Zucchini porridge??! I know what you’re probably thinking. Vegetables and porridge don’t quite mix. I was extremely sceptical before I tried it too. But trust me, it seriously works and is a quick, easy, filling and nutritious way to get an extra 2-3 serves of fruit & vegetables before your day has barely begun.
Like many busy people, I don’t have a huge amount of time in the mornings so the quickest and easiest thing for me to do for breakfast is to grab a (big) bowl of cereal. Which is fine, except it’s pretty carb heavy, low on protein and seriously 30g serving sizes?? I don’t know anyone who can survive off that small a portion, especially when doing a lot of training. My bowl definitely holds way more than that!
With my ironman training in full swing I’ve been looking at different ways to incorporate a bit more protein into my diet, and in particular not be so carb heavy at breakfast. Eggs are often recommended for a protein rich breakkie, but I just don’t have the time to cook them between a 6am training session, getting ready for, commuting to and starting work in the morning.
Enter my search for other ways to incorporate protein, while still satisfying my preference for a quick, easy and filling breakfast. While I’m not a huge user of protein powders, I have found them particularly useful to fortify porridge in an easy, tasty and practical way that keeps me satisfied much longer than by just oats alone.
I usually cook banana into my porridge for flavour and sweetness and thought I’d try grating in some zucchini for extra bulk, fibre and goodness since zoats (aka zucchini and oats) seem to be all the rage on social media.
I was extremely sceptical.
I mean, c’mon. Surely it would taste weird?
Amazingly enough, you can barely, if at all taste the zucchini in this porridge combo. I’ve tried cooking it in the microwave as well as cooking it on the stove (which generally takes longer) and both ways it past the test. Initially I tried it using half a zucchini, followed by grating an entire zucchini into the porridge. A whole zucchini is definitely the max I think, but it’s definitely possible and edible, if not a bit greener!
If you struggle to get enough fruit and vege in each day, I’d recommend trying this recipe out – even if you do think it sounds a bit weird. The combo of banana, zucchini and oats makes a creamy, fibre, vitamin and mineral rich porridge that means that you’re getting at least 2 serves into your breakfast. Plus it tastes great and makes a huge portion from a small amount of oats that keeps you nice and full – particularly if you’re someone like me with a massive appetite who is constantly hungry all day!
- ¼ cup oats*
- ½ - 1 whole zucchini (courgette), grated
- 1 banana, sliced
- Milk (enough to make preferred consistency)
- Optional - 1 serve favourite protein powder
- Toppings - eg nuts, chia seeds, nut butter
- Combine oats, zucchini, banana and milk into a microwaveable bowl.
- Cool on full power for 2-3 minutes until the oats are fully cooked and banana has cooked through and caramelised. Watch as it cooks to avoid bowl overflowing.
- Stir well and add more milk if desired.
- Add in optional protein powder, mix well and serve with preferred toppings.
- Combine oats, zucchini and milk into a small saucepan.
- Cook on medium heat for approximately 5 minutes until the banana is cooked through and oats are fully cooked. Add extra milk to create preferred consistency.
- Stir in optional protein powder, mix well and serve with preferred toppings
* Start with ½ a zucchini and then increase the amount to find what works best for you.
* Protein powder isn't necessary for this recipe, but will increase the protein content to help you feel fuller longer
* Don't go overboard with the toppings as these can be very energy dense!
* To save time, grate the zucchini the evening before into a microwaveable container with the oats. Keep in the fridge overnight and then cook in the microwave the next day at work/home.
Try it out and let me know what you think!