Good morning, beautiful. Wake up and smell the zucchini.
Wake up and smell the what now?
Before you roll your eyes and click on the beckoning ‘x’ in the corner of your screen, hear me out. This oatmeal tastes nothing like baby food. Though I’ll admit, it looks a lot like it could. And trust me. I’m as shocked as you are at the sight of vegetables. In the morning. In my oatmeal, of all places. But have I ever led you astray?
Despite the combo sounding culinarily unorthodox (isn’t oatmeal supposed to contain 10 grams of sugar and freeze-dried apples or something?), I try to keep an open mind. Why? Because zucchini is green. Which means it’s probably something my mom would have had me eat when I was younger, and therefore probably one of those foods that I spit into a napkin and hid under the dinner table. And why did I hide it? Because green meant healthy. Still does, in fact.
In addition to the loads of vitamins that zucchinis pack, breakfast is one of the best ways we can give our bods a boost. Some skip breakfast in an effort to eat less or drop pounds, but skipping breakfast can actually make weight control even more of a pain in the butt. Breakfast-skippers tend to eat more than usual during their next meal than they would have had they enjoyed a good breakfast. Plus, missing a morning meal can leave us feeling groggy, unsatisfied, and frankly…a little confused. Like, more confused than I was when I put zucchini into my oatmeal.
Now, here is where I’m gonna go all health-nut on you (as if I know what I’m talking about). Though skipping breakfast does seem like a sure-fire way to cut an entire meal out of the day, nature says that we should kick our bodies into gear as soon as the cock crows: a bowl of oatmeal (hello, whole grains) packed with fiber, nutrients, and, essentially, zucchini, should keep hunger at bay and prepare our body for the long day ahead. And without breakfast, our body doesn’t process our next meal as quickly as it could, leaving us void of the energy that is necessary to perform everyday tasks–like grating zucchini without shredding a finger. Good luck with that one.
By starting the day with a bowl of vita-zucchini-packed oatmeal, we’re fueling our bodies with nutrients and telling our metabolism to get to work (I mean, if we have to go, it’s only fair that it goes too). And I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather my metabolism work a full shift than clock-in late. :)
Zucchini Bread Oatmeal
(Yields 1 serving — Recipe from Angela Liddon at OhSheGlows.com)
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 cup [almond] milk, plus more as needed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt & nutmeg, to taste
1/2 cup packed grated zucchini
1 tbsp. raisins
2 tbsp. chopped pecans
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. butter-like spread (I use Earth Balance)
In a medium sized pot, add milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and oats. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently; about 3 minutes. Careful it doesn’t boil over.
Stir in zucchini, raisins, brown sugar, and pecans. Cook over medium-low heat another 5-6 minutes. Add more milk as needed. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour into bowl and top with butter spread and garnish with extra pecans, raisins, and sugar.