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Meet zoats, the new buzzy breakfast game-changer


Photo: The Smoothie Lover
Photo: The Smoothie Lover
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You’ve mastered the art of turning cauliflower rice into drool-worthy pizza and stir-fry, and you can turn just about any vegetable into a noodle. But move over zoodles—there’s a new veggified dish in town.  Meet zoats, a variation on oatmeal that adds in shredded zucchini (not to mention the fiber and vitamins you’ll find in the veggie). In other words: It’s like salad for breakfast, only way tastier.

So what goes into a bowl of zoats, anyway? “A combination of grated or shredded zucchini, oatmeal, and eggs,” explains McKel Hill, MS RD—founder of the beloved health-focused food blog, Nutrition Stripped. If you’re Paleo or can’t eat grains, the oats can be omitted, while eggs can be nixed for a vegan version.

Right now you might be thinking, “Zucchini? For breakfast?!” I get it, but don’t worry: Once cooked, zoats resemble oatmeal a lot more than they resemble zoodles. “Shredded zucchini combined with scrambled eggs—I know, this sounds odd—resembles oatmeal texture and can be a great way to sneak in fiber-rich vegetables without going overboard with the carbs,” Hill explains. (And remember: fiber equals way-happy gut.)

And like your morning bowl of oats, zoats are not a one-size-fits-all kind of dish. In fact, they’re about as customizable as a smoothie bowl. “My favorite way to make them are with chocolate or seasonal berries on top, drizzling on a little maple syrup, and adding crunchy pumpkin seeds,” Hill says. (So no, they won’t be overly savory, in case you were concerned.)

Ready to replace your avocado toast with zoats? Scroll down for seven zoats recipes—including Hill’s—that will make you a convert.

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Photo: Breakfast Criminals
Photo: Breakfast Criminals

1. Chocolate Pumpkin Zucchini Oats

This sweet and creamy bowl of zoats also gets an adaptogenic boost from energy and stress regulating maca. You’ll be so caught up in the chocolatey spoonfuls that you may even forget about the zucchini. “Vegetables have never tasted so good—you can’t even make them out in this creamy chocolate pudding of a meal,” dishes Ksenia Avdulova of Breakfast Criminals. Um, sold.

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Photo: Yumbles
Photo: Yumbles

2. Immune-Boosting Protein Zoats

When a recipe features inflammation-recuding turmeric, you know it’s doing your body good. This zoats recipe also includes ginger and cinnamon, which pack both flavor and nutrients (and more inflammation fighting power). Top off your bowl with pomegranates and pumpkin seeds for a fiber-rich, superfood boost.

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Zucchini Orange Bread Oatmeal
Photo: Curls’N’Chard

3. Orange Zoats

The inspiration for this bowl came from Curls’N’Chard blogger Kat Kothgasser’s love of zucchini orange bread. “Decadent, creamy, sweet, but still healthy and a balanced breakfast,” she raves of the zoats. Plus, it’s heartier than the bread version.

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Photo: Nutrition Stripped
Photo: Nutrition Stripped

4. Mexican Chocolate Zoats

What would keep a super-healthy dietitian like Hill filling her bowl with zoats? “It’s another way to sneak in veggies throughout the day,” the Nutrition Stripped blogger says. In her recipe, she adds cocoa powder, immunity-boosting cayenne, and cinnamon for a flavorful punch. The eggs give the dish a major protein kick, while the mix of zucchini and oats lowers the carbohydrate profile of the dish. So yes, you can eat chocolate for breakfast.

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Photo: Healthy and Psyched
Photo: Healthy and Psyched

5. Matcha Zoats

We love matcha in just about anything, and zoats are no exception. Plus, the green coloring helps hide the green veggies, in case you’re having trouble getting past that. “I love adding grated veggies to porridge because it really fills up the bowl and makes for a satisfying breakfast. It’s super simple to do and helps you to sneak in an extra portion [of] veg,” explains Healthy & Psyched blogger, Rachel. Plus, the green tea has a natural caffeine kick, so you’ll be both satisfied and energized. Basically an a.m. requirement, right?

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Maple Caramelized Pear Zoats
Photo: Sprouted Fig

6. Zoats with Maple Caramelized Pear

If you find the idea of a big bowl of oats super comforting, you’re not alone. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why Sprouted Fig blogger Josefine Meineche loves the addition of zucchini to her oats so much. “I by no means count calories, but it shouldn’t be a secret that adding zucchini to your oats yields a way bigger portion for just about the same amount of calories,” she says of the major satisfaction factor. Plus, the porridge gets its sweetness from a natural source—maple syrup—so you’ll be full, without risk of a subsequent sugar crash. 

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Photo: Vegan Heaven
Photo: Vegan Heaven

7. Vegan Chocolate Zoats

It seems chocolate zoats are a tried-and-true flavor combo. (Definitely not mad at that.) And the healthy breakfast option can easily be altered to fit with a plant-based diet. “To make it vegan I usually use almond or oat milk, but other plant-based milks work just as fine. I also added some cacao and chia seeds and topped it with almond butter, coconut flakes, and some more chocolate,” writes Sina Wenz of Vegan Heaven.

Want to start your day off with a recipe that helps you beat bloat all day? This smoothie will do just the trick. And if you have breakfast on lock and it’s dinner you need help with, these 15-minute meals have you covered.