As of late, my breakfast has looked a lot like this. Albeit with a little less care and attention over presentation! In the last month or so I’ve been taking much more time to focus on nutrition in the run up to my Triathlon. One look at my macronutrients told us I was not eating nearly enough to fuel the amount of cardio I’m doing. Now, I’m balancing each meal with enough carbohydrates, protein and healthy fat to really improve my performance. So, here’s breakfast. Remember the courgetti movement last year? Well, here’s the next courgette-shaped breakthrough. Zoats. Zucchini Oats. Call me crazy, but if you love porridge, this will actually revolutionise your life. You will not be able to taste the courgette; it’s simply another way to get veggies into your diet and a cheap, low-calorie method of adding volume to your food, helping you feel fuller for longer. And, did you know that courgette contains more potassium than a banana? It really is the perfect way to start the day and I can almost guarantee that once you add courgette to your porridge, you won’t ever look back.
The basic recipe for zoats is three ingredients: oats, courgette and protein. From this simple starting point, you can get really creative with flavours, textures and toppings. As a sucker for all things cinnamon, I like to use Cinnamon Danish protein both to sweeten the porridge and give it a delicious flavour. But with the enormous range of protein flavours on offer these days, you might prefer chocolate brownie, apple crumble and custard, peanut butter, or simply vanilla. The cake batter consistency of zoats lends itself perfectly to anything sweet! Remember that the amount of liquid you use can be adjusted to how thick you like your porridge and if you prefer it a little more creamy, try using almond milk instead of water. But the toppings are where things really start to get exciting. Think everything from dark chocolate, to blueberries, to bee pollen…
Protein Zoats Recipe
45g Porridge Oats
75g Grated Courgette
25g Protein Powder
Toppings: Berries, Banana, Dark Chocolate, Chia Seeds, Nut Butter, Coconut, Bee Pollen, Granola… the list is endless.)
- Measure out your oats and grate your courgette into a bowl. If you don’t want to include the protein powder, or if you’re using an unflavoured or vanilla protein, try adding some cinnamon here for flavour.
- Add enough water from the kettle until the oats and courgette are combined, with a little liquid left on top.
- Microwave for 2 minutes. (If you want to make overnight zoats, follow the recipe up to this point and continue with the next step in the morning. In this case, you will usually have to add a little more liquid.)
- Mix in your protein and microwave for a further 30 seconds. The porridge should have a deliciously thick consistency.
- Top with your selection of fruit, seeds, nut better and superfoods. Enjoy!
Photos taken on the Olympus Pen EPL-7