Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
As if Thursdays weren’t exciting enough, today we’re talking about carrots and oatmeal! Buckle up.
Now, I’m not a licensed counselor or anything, but I think there’s something to be said for being stuck in a rut. I mean, I wouldn’t recommend it for one’s career or relationships. But breakfast? I live in Rutsville, where the local diner serves eggs + toast or yogurt + granola every single morning. And I really like it that way. If something unexpected like French Toast happens, I’ll eat my standard breakfast for lunch. If the whole family wants muffins, we do muffins, but the whole time I feel like I’m skipping out on my faithful friends. I believe the technical psychiatric term for this kind of behavior is “crazy.”
I’ve been locked into this happy little routine for 17 years now. (Wow, time flies when you’re eating the same thing for breakfast!) But! It’s a new year, and this dog is ready to learn some new tricks. Starting with oatmeal. I really, really want to like oatmeal. Like my husband says, “I want to convince myself that it is good for me, but it just tastes like glue.” (We are soul mates.)
My mom has been serving this version of baked oatmeal since she found the recipe in Green Kitchen Stories. And I love it. It is like oatmeal comfort food, a warm, hearty bowl of oats, spices, nuts, raisins, and coconut. And carrots! Which might seem weird, but it totally works with all the other flavors and adds a nice sweetness, color, and texture. Who doesn’t like eating carrot cake for breakfast? Well… me, but we’ve already covered that.
Speaking of sweetness, this dish contains no refined sugar. The only sweetener is a little maple syrup or honey in the crunchy topping. Drizzle a little more on top for serving. Maybe a little cream, some diced apple. No one will ever accuse this dish of resembling glue.
I love breakfast food. And now I’m ready to add “oatmeal” to the list. How crazy is that?!
Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (choose gluten-free, if needed)
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. each ground ginger
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 1/3 c. grated raw carrot
1/3 c. raisins
2 1/4 c. plant or cow milk (coconut milk is a good non-dairy option)
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 c. maple syrup or honey
2 T. coconut oil, room temperature
1 c. nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, whatever you like)
3/4 c. seeds (sunflower seeds, pepitas)
1/2 unsweetened, shredded coconut
* For an egg alternative, combine 2 T. Chia seeds or flax meal and 1/3 c. water. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 9×13″ baking dish with coconut oil; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the rolled oats, baking powder, spices and salt. Stir in the grated carrots and raisins. In another mixing bowl, beat the eggs, add the milk and vanilla extract; whisk until combined. Pour the milk mixture into the oat mixture and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
- To create the crunchy topping, combine the syrup or honey, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, and coconut in a small bowl until everything is evenly coated. Sprinkle over the top of the oat mixture.
- Bake for 25 – 35 minutes, until the oatmeal is set and the top lightly browned and crunchy. Serve with maple syrup, milk, and/or fruit, if desired.
Vegetarian Everyday: Healthy Recipes from our Green Kitchen by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (authors of the blog Green Kitchen Stories) is high on fresh, seasonal recipes and low on dairy and refined flour and sugar. I need this cookbook. Seriously, check out their blog. Now that’s some beautiful food.
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