Who says you can't have brownies for breakfast? These brownie baked oats are fudge, chocolatey and taste exactly like your favourite dessert. Plus they contain hidden veggies, are higher in protein AND gluten free. It doesn't get better than this.
Zucchini baked oatmeal: the secret to getting your veggies in
You might be thinking WHY are you adding zucchini to oats Nicole? Believe me I get it. Zucchini oats sound super weird. But I swear you won't even be able to taste the zucchini!
In my opinion zucchini is THE most versatile vegetable. You can turn it into noodles to help bulk up your favourite pasta. You can shred or blend it into your favourite sauces and you can add it to your favourite baked goods. It's the perfect vegetable to try hiding in your favourite meals if you're coking for a picky eater or looking to increase your own vegetable consumption!
Using zucchini in your baking (like these choc baked oats) helps adds moisture, while decreasing the amount of oil needed in your baked goods. PLUS you are adding extra nutrients like foliate, potassium, vitamin A and Vitamin B into your baked goods.... talk about sneaky veggies!
More reason to love these brownie baked oats
If you still aren't convinced that you need to try these zucchini oats here are two more reasons why these make the perfect breakfast:
- Protein: These baked oats contain eggs, protein powder AND Greek yogurt (if you make the frosting) meaning they are packed with high quality protein sources.
- Fibre: Instead of using flour these brownie baked oats are made using just oats! The oats are blended with the other ingredients to make a smooth flour-like consistency while still keeping their nutrition benefits. These benefits include being a high fibre food meaning it's great for heart health and for helping you stay full for longer periods of time!
What ingredients do I need for brownie baked oats?
Zucchini- you can't have zucchini baked oatmeal without zucchini! I promise you won't even be able to taste the zucchini once it's shredded. It adds the best texture and flavour to these brownie baked oats while also adding in additional nutrients!
Oats- Quick, minute or rolled oats all work in these baked oats! I wouldn't suggest replacing these with anything as they wouldn't be baked oats anymore without oats. You could try using oat flour if you want however I have not personally tested this variation.
Eggs- For leavening to create the perfect texture in these brownie baked oats. You can also replace the eggs with flax eggs if you need to (the baked oats may not rise as much though)!
Cocoa powder- You need cocoa for this cocoa baked oatmeal. Any cocoa powder will work, when I'm baking something I honestly feel like the quality of the cocoa doesn't really matter however the choice is yours.
Protein powder- To add a little protein boot to these zucchini oats I used chocolate protein powder. Chocolate collagen will also work. If you do not wish to use protein powder you are able to add in an additional tablespoon of cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon of maple syrup and 3 tablespoon of oats! Vanilla protein powder will also work they just may not be quite as rich tasting!
Banana- For natural sweetness! I have not tested any other substitute but typically using ½ cup of applesauce is a suitable replacement for banana in my baked oats recipes.
Maple syrup- A touch of maple syrup to bring these brownie baked oats together. Any liquid sweetener such as honey will work, I find the maple syrup just really helps balance out the richness of the cocoa.
Milk- Any milk of choice will work.
Chocolate chips: Optional for the fudgiest choc baked oats! I typically will add chocolate chips if I'm making these as a dessert option as I find them sweet enough without them for breakfast!
Coconut oil- I use coconut oil in this recipe to create the perfect brownie-like texture. A great substitute if you are looking for one is either butter or even peanut butter!
How do I make these cocoa baked oats?
One of my favourite things about these brownie baked oats is how easy they are.
To make this cocoa baked oatmeal all you need to do is add all the base ingredients into a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until nice and smooth.
Once you have a brownie batter consistency, pour your "batter" into a prepared 8x8 square baking dish. If you are using chocolate chips you can mix them directly into the batter at this point (saves getting another dish dirty)! You can also add chopped walnuts if you want!
Bake your brownie baked oats for about 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
While your baked oats are cooling, make your "frosting". The frosting is completely optional but I love it because it not only makes me feel like I'm eating chocolate cake for breakfast but also adds additional protein!
To make your frosting add all the ingredients to a small bowl and mix until fully combined. Once your oats are cooled, spread a thick layer of your yogurt frosting and enjoy!
How to store these brownie baked oats
This cocoa baked oatmeal is the perfect meal prep option! To store the oats, cut them into slices and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to one month.
If you are using the freezer method just pop one in the microwave for about 30 seconds before eating and it should be good to go!
Other meal prep breakfast ideas:
I love a good meal prep breakfast. It's so nice waking up on a busy morning and knowing your breakfast is already made for you. If you love these brownie baked oats you need to try these...
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make these zucchini brownie baked oats tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment below!
Zucchini Brownie Baked Oats
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 medium eggs or flax eggs
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 medium banana mashed
- 2 cups oats quick, minute or rolled all work
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup chocolate protein powder
- 1.5 cups zucchini shredded, excess moisture squeezed out
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil melted
- 1 handful chocolate chips
- 1 handful chopped walnuts
Chocolate yogurt frosting
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar/ powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon milk
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare an 8x8 square baking dish.
- Grate your zucchini and squeeze out the excess water using a cheese cloth, paper towel or a small strainer.
- Add all base ingredients to a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth. I like adding the wet ingredients to the blender first to help it blend easier!
- Pour your base ingredients into your prepared pan, mix in chocolate and walnuts at this point if you are using them.
- Bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- While your brownies baked oats are cooling, prepare your yogurt frosting by mixing together al ingredients in a small bowl.
- Once your brownie baked oats are cool, frost and enjoy!