Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal is the perfect recipe for a breakfast or brunch get-together. Make it the day before. It feeds a crowd, and even though it's healthier, it tastes like dessert!
'Tis the season my friends! Time for holiday parties, appetizers, drinks, desserts, and decadent meals. It's that once a year (except for Valentine's Day, Easter, summer barbecues, etc) that we all love to hate because it's so hard to avoid temptation and eat healthy.
So, here's an idea. Let's stop stressing about the holidays and any possible eating snafus, and just enjoy them. Isn't it really more about what we do the other 11 months of the year that makes or breaks us?
If you're worried about holiday eating, ramp up your exercise for the next few weeks, try to plan ahead so you never arrive to a holiday party overly-hungry, and make really great (not just good, but GREAT) choices as much as you can during this season. I'm gonna bet you come out ahead on the scale, and you might even get a jump start on some really healthy habits that you can continue into the New Year.
And, here's my favorite tip if you're planning to host a holiday party this year: Do brunch instead of dinner. It's the easiest way to serve delicious food that's still healthy and completely guilt-free. Like this baked oatmeal dish instead of a big pasta casserole. Pair it with a fresh fruit and veggie platter instead of all those cheesy appetizers. And a coffee and tea bar instead of cocktails.
Sounds so much easier, doesn't it? Less stress, less work, better for you - and your guests.
This Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal tastes like a decadent dessert. But it's made with high-fiber oats, that are naturally sweetened with carrots, pineapple and raisins, so you need just a touch of sweetener. Plus, it's got protein from eggs and milk. And your kitchen will smell amazing from the vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves in this recipe.
I love to serve this warm, with some vanilla yogurt. If you're feeling really adventurous, whip some Greek cream cheese, or Labneh in with your yogurt, and it will taste like cream cheese icing. Serve it with a huge platter of fruits, vegetables, and cheese. So easy but your guests don't need to know that.
Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
- ¾ cup chopped pecans divided
- 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple
- 2 cups Old Fashioned oats
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ¾ cup shredded carrot (from 1 large or 2 medium carrots)
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 ¾ cups milk (regular or nondairy)
- ¼ cup brown sugar, maple syrup, or sweetener of choice
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees and spray an 8" baking pan.
- When the oven is ready, spread the nuts on a cookie sheet (lined with foil for no cleanup) and toast them in the oven for about 7 minutes until they are fragrant.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oats, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, raisins, carrot, coconut and about ½ cup of the toasted nuts. Stir well to combine.
- Drain the pineapple, and spread it evenly over the bottom of the baking pan.
- Spread the dry ingredients over the pineapple in the baking pan.
- In a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, sweetener, eggs, vanilla, and olive oil Whisk well to combine.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Tap the pan a few times on the counter, and pat it gently with a spatula to make sure the dry ingredients are covered with the wet ingredients.
- Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of nuts over the top.
- Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the oatmeal is set and the top is golden brown.
- Let cool and serve immediately, or cover with foil and refrigerate until ready to eat. If eating this the next day, reheat for about 5-6 minutes in the microwave or serve at room temperature.
How are you getting ready for the holiday eating fest?