If you've been wondering how to make zoats, you've come to the right place! Zoats is oatmeal made with zucchini. This chocolate zucchini oats recipe is a great way to use excess garden zucchini. It packs in the nutrition with veggies, protein from egg whites, and a fiber-rich raspberry chia jam drizzle. Though chocolate zoats tastes like dessert, this healthy breakfast has no added sugar!
I've introduced you to proats (protein oatmeal) in a previous recipe. Now I'd like you to meet zoats, zucchini oats. Hey, you've got to use all that garden zucchini somewhere!
I know it might seem like I've lost my mind as a result of having too much zucchini. However, I promise that I did not make this whole zoats thing up!
A zoats recipe was featured in 2016 in an article on the Today website. Here's a 2015 article in Philly Mag that talks about zoats. Adding shredded zucchini to oats is a concept that's been around for a while.
If you feel apprehensive about putting zucchini in oatmeal, I have a few tips to make it "disappear." For one, peel your zucchini if you don't want to see green. I used unpeeled zucchini because I don't mind the green, and it doesn't impact the taste.
Second, after shredding or grating the zucchini, chop the pieces even finer in a food processor. According to my son, shredded zucchini adds a "hairy" texture to the oatmeal (ewwww lol). Break the zucchini down in a food processor before mixing it into your recipe to get rid of the hairiness.
This is why I always do a few trial runs of my recipes before posting. I wouldn't want to inflict hairy oatmeal on the general public. Haha
Making the Best Chocolate Zoats
Healthy eating doesn't have to be complicated. You only need a handful of ingredients to make this chocolate zucchini oatmeal recipe. Here's the lineup:
- Rolled oats
- Egg whites (I love using an egg white separator for these)
- Dark cocoa powder
- Medjool date puree
In addition, we're going to add a delicious raspberry chia jam drizzle plus other goodies like pistachios and cacao nibs. You don't have to add the toppings, but they add a nice texture to the dish, additional fiber, and healthy fats.
Plus, they make the oatmeal look just lovely. It's difficult to make a bowl of oats look enticing, but I think using the right oatmeal toppings does the trick!
As with all the healthy recipes here, this zoats recipe has no sugar added. In place of the added sugar, I'm using a homemade Medjool date paste. It's an excellent way to get a little extra fruit into this dish, in addition to some sweetness.
I like dark cocoa powder for the extra chocolate flavor that it provides. Feel free to substitute a regular cocoa powder in your chocolate zoats if you'd prefer.
I know that adding zucchini to oatmeal may sound strange. However, if you like chocolate zucchini bread, why not try zucchini oats? I think you'll find that the combination of whole grains, veggies, and chocolate flavor is delicious!
Who says nutrient-dense foods can't be tasty? Not me!
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let's get cooking!
Zoats Recipe: Chocolate Zucchini Oats
- 6 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (fresh dates, not the ones in the baking aisle)
- ¼ cup boiling water
- 1 cup zucchini, shredded (peel it if you don't want to see green in your oats)
- 1 cup rolled oatmeal, dry
- 1 cup milk, 2%
- 1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
- ½ cup egg whites (from 4 large eggs)
- chopped pistachios, pomegranate seeds, cacao nibs (optional, for topping)
For the raspberry chia jam:
- ½ cup frozen raspberries
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon chia seeds
- Pour the boiling water over the Medjool dates. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Put the dates and water into a food processor and blend into a smooth date paste. You will need to scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula several times because the dates will stick to the sides. Set the date paste aside and clean your food processor.
- Tip: I almost always make extra date paste because it is easier to blend a larger batch of dates. The extra date puree is a great way to naturally sweeten recipes without added sugar.
- Put the "for the raspberry chia jam" ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat and mash when the raspberries have thawed. Let the jam cool and thicken while you make the rest of the recipe.
- Finely chop your shredded zucchini in a food processor. This will remove the "hairiness" that larger pieces of shredded zucchini can add to oatmeal dishes.
- Put the zucchini, oats, milk, cocoa powder, and dates in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring frequently for 5-10 minutes.
- Add the egg whites to the oat mixture. Stir constantly an additional 2 minutes until the eggs are cooked.
- To serve, divide the chocolate zoats into two bowls. Top with the raspberry chia jam and any optional toppings that you are using.
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). The nutrition information for this recipe includes the chocolate zoats and raspberry chia jam only. Add more toppings if you need a higher energy meal. I added 1 tablespoon of chopped pistachios, 2 teaspoons of cacao nibs, and some pomegranate arils to my serving of zucchini oats. What you have here is a pretty solid breakfast if you have a weight loss goal. You've got high-quality protein from milk and eggs, fiber-rich whole grains and fruits, plus some veggies. Make sure to use real dairy milk if possible (lactose-free milk is fine). Plant-based "milks" often have added sugars and may lack the protein, calcium, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B12, and other nutrients in real milk! Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe.
If you try my chocolate zucchini oats, feel free to make some extra date paste because it's great in so many recipes. You can make a peach blueberry smoothie that has a touch of lavender. Or if your heart belongs to chocolate, you can use date puree in my chocolate peanut butter avocado smoothie.
Have you ever tried adding zucchini to oatmeal? What are some of your favorite ways to use zucchini? You can leave a rating for this zoats recipe and let me know the answers to these questions below!
Thanks for dropping in!