From the popular peanut butter-banana combo to the annual pumpkin spice, there are many ways to upgrade boring oatmeal into a delicious treat. My latest conquest involves zucchini bread overnight oats, which turned out to be surprisingly good.
All it takes is some creativity and courage to experiment with new things!
What is zucchini bread?
Zucchini bread, typically made by baking a bread mixture of grated zucchini and walnuts, is well-loved for being adequately sweet and moist.
When baked in a loaf, this summer squash makes a heartwarming treat for any time of day, be it breakfast, teatime or supper. If this doesn’t sound appetizing to you, no worries! It’s definitely an acquired taste. I, for one, didn’t start to appreciate zucchinis until recently.
What is zucchini oatmeal?
Now, imagine you’re making the traditional zucchini bread. You’ve got your shredded zucchini ready. Instead of beating flour, milk, and eggs together to be baked, you let the zucchini and oatmeal soak overnight in milk.
This zucchini oatmeal will satisfy you with hints of cinnamon spice, delicate notes of vanilla, and the crunchy texture of walnuts. Everything you can taste in zucchini bread in one spoonful of oatmeal – wouldn’t that be nice?
What’s great about this recipe?
Let’s see if I can convince you to try this zucchini bread oatmeal recipe.
- There’s no baking involved in this recipe. If you find baking zucchini bread to be too messy, it’s your lucky day – enjoy this no-bake overnight oats with the classic flavors of zucchini bread!
- Zucchini oatmeal bread is quick and easy to make. Unlike baking where you’ll need to measure ingredients, beat them and bake them, you’ll only need to mix the ingredients and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
- This recipe is a huge timesaver. Since it can be made ahead of time, I find it extremely convenient to grab a jar of zucchini overnight oats in the morning when I don’t have time to make breakfast. It’s a quick fix and makes for a wholesome, nutritious meal that keeps you full for a few hours.
With that said, some people aren’t fans of the mushy, lumpy consistency of overnight oats after it’s been soaked in milk. That’s a valid opinion, although, with the addition of chopped pecans and walnuts, all is forgiven!
Can you add your own toppings to zucchini bread oatmeal?
Absolutely! Chocolate chips, fresh fruits, and cashew butter are some fun ways to jazz up this overnight oat recipe.
- Rolled oats – I prefer old fashioned oats, but you can use regular or gluten-free oats, depending on your diet. 1 cup of oats makes 1 serving.
- Zucchini – The star of the show! We will need ½ cup of freshly grated zucchini. You do not need to peel the skin.
- Banana – Get a ripe banana and mash it until it becomes small pieces. The sweetness of a ripe banana is a natural sweetener and goes very well with zucchini oats.
- Walnuts – Just like traditional zucchini bread, we will have nuts in this recipe for that crunch factor.
- Flavoring – Make the oats taste even better with cinnamon, vanilla extract, pure maple syrup and sea salt. The recipe is a guideline, please adjust to suit your preference.
- Almond milk – The subtle nutty flavor of dairy-free almond milk complements the flavors in these oats. Alternatives include regular milk or soy milk. It’s absolutely necessary to have milk in this recipe as it softens the oats and binds all the ingredients together.
Try some of these optional add-ins to give your overnight oats a boost: chia seeds, ground flax, and protein powder. These are the perfect energizers, especially if you’re hitting the gym or are having a long day ahead.
Note: if adding chia seeds, add a touch more milk than suggested, since chia seeds will soak up the milk like a sponge.
I can’t emphasize how easy it is to make overnight oats. You’ll have to make it yourself to find out!
Step One: Combine all the ingredients in a glass mason jar, bowl or container that can be sealed. Stir to combine.
- Pro Tip: If you are making more than one serving, I recommend splitting the ingredients evenly into mason jars and mixing individually so that they’re ready to go in the morning!
Step Two: Put the lid on and let the oats chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight. In the meantime, you have two options: carry on with your day or go to bed and sleep happily, excited for breakfast.
- Pro Tip: Soak your oats for at least 6 hours for the best texture and flavor. You want to give the overnight oats enough time to absorb the liquid and soften the oats. If you don’t wait long enough, they will be tough and chewy.
Step Three: When ready to eat, take the oats out of the fridge and give it one final stir to ensure all that chewy, crunchy, mushy goodness is well-combined and you’ve got all those great textures in each bite.
Step Four: Dig in with a spoon! If too much of the milk has been absorbed overnight, simply splash a bit more milk.
- Pro Tip: Eat your overnight zucchini oatmeal hot or cold. Everyone has a preference. I like to warm mine up in the microwave for about 45 seconds to one minute before eating.
Which container is the best?
Of bowls, containers, and mason jars, I’d have to say that mason jars (or any glass jars) work best for overnight oats. Aside from my personal opinion that they’re ridiculously cute, mason jars are more practical to pack in my bag due to their shape and size.
I also reuse emptied-out peanut butter bottles and pickle jars for my overnight oat endeavors. If you don’t have mason jars at home, any old containers will do!
How long can you keep zucchini overnight oats for?
Despite their name, zucchini overnight oats definitely last longer than just one night after they’re made. In fact, they can be kept for up to 4 days in the fridge, tightly covered. This makes it an ideal breakfast menu for meal-prep Sunday.
Zucchini Bread Oatmeal Recipe
- 1 cup rolled oats old fashioned oats, regular or gluten free
- ½ cup zucchini freshly grated
- 1 ripe banana mashed
- 2 tablespoons walnuts chopped
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 cup almond milk
- dash of sea salt
- Combine all ingredients in a glass mason jar, bowl or container that can be sealed (with a lid or plastic wrap). Stir well to combine.
- Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours to overnight.
- After removing from the fridge give your overnight oats one final stir to ensure all that chewy, crunchy, mushy goodness is well-combined and you’ve got all those great textures in each bite.
- Add a bit more milk before serving if the oats seem a bit dry.
- Eat hot or cold.