I know, I know, Vegan Carrot Cake & Zucchini Bread Oatmeal sounds too good to be true, but really…it is just as amazing (and simple) as it sounds. Oh did I mention it’s completely vegan, and it’s also soy-free and gluten-free!
This is a great breakfast dish for any plant-based eating diet and is one of the most amazing recipes for anyone with a busy morning routine.
Health Benefits of Carrot Cake Oatmeal (Overnight Oats)
Mmm carrot cake baked oatmeal mixed with zucchini bread, sounds delicious right? Overnight oats could not be simpler but not only is this recipe delicious and simple, but it’s also actually healthy too! I mean cake for breakfast? Come on, could this vegan recipe get any sweeter!
So let’s break down just a few of the sweet treats to your health this gluten-free vegan recipe holds.
Not only is this cake with your breakfast, but it is also a hearty helping of veggies or a “heart-healthy helping” of veggies you might say. The B1, iron, manganese, phosphorous, and copper in this carrot cake-baked oatmeal helps to lower cholesterol, helps improve blood sugar levels, and even fights depression! Carrot cake oatmeal just happens to also be packed with yummy gut-healthy fiber, antioxidants, and tons of vitamins and minerals provided by the zucchini and carrots.
Carrots are jam-packed with potassium, vitamin K1, beta carotene, and antioxidants. Carrots are great for eye and heart health as well as being cancer fighters and cholesterol level stabilizers.
The zucchini is high in healthy fiber but low in calories. It is considered a “Superfood” because it includes Vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber, which all help improve heart health and decrease the risk of stroke.
That means carrot oatmeal has even more health benefits than regular oatmeal so not only is this cake oatmeal gluten-free, it’s also guilt gree! Also, without any artificial sweeteners, it’s refined sugar-free!
The nutrition calories can depend on what toppings and ingredients you use, but overall carrot cake oatmeal is pretty low in saturated fat and polyunsaturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat(that’s the good kind!)
Pro Tip: Top it with fresh fruit and get even more awesome health benefits!
Carrot Cake Oatmeal
- ½ cup steel-cut oats (use gluten-free, if desired)
- 1½ cups vanilla-flavored non-dairy milk (such as coconut, almond, rice, etc. – I used coconut milk)
- 1 small carrot, grated or shredded carrot
- ¼ small zucchini, peeled and grated (I used a little more, maybe ½ small zucchini)
- pinch of salt
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar or maple syrup or agave nectar
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- I also added 1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract.
- Oats: Keep it simple by using rolled oats Steel-cut can require different cooking times.
- Milk: Feel free to use your favorite plant-based milk substitute; soy milk, almond milk,(unsweetened almond milk can cut down on calories), etc.
- Maple syrup: (Optional) Or agave or any other sweetener (liquid, granulate, or sugar-free sweetener) of your choice.
- Carrot: Shredded carrots seem to work best, but feel free to try different methods of slicing and dicing.
- Nuts: (Optional) You can use raw pecans, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or any combination of them. For a nut-free carrot cake porridge, you can use chia seeds or pumpkin seeds. Lightly crush the nuts or toss them in a food processor for a few pulses, for the best texture.
- Coconut: Adding coconut cream, coconut yogurt or shredded coconut can add a touch of natural sweetness to it without the negative side effects of artificial sweeteners
- Cinnamon: It’s all about personal taste here, use as much or little as tickles your tastebuds. You can also use ground nutmeg.
- Butter: Adding nut butter, almond butter, or vegan butter can make your oatmeal more creamy and add some additional healthy fats.
As I mentioned this was the first recipe I tried from Kathy Hester’s cookbook called The Vegan Slow Cooker. I love love love Carrot Cake. And I’m a fan of Zucchini Bread, too (check out this Vegan Zucchini Bread Cookie recipe). So why not have both in my oatmeal, right?!
I made this last weekend while my parents were visiting. Everyone had gone to bed when I remembered I wanted to make this recipe in the slow cooker (a.k.a. crockpot) for the next morning. It was late and there was zero natural light left, so there are no step-by-step photos for this recipe – only end result glamour shots.
Although, beyond grating the carrot and zucchini, all you really do is throw everything in the slow cooker and turn it on. Doesn’t get much easier, folks. So, about that recipe…
THE NIGHT BEFORE: Meal Prep
Oil the crock of your slow cooker. Combine all of the ingredients, except pecans, in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
IN THE MORNING: The Big Reveal
Stir the oatmeal, taste and adjust the seasonings, and add more milk substitutes, if needed. Top with chopped pecans or crushed walnuts or any other desired toppings. Serve warm and enjoy carrot cake and zucchini bread hot oatmeal!
So you could throw in all the ingredients on Sunday night and by Monday morning you could have the perfect hot breakfast to start your day and your week! Easy peasy!
Pro Tip: Store leftovers in your fridge and heat up in a baking dish in your oven, or on medium heat on your stovetop! Sprinkle a little additional ground cinnamon on top to spice it up and have a delicious leftover morning treat!
So now, how do you top this vegan recipes chart-topper? Well, the decision is yours! There are so many options.
Grated carrots or shredded carrots: This option can fulfill your carrot-filled beta carotene dreams.
Nuts: But of course, chopped nuts such as walnuts, chopped dates, or dried fruit go great with carrot cake.
Fruit: Bananas, berries, coconut, pretty much any of your favorite fruits will work. You can even add coconut yogurt to accent the fruit and add some yummy probiotics!
Or you can keep it Oatmeal Classic and add:
Chia seeds, ground flax, ground nutmeg, or maple syrup
I personally like to top it off with a swirl of maple-flavored agave nectar, sliced bananas, and chopped pecans. This beats the pre-packaged instant stuff any day – and it’s just as quick.
Other great toppings are chopped dates or figs, date honey (so easy, so delicious), chopped walnuts, slivered almonds, raisins, dried cherries, blueberries, sliced strawberries, etc.
Vegan Carrot Cake Oatmeal Uses
Quick oats and baked oatmeal (especially carrot caked baked oatmeal) are simple and absolutely delicious additions to your favorite plant-based recipes and your breakfast cuisine.
If you currently use the flavored instant oatmeal packets (like I used to), let me just tell you that you can get way more bang for your buck (calorically, nutritionally, financially) by making it yourself. Using a slow cooker to prepare breakfast the night before is an efficient, hassle-free way to get your kids off to a great start before heading to school.
An additional neat idea if you are really running behind in the morning, is to pack it in individual Tupperware containers so the kids can even eat it in the car if need be
So that’s it! Carrot cake-baked oatmeal/ zucchini bread oatmeal is a simple, vegan-friendly, and healthy solution to your busy morning routine. And if you just can’t seem to get enough of Old fashioned oats, give our Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies a try and get your daily dose of oats! Happy baking!