Green goodness chia oats contain a full serving each of fruit and vegetables to start your day off on a healthy note! Zucchini and apples provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and flavor, while the chia seeds add omega-3 fatty acids and a satisfying texture. Green goodness chia oats are a gluten free and vegan meal full of protein and fiber!
Sometimes it’s just hard to get in enough vegetables in a single day.
Who doesn’t feel like their lunchtime salad overflows with vegetables and their dinner is mostly plants, but that they still can’t quite reach that recommended amount?
Yep, definitely me some days.
Don’t get me wrong, I love vegetables. We can’t make it through a day of vacation before I develop an insatiable craving for a salad the size of my face. Roasted vegetables make my culinary world go around. I’ve nearly had breakdowns in the grocery store when the sweet potatoes are out of stock.
And zucchini? I’m practically hoarding my favorite summer vegetable right now, since the one thing I dislike about the end of summer is the end of zucchini season. Thank goodness for winter squashes. I’ll be posting an acorn squash recipe every week before you know it.
In an attempt to squeeze more vegetables into my day, I started adding some at breakfast. As a complete creature of habit, I don’t like to depart from my weekday bowl of oatmeal, especially because I so eagerly anticipate diving into that creamy bowl of warm goodness after a longer run. So, instead of opting for a veggie-heavy hash (which I do love on weekends after my long runs) or sipping on a green smoothie, I started sneaking vegetables into my oatmeal.
If it works for a five-year-old, it will work for a twenty-five-year-old, right?
Since I wasn’t about to puree spinach into my bowl of oats, I opted for a more palatable vegetable, both in terms of taste and texture. My zucchini obsession well complemented this new habit, since few vegetables lend themselves as well to sweeter foods than zucchini. Think buttery zucchini bread and melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip zucchini muffins.
These green goodness chia oats, as I call them, have one foot in summer and one foot in fall, so to speak. The light and tender shreds of zucchini scream all things summer, while the crisp and cinnamony green apple hints at the autumnal season that swifty approaches. The textures complement each other as well; the zucchini is soft, while the apple provides a crunch. The zucchini blends into the oats, while the apple is distinct, keeping the whole dish from turning into a bowl of mush.
Let’s break down the nutritional benefits of these green goodness chia oats:
- Oats are a high-fiber, low-glycemic, gluten free source of carbohydrates. The beta-glucan fiber in oats lowers HDL cholesterol levels, while the unique antioxidants protect the LDL (good) cholesterol against oxidation from free radicals. Thus, oats are great for your cardiovascular health!
- Apples are brimming with a variety of polyphenols, which are antioxidants. The antioxidants in apples have been shown to do everything from lower the risk of asthma and lung cancer to prevent any clogging of the arteries.
- Zucchini is packed full of potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, and zinc. These vitamins and minerals reduced blood pressure, play an essential role in recovery and cellular growth, and protect against cancers such as colon cancer.
- Chia seeds are one of the best sources omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, help you maintain a healthy weight, and give you shiny hair and clear skin. Plus, the fat satisfies your hunger, which means no more mid-day runger!
Now, I’m not going to share with you a rabbit-food recipe that tastes that dirt or is so utterly bland that even Charlie wouldn’t eat it (and he eats lots of things). I like my food to taste fresh, flavorful, and delicious. Thanks to cinnamon, the natural sugar of the apple, and the custard-like flavor from the addition of an egg, these green goodness chia oats are anything but bland rabbit-food!
Green Goodness Chia Oats
- 1 cup water or milk of choice
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 zucchini
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- Dash of salt
- 1 egg
- 1 green apple
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- Bring the water or milk to a boil in a saucepan on the stove.
- Once the water boils, add the oats and reduce to a simmer. Let the oats cook for 5 minutes.
- Shred the zucchini in a food processor, with a grater, or finely with knife, and stir into the oats. Let cook for 1-2 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the apple.
- Crack the egg into the oats and whisk steadily for 30-60 seconds or until completely cooked.
- Season the oats with cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
- Stir in the apple and chia seeds. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Golden delicious and Granny Smith varieties of apple work best in this recipe.
Questions of the Day:
How do you incorporate more vegetables into your diet?
What are your favorite and least favorite vegetables? —> Favorite: zucchini and sweet potatoes. Least favorite: kale.
What are your plans for the weekend?