Cookies and Cream Protein ZOATS

These cookies and cream zucchini oat bars are moist, perfectly sweet and bursting with all the cookies and cream flavor! They are packed with protein and fiber to keep you full longer and perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth!

What are ZOAT bars you ask? Zucchini + oats = ZOATS! Made into the form of bars for easier transportation and also so you can make more at once and just eat off of them the rest of the week.

If the combo sounds odd to you, maybe try envisioning zucchini bread instead. It’s the same idea! Not only does the addition of the zucchini to the oats provide moisture, making the texture amazing, but the zucchini also packs a ton of volume into this dish. Meaning more food for less calories. Which is always a win am I right?

The vanilla protein icing is the icing on the cake here. While the chocolate ZOATS are good on their own, they are definitely better with something on top of them. Sometimes I will leave the frosting off and just top with peanut butter and that is delicious too! I provided the macros for both, that way you can decide! I will say, the vanilla protein icing is super tasty, and definitely a good choice if you are looking to get more protein in.

What You Need For The ZOATS

  • Zucchini
  • Quick oats
  • Pumpkin
  • Egg whites
  • Protein powder – I used PEScience Frosted Chocolate Cupcake (You can save 10% on PEScience products with my affiliate code LaurenFitFoodie)
  • Zero-calorie granulated sweetener – I use Splenda
  • Sugar-free chocolate jello pudding mix
  • Butter or vanilla extract
  • Black cocoa powder – I used HIIT Nutrition Jet Black Cocoa (You can save 10% on HIIT Nutrition products with my affiliate code LaurenFitFoodie)
    **NOTE: black cocoa is different than normal cocoa powder. This is what gives it the “cookies and cream” flavor.

What You Need For The Vanilla Protein Frosting:

  • Nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Coconut flour – I use Bob’s Red Mill
  • Protein powder – I used PEScience Gourmet Vanilla (You can save 10% on PEScience products with my affiliate code LaurenFitFoodie)
  • Zero-calorie sweetener
  • Cold water

What If I Don’t Want To Add The Frosting?

The frosting is pretty high in protein, so I will admit, there are times I don’t add it just because I already have enough trouble NOT going over my protein goal. It’s SO GOOD. But sometimes I just don’t need the extra protein. I included a MFP entry for both if you decide to omit it!

What To Top With?

Whether you decide to top it with the vanilla protein frosting or not, here are some yummy ideas!

  • Nut Butter! I LOVE skipping the frosting and just topping with a big ol’ glob of nut butter!
  • Whipped cream cheese – like this one
  • Chocolate sauce – I love Walden Farms chocolate sauce
  • Crumbled up Oreo pie crust – EPICNESS
  • Crumbled up Oreo’s – even more epic
  • Chocolate chips – you can never go wrong
  • Fruit – I especially love Wymann’s frozen blueberries

How to Store

Once bars have cooled, place them in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow the flavors to come out more and bring about a more cookies and cream like flavor. The moisture also allows the bars to become more dense and moist, which makes them taste best in my opinion!

Can You Freeze?

Yes! If you plan to freeze, let the bars cool, then cut into however many servings you desire. Wrap each bar individually in wax paper then place all the bars in a freezer-safe ziplock bag. I would just freeze the bars, not the frosting, and then just make the frosting when the time comes that you are ready to eat them. The frosting doesn’t hold up as well when frozen and also makes it impossible to reheat really. The bars will stay good in the freezer for 3-4 months.

WANT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE?

If you try these cookies and cream protein ZOATS and love them, please rate this recipe!

You can also tag me on Instagram, @LaurenFitFoodie. It makes my day seeing your yummy recreations!

Yield: 8

Cookies and Cream Protein ZOATS

Cookies and Cream Protein ZOATS

These cookies and cream zucchini oat bars are moist, perfectly sweet and bursting with all the cookies and cream flavor! They are packed with protein and fiber to keep you full longer while also satisfying your sweet tooth craving.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

ZOATS

  • 2 cups unpacked shredded zucchini, undrained (450g) 
  • 1.5 cups quick oats (160g)
  • 1 can (15-ounce) pumpkin (425g)
  • 1 cup egg whites (240g)
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (62g) - I used PEScience Frosted Chocolate Cupcake 
  • 1/2 cup zero calorie granulated sweetener
  • 1/2 package sugar-free jello pudding mix (14g)
  • 1 tsp butter or vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 cup black cocoa powder (30g) 
  • 1 tbsp baking powder 

Vanilla Frosting

  • 1.5 cups nonfat Greek yogurt (340g) 
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (28g)
  • 1/2 cup zero calorie granulated sweetener
  • 4 scoops vanilla protein powder (124g) - I used PEScience vanilla protein powder 
  • 1/4 cup cold water (60 mL) - be careful not to over pour! 

Instructions

ZOAT Bars

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Prepare a 13x9" baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Combine all the ingredients, except the oats, in a food processor or high powered blender. Once combined, stir in the oats. Pour batter into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until oats have cooked throughout. I have found cooking times to vary for different oven temps, especially for this recipe.
  4. While ZOATS are baking, you can prepare the frosting. Simply add all ingredients to a medium mixing bowl and stir until combined. You can make the frosting thicker or thinner to your liking by adding less (for thicker) or more (for thinner) water. Keep frosting stored in the fridge until ready to use (this will also allow it to thicken up some more).
  5. The bars will somewhat deflate as they cool. Let cool completely before adding frosting and keep stored in fridge.

Notes

MFP entry: Lauren Fit Foodie Cookies and Cream Protein ZOATS

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For ZOAT bars without frosting:

Nutrition for 1/8 of recipe (142g): 156 calories | 23g carbs | 2g fat | 12g protein

MFP entry : Lauren Fit Foodie Cookies and Cream Protein ZOATS No Frosting

For just frosting:

Nutrition for 1/8 of recipe (70g): 98 calories | 4.5g carbs | 1g fat | 17g protein

MFP entry: Lauren Fit Foodie Cookies and Cream Protein ZOATS Frosting Only

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Recipe adapted from Katie Crokus's ZPO.

Katie recommends making the batter in advance and storing in the fridge overnight for more voluminous oat bars.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 bar with frosting (212g)

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 253Total Fat: 3.5gSodium: 394mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 6gSugar: 8gProtein: 29g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram and tag me @LaurenFitFoodie! 

2 Comments

  1. Just discovered this site and I have to say the recipes look amazing!!! I love the detail and the fact that the nutritional info is included. I am definitely making some of these. Thanks.

    • Love hearing that Catherine!! Thank you for taking the time to say that! Can’t wait to hear what you try first!!

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