When the afternoons are warm and sunny, but the girls start taking out their gloves before hopping on their bikes in the morning, you know autumn has arrived and is here to stay. Though I know not everyone’s as happy about summer coming to an end, I so love this time of year, with its prospect of chestnut picking and seasonal baking and nature turning all golden and beautiful. And what better way to celebrate this new season than by reintroducing hot comforting breakfasts, like the unbeatable carrot cake oatmeal?
Whoever was the first to come up with the idea that treating yourself to dessert for breakfast wasn’t just fun and indulgent, but also completely compatible with a healthy lifestyle, is my personal hero. This breakfast is filled with the benefits of course oats, nuts and berries, while raisins and a generous dose of fresh veg make it naturally sweet. As an added bonus you’ll have the house filled with the warming scents of nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. Carrot cake in a bowl, could the day start any better?
I used heritage carrots to decorate this breakfast bowl, but also to experiment with different versions of carrot cake oatmeal. Because did you know that the different coloured carrots not only look pretty, but also each have their own distinctive flavours and nutritional value? My personal favourite is the deep purple variety, which has a high level of antioxidant anthocyanins and a deep, earthy flavour. I’ll be honest, though: when cooked down with your oats and combined with the brown-coloured spices, the resulting breakfast, although delicious, will not be the most photogenic, and grating the carrots will leave you with purple fingers for days…. The yellow carrots have a very sweet, honey-like flavour and yield a beautifully golden porridge. You could enhance this by replacing the classic carrot cake spices with only some vanilla, a large tablespoon of turmeric and a dash of ground black pepper for a lovely sweet and delicately flavoured breakfast bowl.
Or, you could of course pick the orange carrot we all know and love, to make this cheerful, classic version of carrot cake oatmeal. Simply top with nuts, berries and some rainbow-coloured carrot shavings and you’ll be ready to take on any kind of fall weather.
Carrot cake oatmeal – serves 4
- 250 g carrots, finely grated
- 120 g rolled oats (choose a certified gluten free brand if you’re gluten intolerant)
- handful of yellow raisins
- 700 ml almond milk, homemade or shop-bought
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
- 50 g pecan nuts
- 100 g blueberries
Put the grated carrots, oats and raisins in a pan.
Add the almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract, along with the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat. Stirring well, let the porridge simmer for a few minutes.
Turn off the heat and divide the porridge over 4 bowls. Serve with the pecans and the blueberries.