Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

First, the elephant in the room: the site got a redesign! Why? Mostly, I wanted to add a “home page” to Foraged Dish that had all the most useful stuff — newest recipes, most popular recipes, videos, etc - in one spot. Check it out by clicking “home” in the top left hand corner of the page. Hoping this new site is more user-friendly and makes it easy to find everything you’re looking for!

Now, for the recipe and post:

When I first discovered baked oatmeal, I was in college and was immediately excited about the dish. An oatmeal that I actually liked!

I wasn’t a big breakfast eater back then, and definitely have never liked porridges. But here it is: baked oatmeal. The oat dish I had been waiting for. It comes out of oven crispy on top and cream in the middle.

One weekend, I went home to my mom’s house and told her about my discovery. I was explaining it to her, and she said, “Sounds a bit like cake. “

I furrowed my brow. Cake? I mean sure, it has some similar ingredients. But it is “better for me.” Right? In truth, that version of baked oatmeal was a lot like cake. I think it called for both sugar and flour. But, it also taught me that I can like oatmeal. Baked, it became something that I enjoyed.

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

I still make baked oatmeal every now and again, adding in seasonal fruits and nuts (like this cinnamon berry pecan baked oatmeal). These days, the main difference is that I sweeten it with maple syrup, honey, or fruit, and use whole ingredients. And while it is a pretty carb-heavy dish, I find that rolled oats do keep me full through the morning until lunch. The other main advantage? One batch lasts us the better half of a week, so breakfast is squared away in the morning for a few days. (By the way, this makes the dish perfect for those times when you are trying to eat really well — when something is already in your fridge, it’s way easier to make the right choice!)

With this recipe, I’ve taken the idea of a cake and folded it in: carrot cake baked oatmeal. (Carrot cake — definitely a cake. But it calls for vegetable!) Along with rolled oats, you fold in carrots, raisins, coconut, fresh ginger and even walnuts (I love the crunch these add. If you do not like walnuts, try pecans). All of those together combined to make a pretty hearty oatmeal — one that’s not really cake, but you can imagine it is, while knowing you’re eating something much more nourishing!

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

Published January 3, 2018 by
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Serves: 8   |    Active Time: 50 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup shredded desiccated coconut + 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts + 2 tablespoons for topping

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9x9 inch baking dish.
    2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine rolled oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and 1/2 cup coconut.
    3. Add egg, honey/maple syrup, melted butter, freshly grated ginger, milk, yogurt, and vanilla. Stir until everything is incorporated.
    4. Fold in shredded carrot, raisins, and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
    5. Spread mixture in an even layer in the baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons coconut and chopped walnuts.
    6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until edges of oatmeal begin to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes. Serve warm.

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    Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Bars with Hemp & Cacao Nibs

    Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Bars with Hemp & Cacao Nibs

    Home! It is a good place to be. Home baking — even better. Especially during cookie season! Just four days out of the house over Thanksgiving break refilled my creative energy… if only I had time to cook every idea that comes to mind!

    We visited Roy, New Mexico for Thanksgiving, so instead of your traditional holiday dinner we cooked with a camp stove among friends (including some camping recipes that I’m definitely going to share here come summer: black bean and kale skillet enchiladas, an iteration of these chorizo and egg breakfast tacos, and plenty of cocoa). Not your traditional holiday, but it was perfect for me. A way to unplug, relax, and enjoy the beautiful dessert!

    Besides, I have been craving a trip to New Mexico since last Christmas when I tried to convince Oliver to go on a last minute road trip to Santa Fe (instead we spent it at home doing not much of anything).

    In anticipation of some upcoming trips, I had made these bars ahead of time, and they were the perfect mid-day snack while we were out climbing, and delicious enough to be a treat around the campfire.

    Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Bars with Hemp & Cacao Nibs
    Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Bars with Hemp & Cacao Nibs

    After baking them, I sliced them up and kept them in the freezer, and then packed them into the cooler with the rest of our supplies.

    Chocolate and peanut butter is a classic (the best!!) so when I went to make something akin to a snacking bar but more luxurious, it felt like the perfect fit. Something hearty and filling for long days outside, but something that still tastes basically like dessert (happy sweet tooth = happy me).

    Adding in hemp hearts and cacao nibs also walks this line of snack gone dessert… hemp hearts make me think granola bar, cacao nibs feel more like a treat. What you get is a treat you feel good about — and a snack for those moments when you really want a treat (and I always want my snacks to feel like treats).

    These bars also are a GREAT better-for-you option for holiday cookies. Like blondie meets oatmeal cookie meets peanut butter cup with more good stuff packed in. Which is why I’m sharing it with you now!

    Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Bars with Hemp & Cacao Nibs

    Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Bars with Hemp & Cacao Nibs

    Published November 29, 2018 by
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    Serves: 12   |    Active Time: 1 hour



    Ingredients:

  • 1 cup smooth, unsalted peanut butter (stirred and at room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup honey (you can also try maple syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon of flake sea salt for topping
  • 1 cup semi sweet or bitter sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 9x9 glass baking dish with parchment paper.
    2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, egg, honey and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Add salt, oats, almond flour, peanuts, hemp hearts, and cacao nibs and fold to create a thick, sticky, crumbly batter.
    3. Press mixture into prepared baking dish in an even layer, and bake in middle rack of oven for 15 minutes.
    4. Allow base to cool completely before adding chocolate topping. While base cools, melt chocolate and coconut oil by placing bowl in a microwave-safe bowl, and heating at 30-second intervals, stirring between each round. (You can also melt the chocolate in a double boiler).
    5. Spread chocolate in an even layer over oat base. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts and 1/2 teaspoon flake sea salt. Allow chocolate to set completely.
    6. Once chocolate is set, lift the bars from the dish (pull out the parchment paper with the bars to get them out more easily) and slice into 12 equal pieces.
    7. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer.

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    Lower Sugar Sweet Potato Casserole with Oatmeal Pecan Topping

    Lower Sugar Sweet Potato Casserole with Oatmeal Pecan Topping
    Lower Sugar Sweet Potato Casserole with Oatmeal Pecan Topping

    I grew up on the sort of sweet potato casserole that is topped with marshmallows, and I love the stuff.

    One Thanksgiving in California is vividly stamped in my mind — the year we visited my grandparents and I realized for the first time that my grandma cooked almost every dish for Thanksgiving dinner in the microwave. IN THE MICROWAVE! Coming from rather culinary parents, it was a bit of a shock, and I’m not sure why I hadn’t noticed in previous years (I don’t even remember other Thanksgiving dinners at their house; maybe this was a first).

    Anyways… this sweet potato casserole is not made in the microwave (do I even need to say that?) and so it’s off to a far superior start already! But it’s also been revised in other ways, calling for less sugar and being topped with crumbly, crispy pecans and oats instead of marshmallows. Because, sugar and marshmallows just don’t leave me feeling my best.

    Sweet potatoes are quite sweet as they are, so adding sugar to the filling feels unnecessary (most recipes call for 1/4 to 1/2 cup of added sugar). In this version the filling is “natural,” meaning all the sweetness comes from the sweet potatoes, and the topping is made with maple syrup and cinnamon (which has sweet notes of it’s own!).

    As Oliver would say, this dish comes out of the oven “smelling sweeter than a plate of yams with extra syrup.”

    Lower Sugar Sweet Potato Casserole with Oatmeal Pecan Topping
    Lower Sugar Sweet Potato Casserole with Oatmeal Pecan Topping

    Tip: Cook the sweet potatoes ahead of time! You can cook the potatoes up to three days before you’re going to make this casserole. Here are a couple of ways to cook them (affiliate links ahead!):

    • In an Instant Pot: Place whole sweet potatoes in your Instant Pot with 1 cup of water (use a steamer basket if you have one). Use manual mode and set to high for 15 minutes (vent in sealed position). Allow pressure to release naturally, then open pot. Allow potatoes to cool, and then remove skins, which should easily pull off at this point.

    • In an oven: Preheat oven to 425°F. Prick sweet potatoes with a fork and rub with oil (such as coconut oil). Place potatoes on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or a sil-pat and bake for 45 minutes.

    In both of these methods, the natural sugars in the sweet potatoes will caramelize so that your sweet potato casserole tastes sweet without the added sugar.

    Thanksgiving is THIS WEEK. What else are you making? What’s your favorite thing once you sit down at the table?

    Lower Sugar Sweet Potato Casserole with Oatmeal Pecan Topping

    Lower Sugar Sweet Potato Casserole with Oatmeal Pecan Topping

    Published November 20, 2018 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 4 hours



    Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups mashed sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup half and half or canned coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • For Crumble Topping:
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 heaping cup rolled oats
  • 1 heaping cup pecan halves

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Combine the first five ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until well incorporated.
    3. Spread sweet potato mixture in an even layer in a 9x9 baking dish.
    4. In a separate bowl, combine ingredients for crumble topping. Spread crumble topping in an even layer over the sweet potatoes.
    5. Place baking dish in the middle rack of the oven and bake 25-30 minutes. Sweet potatoes should be warmed through and pecans on top should be lightly toasted. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

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