Zucchini Oatmeal Protein Waffles
Zucchini Oatmeal Protein Waffles- Made with whole grain oats and grated zucchini, each light and crispy waffle packs 10g of protein! (dairy-free, gluten-free and oil-free)
Say hello to your new favorite way to eat zucchini. Or not eat zucchini, because honestly you can barely even tell that it’s there. My 3-year old scarfs these down every morning and I can guarantee you that he definitely doesn’t know that it’s there. But I will greens into that child one way or another, muahahaha!
For real though, these zucchini waffles are made with oatmeal but they are so light and crispy you would never guess they are whole grain. The sound they make when the fork touches them is a thing of a beauty, my friends. Plus each waffle packs 10g of protein so they will keep you full all morning long.
Zucchini Oatmeal Protein Waffle Ingredients and Substitutions
- Rolled Oatmeal- Using a blender means we skip measuring the flour and opt for rolled oats instead. Oatmeal is inherently gluten-free but is often processed on equipment with gluten so be sure to look for certified gluten-free if necessary. See below for notes on replacing the rolled oats with oat flour.
- Protein Powder- I like to use unflavored protein powder to amp up the nutrition of the waffles but it isn’t necessary if you’re not into protein powders. See below for notes on how to substitute it with additional rolled oats. You can also use whatever flavor protein powder you like so long as you are good with the waffles taking on that flavor.
- Cornstarch- Another ingredient that isn’t entirely essential but it is important if you want crispy edges.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda- We’re using both baking soda and powder for maximum air bubbles in the batter. The lighter the batter the crispier the waffles!
- Cinnamon- Ground cinnamon not only makes the waffles taste incredible but also helps keep your blood sugar balanced. It’s a win-win. You may want to skip it if you’re using certain flavors of protein powder though.
- Salt- If you’re protein powder is salty then you may want to omit the added salt. If not, the salt helps balance out the sweetness of the maple syrup when serving and also provides vital minerals.
- Whole Eggs- These are our main fat source and will ultimately bind the waffles and help keep them from sticking to the iron. I recommend using pastured eggs for the best nutrition (and because chickens deserve to see sunlight and breathe fresh air).
- Egg Whites- Buying egg whites might seem like a pain but they are so good for adding protein without weighing things down. In this case, they help keep the batter nice and light.
- Milk- I haven’t tested these with dairy milk so I can’t say with certainty how that will effect the end product. My go-to is unsweetened fortified soy milk for the extra protein and iron.
- Vanilla Extract- I like to use two teaspoons of vanilla for the best flavor but I know vanilla is expensive so feel free to cut back to one teaspoon.
- Apple Cider Vinegar- As mentioned above, the vinegar will react with the baking soda and powder to create air bubbles that will give the waffles a light and crispy texture. Plus the tangy flavor tastes like buttermilk. Yum!
- Zucchini- The most tedious part of making these waffles is grating the fresh zucchini and squeezing it dry but it usually doesn’t take more than 5 minutes to do. I haven’t tried making the waffles with anything other than fresh zucchini.
How to Make Zucchini Oatmeal Protein Waffles + Tips!
- Shred the zucchini. To help the zucchini blend seamlessly into the waffles, you’ll want to use the smaller holes on your box grater. This will shred it finely so that you aren’t left with big pieces in your batter. After shredding, squeeze it dry with a towel then pack into a measuring cup until you have a full 1/2 cup.
- Add ingredients to a blender. Combine everything except for the vinegar and zucchini to a blender. Blend until smooth then stir in the vinegar and zucchini by hand. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. This gives the vinegar time to react so that the batter will be as airy as possible.
- Pour into waffle maker. Add batter to the waffle maker then close and cook until golden brown.
- Reheat in toaster or oven and enjoy! For the extra crispy waffles, allow them to cool on a cooling rack then reheat in the oven or toaster.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make these without a blender? I prefer to use a blender for easy clean up and because the blending power produces more air which equals fluffier waffles. However, you can make these without a blender by using equal amounts of oat flour in place of oatmeal. Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet in another, then add the dry to the wet and stir until a batter forms. Mix in the shredded zucchini and cook in the waffle maker until golden brown.
- What if I don’t have protein powder? No problem! You can omit the protein powder and substitute equal amounts of rolled oatmeal (or oat flour) in its place. However, you will need to reduce the milk to 1/2 cup as oatmeal is slightly less absorbent than the protein powder.
- How long will the zucchini waffles keep? When stored in an airtight container they will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge or you can freeze them for several months. That said, always be sure to use your best judgement when it comes to leftover food. If something smells off or tastes weird, it might be time to part ways with it.
- What kind of waffle maker do you recommend? I recommend using a ceramic or cast iron waffle maker as most non-stick options tend to have harmful chemicals in the coating.
- Can I make them without eggs? While I haven’t tested this exact recipe with egg substitutes, I do have a vegan oat flour waffle recipe that can be made similar by replacing some of the oat flour with protein powder and adding shredded (and squeezed dry) zucchini.
- Can the batter also be used to make pancakes? Yes! This recipe was initially inspired by a pancake recipe so it should work well as pancakes. I would just omit the cornstarch as it’s not really necessary for pancakes.
If you’re looking for a nutrient dense breakfast that’s both adult and kid-friendly then you are going to love these zucchini protein waffles. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
More Delicious Ways to Enjoy Zucchini
- One Bowl Oatmeal Zucchini Cookies
- Dairy-free Zucchini Corn Chowder
- Roasted Vegetable Penne with Creamy Marinara
- Healthy Vegan Zucchini Bread
- Vegan Lemon Zucchini Muffins
- White Bean Zucchini Burgers
- One-Pot Summer Vegetable Skillet Lasagna
Zucchini Oatmeal Protein Waffles
- 1 cup rolled oats, certified GF if necessary
- ½ cup plain protein powder, optional; see notes for subs
- 1 tablespoon corn starch, for extra crispy edges
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup egg whites
- ¾ cup dairy-free milk, I like unsweetened soy milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup shredded zucchini (squeezed dry and packed)
- Preheat the waffle maker while you prepare the batter.
- In the bowl of a blender, combine all of the ingredients except for the apple cider vinegar and grated zucchini. Blend on high until smooth.
- To the blender, add the apple cider vinegar and shredded zucchini. Stir together by hand until evenly incorporated. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Pour about ¼-⅓ cup of batter into each waffle section (this will vary depending on your specific waffle maker) then close and cook. Transfer to a cooling rack while you cook the rest of the batter. For best results, reheat waffles in the toaster or oven. This will get the edges nice and crispy. Serve warm with pure maple syrup and enjoy!