Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

Not sure what to do with all those leftover carrots from Easter? Well, I have just the answer for you. Make this homemade carrot cake baked oatmeal! But not just any baked oatmeal - vegan, oil and white sugar free oatmeal. Have I scared you now? Please don't run away just because I said vegan. I promise this oatmeal is good. Otherwise, why would I share it with you and pretty much tell you that you need to make this ASAP. Okay, maybe the latter part scared you. Nevertheless, this baked oatmeal is a must make. Whether it's because you want something simple and delicious for quick breakfast, a mid-afternoon snack or for desert (yes, you could eat this for dessert!), this baked oatmeal is for you. Plus, it's full of carrots and any extra veggies I can get in is a plus in my book.

I am going to be the first to tell you that I don't make a lot of vegan dishes. Not because they don't sound good, but because I just never really think about it all that much. Maybe I should think about it more. Especially after how good this oatmeal was! This oatmeal is super simple to whip up. All you need is oats, carrots (of course), honey or maple syrup as your sweetener, vanilla, cinnamon, a few other ingredients, nuts, raisins and almond milk. Of course I used my homemade almond milk here, but you can use whatever milk you like here. Do note that if you use good 'ol regular milk, this will no longer be vegan. But that's okay too. As long as you are not serving this to vegans. You literally mix everything together, pour it in to a baking dish and bake away. In about 30 minutes your home will be filled with the best carrot cake smell. In oatmeal form, of course.

The best part about this oatmeal is that you can prep everything the night before and just mix it up the morning of and bake. You can also bake the oatmeal the day before and just reheat the next morning. That's what the hubby and I like to do. It makes a super quick, healthy and delicious morning breakfast treat for us. We like to serve it with a dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt or a splash of our favorite milk. Yes, I know neither of those are vegan, but I am okay with it, so I hope you are too. The best part about this oatmeal is that I feel really good about eating it - it's loaded with carrots, oats and no white sugar. It's super delicious and to be honest, you'd never know there weren't eggs or milk in this dish. It's a winner and I think I may even try to add some crushed pineapple the next time I make it. And by next time, I mean next week. Because this was so good and I have been eating it almost everyday this week....for lunch! It doesn't matter what time of the day you eat this oatmeal, you are sure to love it. 

beautiful ingredients

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal (slightly modified from Oh She Glows)

2 1/4 cup oats (not quick cooking)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 salt
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
2 1/2 cups almond milk (or any other non-dairy (for vegan) or regular milk (for non-vegan)
1/3 cup honey (or pure maple syrup)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger)
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 roughly chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 8x11 (9x13 will work just fine here too) pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, add the milk, honey and vanilla extra. Mix well and then pour over the dry ingredients. Give everything a big stir to combine and pour in to the prepared pan. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Enjoy!

This baked oatmeal will also freeze really well once baked. Just remove from the freezer the night before to defrost and enjoy the next morning!

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