Breakfast Carrot Cake

Breakfast Carrot Cake

Breakfast Carrot Cake

Growing up, carrot cake was my absolute favourite type of cake whether it was for birthdays or other celebrations. Except somehow I usually ended up getting chocolate cake, and the carrot cake seemed saved for my mom’s birthday instead. Can’t really complain too much about that, though! (I mean, cake is cake, right?!)

We always used a well-loved cookbook for our carrot cake recipe, and even though I’m not a huge fan of pineapple, it was a not-to-miss ingredient in our cake. Even now I love the twist that it adds to the recipe, giving it an extra bit of moisture and sweetness without the extra oils and added sugar.

I decided I wanted to have carrot cake for breakfast (it seemed like one of those things you just should do), so I needed to refine our family recipe to something a little more balanced – and I’m so happy with the results!

This oatmeal cake variation is everything that is amazing about carrot cake, but you can still happily eat it all week for breakfast. That’s a win for me! The oats make it quite filling so that you don’t need a huge portion, and it will stay with you all morning. Or just have a smaller slice as a snack!

I topped mine with plain cream cheese rather than creating a sugar-filled icing, but you can do whichever you prefer. I’m sure if you google “cream cheese icing” you’ll find plenty of possibilities.

Breakfast Carrot Cake

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 8

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour or oats ground using food processor
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 3 eggs large, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups grated carrots packed
  • 3/4 cup pineapple diced
  • 3/4 cup walnuts chopped

Optional

  • 200 g cheese cheese skip for dairy-free

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 160C / 320F. Line a 23x23cm (9x9") baking pan with parchment paper (cut two strips so that the paper continues up the sides of the pan).
  • In a medium bowl, add all the dry ingredients and whisk until well combined.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the maple syrup, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. If you have just melted your coconut oil, allow it to cool before using to ensure you don't cook your eggs!
  • Add in the grated carrots to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix well.
  • Fold in the diced pineapple and chopped walnuts.
  • Pour batter into the baking pan and spread out evenly in the pan.
  • Bake for 40 minutes. (If you test with a toothpick it should come away clean.)
  • Allow to cool, then remove from pan. "Ice" with the cream cheese. Cut into 8 slices and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!
  • You could also skip the creamcheese and freeze the bars instead, only icing them once defrosted and prior to eating.
Peach Cobbler Smoothie

Peach Cobbler Smoothie

Peaches are my absolute favourite summer fruit. Once they start showing up in the markets and the grocery store it’s a sure sign that summer is here!

This past weekend I picked up my first basket, and while I usually like to just eat them on their own, I couldn’t resist throwing them in a smoothie! The temperatures here this week are sneaking up above thirty, so this was a great summery breakfast smoothie to kick the day off with.

I find peach a very delicate flavour to work with, so in smoothies I would always recommend using fresh, very ripe peaches. You could make this with frozen peaches, but I’m not sure the flavour would come through strongly enough.

The addition of the oats and cinnamon give you all the flavours of a peach cobbler, but in an easy grab and go smoothie!

Peach Cobbler Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh, ripe peaches, chopped and pits removed

  • 1 cup (250mL) coconut milk

  • ¼ cup (60mL) oats

  • 1 tbsp (15mL) almond butter

  • ½ tsp (2mL) vanilla extract

  • ¼ tsp (1mL) cinnamon

  • 1 scoop (±60mL) protein powder

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Enjoy!

Serves One

Cinnamon Bun Z’Oats

Cinnamon Bun Z’Oats

Growing up, it was the ultimate indulgence when I would go into Toronto (the “big city”) on the train with my dad and we would pick up a massive cinnamon bun from the Cinnabon in the train station.

Actually, my love affair with cinnamon buns runs pretty deep – one of my very first email address when I was probably only 11 years old was definitely something ridiculous like “cinnamon_bun_8”!

Even now, I can be pretty heavy handed when it comes to adding cinnamon to any recipe. That’s why I love this oatmeal recipe, it reminds me of those trips on the train, getting sticky frosting all over my hands.

Except of course I’ve made it even easier to indulge in now, adding in some sneaky zucchini to boost the nutrition profile!

Never tried zucchini in your oats before? It will serious change and up level your breakfast game! It works so well with the texture of porridge, and if you peel the zucchini there is really nothing there that give you the impression you’re having veggies for before. I challenge you to give it a try!

Cinnamon Bun Z’Oats

Ingredients:

  • ½ zucchini, peeled & grated

  • 250mL (1 cup) water

  • 250mL (1 cup) almond milk

  • 160mL (⅔ cup) oats

  • 45mL (3 tbsp) maple syrup

  • 10mL (2 tsp) cinnamon

  • 5mL (1 tsp) vanilla

  • 2mL (½ tsp) cardamom

  • 1mL (¼ tsp) sea salt

  • 1 scoop protein powder

In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together the grated zucchini, oats, water, and almond milk. Bring to just a simmer then reduce heat. Allow to cook until soft, around 15 minutes. If necessary add additional liquid if everything is absorbed.

While there is still a bit of liquid left, add in the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine.

Serve immediately with your desired toppings; add more almond milk if you prefer it on the runny side, and adjust sweetness with maple syrup as needed.

Serves 2

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie Bowl

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie Bowl

I just love the vibrancy of blueberries in my smoothie. There’s something about a purple coloured breakfast that just makes me happy in the mornings!

The almond butter in this smoothie bowl gives the whole thing a flavour reminiscent of a blueberry muffin. It’s a hard one to call, but they were definitely one of my top muffin flavours growing up (with the crumble on top, right??). But bet you couldn’t sneak some extra greens into the muffins like you can this smoothie!

If you’re not feeling the thickness of the smoothie bowl, you can always change the coconut cream for some normal coconut milk from the carton. Just increase the amount until you have the smoothie at the texture you want it to be and/or use fresh fruit instead of frozen.

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 100g (3oz) spinach

  • 250mL (1 cup) almond milk

  • 125mL (½ cup / 2 scoops) protein powder

  • 30mL (2 tbsp) coconut cream

  • 15mL (1 tbsp) almond butter

  • 5mL (1 tsp) vanilla extract

  • 250g (½ lb) frozen blueberries

  • 1 frozen banana, chopped

Combine the spinach, almond milk, and coconut cream in a blender and blend until well combined.

Add in the remaining ingredients and continue blending until smooth. You may need to pause to scrape down the sides as the mixture will be quite thick.

Pour into two bowls and top with your chosen garnishes.

Serves 2

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding Parfait

While I love throwing together a simple chia seed pudding for a snack (perfect to grab-and-go!), sometimes that basic staple needs to be elevated – especially if you’re making it a meal instead of a snack.

If you haven’t tried out chia seeds yet, you definitely should! They have a host of health benefits including aiding proper digestion, helping decrease inflammation, and supporting our bodies’ natural detox processes.

The reason they are able to do all this is because of their high soluble fiber content. (Check out this post for more on fiber.) These little seeds love to soak up liquid, and their volume greatly increases when mixed with any sort of liquid creating a gel-like structure – this is how we get the pudding texture from chia seeds!

In addition to fiber, chia seeds are a plant-based source of complete protein (containing all the essential amino acids). You’ll get around 4 grams of protein in 2 tbsp (30mL) of chia seeds.

They are also a good source of Omega-3 fats, (in the form of ALA (alpha-linoleic acid), which still needs to be converted by our body into the usable forms).

And finally they are also a good source of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and manganese!

So much from such a tiny seed!

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding Parfait

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup (310mL) coconut, almond, or other non-dairy milk

  • 1 banana

  • 1 scoop (around 60mL) protein powder

  • 2 tbsp (30mL) cacao powder

  • ½ cup (125mL) chia seeds

For layering / topping:

  • ⅔ cup (160mL) Coconut yogurt (or other full-fat yogurt)

  • 2 tbsp (30mL) Nut butter

  • Cacao nibs

In a blender, combine until smooth the milk, banana, protein powder, and cacao powder.

Pour the mixture into an airtight container (like a mason jar) and add in the chia seeds. Shake or mix well to fully combine. Let sit for 2 minutes and mix again. Let sit for another 2 minutes and mix again.

Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, or even overnight (up to 2-3 days).

When ready to eat, layer with coconut yogurt, nut butter, and top with some cacao nibs. Enjoy!

Serves 2

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