Carrot Cake Oatmeal (Vegan)

'Tis the season for a hot steamy bowl of oats! The weather is getting colder which makes me crave all things warm and cozy. Although...I'm not even going to lie and pretend like I still haven't been making smoothies every morning. I #literally can't stop. BUT ON WEEKENDS it's a whole new story. On days when I can tackle the morning at a slower pace, I take full advantage. 

This is a really fun time in our lives. We are in that time between the "college/go out often/sleep too little" life and the "OMG we are parents" life. It's a time where many of our friends are starting to have kids and while we want to be there eventually, we are really enjoying our life together, just the two of us. Speaking of kids - I get asked about this a lot. We have been married for almost 2 and a half years which is about the time where people really start to ask about our plans for a family and I hear the comment "you're next!" all the time. I hear other married couples without kids talk about how annoyed they get by these questions and comments, but I actually don't mind them. Scott and I both want children in the future, and it's fun to talk about it every once in a while. To be honest, I have such conflicting emotions about it all. When I hear friends or family announce they are expecting a little one, I am SO incredibly happy and excited for them! I would be lying if I said there wasn't a little twinge in me that wants that now, too. Then other times I absolutely love that we have the freedom to do what we want, when we want. Scott is currently traveling a lot with his job and the thought if starting a family right now seems impossible. I find myself, instead, excited about the thoughts and possibilities of what our next adventure together will be. Long story short, until we are ready for kids,  we are taking full advantage of sleeping in on the weekends and having date nights with no responsibility as often as possible. We both have some personal goals (mostly things we want to experience and do together) that we hope to accomplish in this weird "in-between time" we are living in. I guess the best thing to do is focus on truly living in the moment - something I constantly have to be mindful of. 

Anyway, I digress. What I originally meant to say is that this oatmeal has been my go-to breakfast on slow weekend mornings. HAHA I got off on a little tangent there. I wasn't planning on writing anything about this topic AT ALL today. It's funny how sitting down and writing a silly little post about oatmeal can lead into other (somewhat deep?) topics. 

OATMEAL IS POWERFUL, GUYS. Blame it on the carrots. 

Speaking of powerful, this oatmeal is no joke. It's packed with nourishing ingredients while remaining super creamy, hearty, and perfectly sweet (from real ingredients). It is a wonderful way to start any morning, but especially a slow, chilly morning. As much as I complain about winter every year (although this winter has been amazing so far...knock on wood), I really, really enjoy wrapping up in an over-sized blanket, sliding into fuzzy slippers, and wrapping my fingers around a hot mug of coffee. That seems to be my weekend morning uniform lately. And a hot bowl of carrot cake oatmeal on the side is the perfect accessory.

I'm going for that weekend glam, obviously. 

Caramelizing the carrots is the key to this oatmeal. It brings out the carrot's natural sugars (and ahhh-mazing flavor) which means you don't need to add as much additional sugar.  WIN. WIN. Feel free to sub raisins for the dates, although I think the dates are a fun little twist. Let's be honest, dates are everything. Duh.

Well....the point of this post was to tell you how awesome this oatmeal is. Just trust me. It is. No matter what stage of life you are in :)

Carrot Cake Oatmeal (V + GF)

|Serves 2|

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots (from about 1-2 large carrots)
  • 2 tsp maple syrup, plus more to serve if desired
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Warm the oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the grated carrots, maple syrup, spices, and salt. Saute until the carrots begin to caramelize - about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add the coconut, dates, and oats and stir. Next, add the almond milk and vanilla. 
  3. Raise the heat and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer, stirring often,  until all the liquid has been absorbed and the oats are nice and creamy - about 10 minutes. 
  4. Serve topped with additional coconut, dates, and a drizzle of almond milk and/or maple syrup if desired. 
  5. Enjoy!

xoxo,

Lauren

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