oatmeal

Cinnamon Zucchini Oats

If you’ve been around here long enough you know I love adding vegetables into my meals wherever I can, and that includes breakfast! Sure, eggs are an easy breakfast base to pile on veggies, but I also like to give my oatmeal the royal treatment by sneaking in some extra fiber and color too.

Summer is winding down, so I’m soaking up all the tomatoes, stone fruits, and summer squash before September ends, which means my meal preps are leaning heavy on these farmers market goodies. This weekend I was reminded of zucchini oats, or as I like to call them “zoats”, by a friend, and just like that I had my week’s breakfasts planned.

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For these oats I went the extra step and utilized the steel cut variety of oats. I say extra step because they do take a bit longer to cook than old-fashioned oats, but I find it’s definitely worth the extra nutrition! Steel cut oats contain about double the fiber as rolled oats, which means they have a lower glycemic index and impact blood sugar spikes less dramatically, making them great for sustained energy and hunger satisfaction.

If you’re wondering about the zucchini taste of this breakfast rest assured that the squash flavor is subtle and essentially nonexistent thanks to the warm cinnamon and other toppings you may choose to add.

Make up a big batch and portion some out each morning, with toppings of your choice- now you’re zOATally ready to tackle the day!

Cinnamon Zucchini Oats- serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water

  • 1 cup steel cut oats

  • 1 small zucchini shredded (about 1 1/4 cups)

  • 2 tbsp vanilla collagen peptides, such as Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • pinch of sea salt

  • Toppings of choice- fresh or frozen berries, nut butter, hemp or flax seeds

Directions

  1. In a medium pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling add the oats. Simmer uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes until the oats become thick and fully cooked.

  2. Turn off the heat and add in the shredded zucchini, collagen, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until well combined.

  3. Store in a single or individual airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. To serve, warm in the microwave and add desired toppings.

Pesto Cauliflower Oats

February is American Heart Month and one of my favorite ways to celebrate is with heart healthy foods like oatmeal! Let’s be real though, oatmeal is one of my favorite weekly breakfasts all year long for so many reasons. Oh, oatmeal, let me count the ways I love thee…

  • Oats contain beta-glucans, which are a unique form of soluble fiber that helps reduce your LDL, the “bad”, cholesterol. This fiber helps reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, ya’ll!

  • Oats are a complex carbohydrate, meaning they break down and are absorbed more slowly than other refined cereals. This helps prevent blood sugar spikes and energy crashes.

  • Gut health is all the rage, and including oats in your diet helps feed the beneficial bugs in your colon which has far-reaching effects for our larger digestive and immune systems.

  • Oats are versatile and can be cooked up with sweet ingredients, or taken a savory route, which is what I’m showing off today!

If you haven’t given savory oats a go, I highly suggest starting with this pesto-packed bowl.

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Savory Pesto Cauliflower Oats- serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried rolled oats

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/2 cup steamed riced cauliflower

  • 2 tbsp of your favorite pesto (I’m using a spinach walnut one)

  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1-2 cooked Good Food Made Simple egg white patties cut into strips (or 1 whole boiled egg with the yolk)

  • Everything But The Bagel Seasoning or just some salt and pepper

Directions

Combine oats, water, and cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 2 minutes, add pesto and give it a stir, then cook for another 30-60 seconds or until desired consistency achieved. Carefully remove and top with tomatoes, egg patties or whole egg, and seasoning.


Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Bake

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had a wonderfully fun and delicious holiday season and are already off to a great start for 2019! It’s been a while since I’ve shared any recipes on here, and I thought I’d start the first Monday of the new year off on the right (productive) foot.

My first official recipe for 2019 contains one of my favorite ingredients- chocolate! As you can see, there are no crazy diets, detoxes, or Whole30 challenges going on in our house. Danny and I listened to our bodies’ need for lots of fiber in the form of vegetables, whole grains, and plant protein for the past week, and now we are hearing loud and clear the desire for something sweet again. You see, the longer you practice intuitive eating (and yes, it does take practice) the louder your voice for gentle nutrition becomes (aka prioritizing greens and lighter fare after a holiday, for example) and the more reasonable your desire for your favorite sweets become (aka those sweet cravings are not all consuming!).

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So, with the new year still comes lots of chocolate and I’m even including it in breakfast! This weekend I got back into the meal prep groove and decided to whip up this oatmeal bake inspired by The Crunchy Radish. I love a high fiber oat-based breakfast because it keep me feeling full for hours and gets my gut bugs back in order after the holiday. I used frozen cherries because they’re convenient, and chocolate and cherry is an unbeatable combination!

A note on the chocolate- I admit when I first made this recipe I was a little light-handed on the amount used, so trust me when I say the three tablespoons is necessary! I recommend to always have your pantry stocked with unsweetened cocoa powder to add to oats, smoothies, and baking projects. I really like FlavaNaturals as their flavanol-rich cocoa powder contains 40x more antioxidants than blueberries! I’m in no way sponsored to say this- I just really like their cocoa!

I hope you all enjoy this make-ahead, chocolate-y breakfast!

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Bake- serves 4-6 portions

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats

  • 1/4 cup plain raw almonds, roughly chopped

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • pinch of fine ground sea salt

  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder- I like FlavaNaturals

  • 1.5 cups unsweetened almond or soy milk

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled

  • 1.5 cups frozen cherries, halved

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 8-inch baking dish with butter or coconut oil.

  2. In a large bowl, mix oats, almonds, cinnamon, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt.

  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg, milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, and half the cherries.

  4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together in the baking dish. Use a spoon to gently stir together so the milk is evenly distributed and moves through the oats. Top with the remaining cherry halves.

  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is set. Watch closely as the dark chocolate color won’t allow you to see if the top layer is getting too browned. Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes until serving. Serve with a spoonful of plain greek yogurt or maybe a drizzle of nut butter. Stores well in the covered baking dish for the week.

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