No Fuss Nutrition: Carrot Cake Overnight Oatmeal

Oatmeal. I think when most people hear this word, they cringe as they picture a soupy, mealy bowl of goop. Totally understandable, I get that. But I promise to you that good oatmeal should not taste like that. Or look like that, honestly. I’ve never flat out hated oatmeal, but over the last four years I’ve grown to love it. It’s so versatile!! I’m fairly certain that the number and combination of add-ins is greater than the 398,929 possible drink combinations that Sonic boasts. From fruit, nuts, peanut butter, spices, and even vegetables, the options seem to go on for a lifetime. I’m usually partial to a big ol’ spoonful of peanut butter, a mix of fresh berries or other fruit, and finished off with some Purely Elizabeth granola and cinnamon on top.

I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more vegetables into my daily diet, but never thought of including them in my oatmeal until recently. Over the last few months, I’ve seen a slew of Instagram posts highlighting “zucchini oats” and “carrot cake oats”, and I was intrigued. I’ll be honest and say I’m not so much intrigued by the zucchini oats, but the carrot cake oats had my attention. I mean, the name includes the word cake, so it would be like I’m eating dessert for breakfast, right? Anyway, after finding our grater in the depths of a kitchen drawer last week, I decided to finally give this carrot cake oatmeal a try. Read on to see how it turned out. (Dun, dun, dunnnnn….) (Pause for dramatic effect).

CCOO1

I’ve come to realize that there are a number of ways to prepare oatmeal, from throwing it all in a bowl right before you make it, to starting the night before and letting all of the ingredients sit together overnight. I decided to take the latter route this time around, but know that you can easily make these the morning of just the same! Which is how most normal people (that aren’t caught up in the foodie world, like me) make oatmeal, I assume. Preparing mine the night before also helps me to be a bit quieter in the kitchen during the morning while my sweet little roommate sleeps like a baby 5 feet away 😉

Carrot Cake Overnight Oatmeal
servings: 1

Ingredients:
1/2 cup plain, quick cook oats
1/2-1 cup water, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, or milk of choice (amt. varies depending on how thick you want oatmeal to turn out!)
1/2 T chia seed
1/2 t vanilla extract
2-3 baby carrots, grated
1 egg white
nutmeg, to taste
cinnamon, to taste

1) Combine oats, water (or milk of choice), chia seed, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
2) Grate 2-3 baby carrots and add into bowl.
3) Mix all ingredients well. Cover and allow to sit in fridge overnight.
4) The next morning, remove bowl from fridge and microwave for a minute and a half.
5) Take out of microwave, add in 1 egg white, and mix to combine before microwaving again for 30 seconds.
6) Take out of microwave add in nutmeg and cinnamon, and mix to combine. If egg is still a little undercooked, pop back into microwave for 10-12 seconds. I’ve found microwaves differ, so it may take a few times to find that sweet spot 😉
7) Top with whatever your heart desires! For this bowl I used blueberries, a cranberry delight trail mix from Kroger, more cinnamon, and Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter.

CCOO

If you’re interested in hearing the health benefits of some of the major ingredients, read on. If not, I guess that’s fine too..
  • So, oatmeal. What’s so good about it, why were many of us forced to eat it as a child? A 1/2 cup serving of plain oats has roughly 5 or 6 grams of protein and 4 or 5 grams of fiber, with minimal sugar. The fiber is great for your digestion, and helps keep you fuller longer, holding you over until lunch (or morning snack if you’re like me). I made this bowl of oatmeal with Purely Elizabeth pumpkin cranberry oatmeal, which has about a gram more of fiber and protein per serving. I try to steer clear of the flavored pouches of oatmeal, I like to have a little more control of what I put in my oatmeal.
  • Next up to bat is chia seed, a tiny little black seed similar to that on the outside of strawberries. These not only play a functional role in the oatmeal by absorbing the fluid and “fluffing” up, but they also offer 5 grams of HEALTHY fats, such as omega-3s. You get 6 grams of fiber (aiding in digestion and blood sugar stabilization) and 3 grams of protein in just 1 tablespoon as well. Since they are high in fats, they are also a bit higher in calorie, boasting 70 calories per tablespoon, so keep an eye on how much you’re really taking in!
  • Finally, carrots. I think many of us grew up learning to eat carrots for “good eye sight”. I”m pretty sure I eat more carrots than a rabbit…I’m not sure how I haven’t turned orange yet. Seriously, though… Carrots are an excellent source of Vitamin A, which helps to build strong and healthy hair, skin and nails. Carrots are also a good source of potassium, which aids in heart health and can help protect you from heart attack or stroke.
So, I know Valentine’s Day has already passed, but treat yourself and make this for your breakfast tomorrow morning!
ciao down,
clara
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