Spiced Carrot Cake Oatmeal
You might be getting the sense by now that I love oatmeal. What's not to love? Oatmeal is such a healthy breakfast, and it doesn't have to be boring. This spiced carrot cake oatmeal is full of flavour and texture without compromising nutrition: Win-win! Oats are high in fiber, iron, and a good source of protein as far as a grain goes. Starting your day with oatmeal puts you miles ahead, and trust me - this hearty bowl of oats will leave you full for hours. One serving of these oats looks small, but a little goes a long way. It's more than enough for me, especially with the toppings. Topped with thick and creamy greek yogurt, you get some extra protein with your breakfast, and the yogurt balances the sweetness. There is very little added sugar in the recipe, so use the maple syrup on top to get the sweetness you desire (but yes, maple syrup is still sugar, so be conscious of how much you're adding).
This recipe makes 8 servings and keeps well in the fridge, so it's great for serving at a brunch (try the baked variation under the instructions for a good brunch oatmeal). You can also make a batch and keep individual portions in the fridge for a quick grab-and-go breakfast on weekday mornings. Just add some extra milk and microwave the oats, then top with your toppings and you've got it made! You'll have enough to feed 2 for almost a whole week of breakfasts. My dad loved this and even he said a small serving kept him full right until lunchtime at work!
- Large pot
- Fine grater or food processor with shredding attachment
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Good spatula
- Food chopper or sharp knife for chopping nuts
- 2 cups steel cut oats (Gluten-Free if needed)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups skim milk (lactose-free if needed)
- 1 1/3 cups shredded carrots
- 2/3 cup egg whites
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- Pinch of ginger or cardamom (optional, and keep it small!)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup (can sub brown sugar or other sweetener)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- Greek yogurt (1/4 cup plain)
- Additional cinnamon
- Additional Chopped Nuts
- Maple syrup (optional)
- Finely grate the carrots using a grater or food processor. If you're not using steel cut oats, you might want to cover your carrots and microwave them on high for ~3 minutes to soften them. This helps them to cook faster and become softer in the time it takes rolled oats to cook.
- Put oats, water, milk, and carrots in large pot, stir, and turn heat to high. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for ~15 minutes.
- After ~15 minutes add raisins, spices, vanilla and maple syrup. Mix well. (If you're using rolled oats reduce cooking time at this step to ~5 minutes).
- With your pot of oats still on medium-low heat, pour egg whites into oats gradually, stirring while you're pouring the egg whites in to ensure they get mixed thoroughly and don't clump. Continue to stir very well to ensure egg whites are completely mixed in to the oats. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for ~15-20 minutes, stirring every few minutes. If you like a more chewy oat, reduce cooking time slightly, and if you like a softer oat you may want to cook a bit longer. (If you're using rolled oats, reduce cooking time to ~ 5-10 minutes or until the oats are cooked to your liking.)
- When the oatmeal is cooked to your liking remove from heat and stir in the chopped nuts.
- Portion 2/3 cup oats into each serving bowl. The oat mixture is quite thick, so if you prefer thinner or more milky oatmeal, now's your chance to stir in a bit of extra milk. Top your oats with 1/4 cup of greek yogurt. The yogurt is creamy like the icing on a carrot cake, but with little sugar and the added bonus of protein (if you mix it in this will also make your oats thinner and creamier)! Add an extra drizzle of maple syrup. If you like add some more cinnamon, nuts or raisins.
Baked option: To turn this into a baked oatmeal just throw all of the ingredients into a large baking dish with 1 tsp baking powder. Mix well. Bake at 350F for ~40 minutes, or until oats cook through in the middle. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the dish you use and your oven, so be sure you check on them!
Vegan Option: To make this recipe vegan, omit the egg whites and add an extra 2/3 cup of fluid (water or vegan milk). Replace milk with vegan milk.
1 serving = 2/3 cup oats + toppings: 1/4 c plain 0% greek yogurt + 1tsp maple syrup
- 17g of protein and 7g fiber in this breakfast help to keep you full right until lunchtime. Many people don't get enough protein at breakfast, which can really impact how satisfied you feel through the morning.
- Part of your 7g of fiber is soluble fiber from the oats. Soluble fiber is the kind of fiber that can help manage blood cholesterol levels. If you're watching your cholesterol it's a good thing to include more of in your diet.
- The sugars in this recipe are mostly naturally occurring (from the carrots, raisins). You can control the amount of added sugar by adding more or less maple syrup during cooking and as a topping.
- This bowl of oatmeal also gives you a good dose of calcium and iron - important for bone health and energy levels!