An easy, make-ahead breakfast that’s on the healthy side, despite being based on carrot and orange cake.
Sometimes I do things backwards. Like all those times I’ve bought myself a gift, and later worked out why I deserved it. Or that time when I put a sweater on back-to-front and didn’t notice until the end of the day. So, naturally, I’m sharing a carrot-related recipe after Easter.
Anyway, the idea behind this recipe was simple: carrot and orange cake batter. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m an avid lover of all things carrot cake (see Exhibits A, B, C, D and E). And my enthusiasm for overnight oats borders on the extreme. Ergo, there was bound to be a carrot cake overnight oats recipe on this blog sooner or later.
Some things are just inevitable.
For something a little different, I decided to base this breakfast on carrot and orange cake. I know there are some people – let’s call them carrot cake ‘purists’ – who can’t stand fruit and nuts invading their carrot cake. But I have a ‘the more the merrier’ approach when it comes to carrot baked goods. When I bake a carrot cake, I usually add a whole bunch of mix-ins, such as coconut, walnuts, raisins, pineapple and grated apple.
So, not surprisingly, when a tried a piece of carrot and orange cake, I was (a) immediately a fan; and (b) determined to turn it into breakfast.
Even though the piece of carrot and orange cake I tried didn’t contain coconut, walnuts or raisins, I simply had to add them to this breakfast. Because, you know, the more the merrier.
(And overnight oats are improved at least three-fold when you add different textures).
In this recipe, the orange flavor comes from orange juice, orange zest, and a few orange segments (which are used as a topping). As well as complementing the carrots, this adds plenty of sweetness to the oats, meaning that you probably won’t need to add much maple syrup. I usually add a maximum of one tablespoon of maple syrup (for two bowls), but the amount of syrup required with depend on your yogurt and personal preferences.
Last of all, here’s something completely unrelated to carrots, oranges, or even breakfast: a couple of days ago I became an aunt! And my little nephew is absolutely adorable. 🙂
Fun fact: While most carrots grown today are orange, the root vegetable also comes in white, red, yellow and purple.
- Overnight oats
- ⅔ cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup Greek-style yogurt
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- ⅓ cup milk
- ½ cup finely grated carrots, lightly packed
- 2 teaspoons orange zest, loosely packed
- 1 - 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Mix-ins and toppings
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- Orange segments
- In a bowl or container, combine the rolled oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla extract, yogurt, orange juice and milk. Add the grated carrots, orange zest and maple syrup. Mix until completely combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or put the lid on the container) and leave in the fridge overnight.
- In the morning, stir approximately half the shredded coconut, chopped walnuts and raisins into the overnight oats. If the oats are too thick, also add a little milk.
- Divide the oats between two bowls. Top with the remaining coconut, walnuts and raisins, as well as some orange segments.
Plain, vanilla, or orange flavored yogured should work. If your yogurt is quite sour, you may wish to increase the maple syrup.
The yogurt does not need to be authentic Greek yogurt, it simply needs to be thick and creamy.