taste than the smaller ones, so it’s not a big deal for us. In the meantime, I am giving some of them away (to the great delight of my friends and colleagues) and enjoying them as much as we can.
More zucchini recipes
If you like this recipe, you might also want to check out these:
And there’s more in the way. Since the influx of zucchini, we’ve made zucchini and banana load with maple pecans a couple of times, we’ve baked chocolate zucchini cookies and diced zucchini with roasts, spiralised it into zoodles, popped it into stews and sauces, and even into an unsuspecting mango porridge (worked beautifully)! These recipes are coming (even if slowly, as I am too busy using up all that zucchini)!
Happy weekend, all!
Overnight zucchini oats
Base recipe (make the night before)
- 1 cup shredded zucchini (no need to squeeze the liquid out)
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/4 cup quinoa flakes
- 1/4 cup kombucha
- 1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
- 1 tbsp dessicated coconut
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- plus any optional flavourings (matcha powder, peppermint extract, orange zest, extra cacao etc)
Mix in in the morning
- 1.5 tbsp pepitas
- 1.5 tbsp sunflower seeds
- top with fresh fruit, extra dessicated coconut and/or chia seeds
- Mix all the base recipe ingredients and place in a bowl. Store in the fridge, covered, overnight.
- In the morning, mix through the pepitas and sunflower seeds.
- If you are intending to use part of the mixture for your mid-morning snack, fill up a glass jam jar until nearly full and top both the mixture in the jar and the remainder in the bowl with some fresh fruit, extra dessicated coconut and chia seeds.
This recipe makes one large portion or one generous portion plus a (jar jar sized) mid-morning snack.
If you know you will be having this more than once, keep a bowl of pre-shredded zucchini in the fridge and this will come together even quicker. I usually just peel a chunk of the zucchini, cut out (or around) the seeds and blitz large pieces in my mini food processor. The only food prep I do and it makes a huge difference.
If using some of the mixture for a snack, store your jam jar in the fridge or, if you can’t, it should be fine in an air-conditioned office for a couple of hours but eat it as soon as possible (just in case).