I don’t know what’s up with me and carrot cake lately, but I want to make carrot cake everything. Pancakes, waffles, cookies, oatmeal. It’s almost pumpkin-level, and for that, I apologize to my dear significant other, who still can’t fathom the idea of pumpkin in anything after my pumpkin-everything frenzy last fall.
I guess it’s because I keep buying carrots and then I see them in the fridge and I get obsessive about using them up before they go bad. Plus, now that I’ve started a compost bin, I love adding another little pile of carrot peels to the scrap bin. Who knew how satisfying it would be to collect kitchen scraps and throw them onto a big pile of more scraps and yard debris? Now if I can actually get some compost out of the deal, I’ll be golden.
But I digress.
Oatmeal has always been a breakfast staple for us, but never more so than now. It’s on the breakfast menu at least every other day because it’s a sure-fire toddler pleaser in our house, especially since I started giving her her own bowl (which she promptly dumps on her high chair tray and then shovels to her face with her hands).
So naturally, one morning not so long ago I looked in the fridge and saw the carrots as I was getting ready to cook up some oatmeal, and I thought: “Carrot cake oatmeal! Yes!”
And then as I praised myself for my original, creative idea, I made the mistake of Googling it, and naturally, some other amazing bloggers had already beat me to it. Don’t these people know they shouldn’t go stealing my ideas before I have them?! Oh, wait.
As luck would have it, fabulous blogger Angela of Oh She Glows created and shared a vegan version of carrot cake oatmeal a couple of winters ago. Bless her for saving me the trial-and-error mayhem that can go along with developing recipes. I used Angela’s recipe as a rough guide, using steel-cut oats instead of rolled and de-veganizing it along the way (I hope she doesn’t mind – and it is easy to re-veganize, just sub coconut milk for the cow’s milk).
This hearty oatmeal is so delicious, so creamy, so decadent and yet healthy all at the same time. While it cooks, it sends the most wonderful comforting scent throughout the house. I love that. The oatmeal and carrots simmer together with milk, a touch of maple syrup, and spices until you’ve got ultra-creamy heaven-in-a-bowl.
We find that with the carrots and syrup, it’s already plenty sweet, so just spoon into bowls and pass with raisins, shredded coconut, and walnuts to sprinkle over the top.
Spoon and swoon.
- 1 cup steel-cut oats (not quick-cooking)
- 1 cup finely grated carrot
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 1½ cups milk or coconut milk
- 1½ cups water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Shredded coconut, raisins, and chopped walnuts for topping
- To a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the oats, carrot, coconut, milk, water, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer for about 20 – 25 minutes until the oatmeal is tender and creamy. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Serve with a splash of half-and-half or coconut cream along with shredded coconut, raisins, and walnuts sprinkled over the top if desired.