I have always loved carrots — raw, steamed, roasted, blended into smoothies, and as cake! In fact, I think carrot cake is one of my all-time favourite desserts. And this recipe delivers the flavours I love in easy, no-bake overnight oats I feel good about serving my family for brekkie!
Carrot Cake Oats contain no refined sugar and are absolutely loaded with protein, fibre, antioxidants, healthy fats, adaptogens, and pre and probiotics, too. Doesn’t get much better than that!
Let’s take a closer look at some of the ingredients.
Carrots are rich in fibre, minerals, and vitamins including A, C and K, as well as beta-carotene and other disease-fighting phytonutrients.
Studies suggest that carrot consumption can help improve vision, reduce the signs of aging, ward off cancer, stroke and heart disease, and protect the skin from sun damage.
Collagen (omit for vegan)
Collagen is a natural protein found predominantly in skin, bones, joints and ligaments as well as the digestive tract. Our bodies make collagen using specific amino acids that we consume through food. Unfortunately, as we age, our bodies produce less and lower-quality collagen. This contributes to the wrinkles, joint problems and reduction in bone density and metabolism that many of us have already started to experience! Fortunately, studies suggest that oral collagen supplements may help to reduce joint pain and arthritis symptoms and have anti-aging benefits for the skin.
Adequate collagen is also necessary to balance the gut microbiome and maintain a healthy digestive tract. In addition to acting as a prebiotic, collagen is believed to reduce inflammation and support the integrity of the mucosal barrier or gut lining. Click here to read more.
Of note, the collagen can be omitted for a vegan version.
Native to Peru, maca has a slightly earthy, butterscotch taste and is rich in vitamins and minerals. Touted as the "Incan superfood", it has been used for millennia to increase stamina and endurance. Maca is also a wonderful natural "adaptogen". This means it is believed to help the body regulate and deal with stress. Consumption may also reduce anxiety while boosting energy, concentration, and even libido. Here, I have used gelatinized maca since it is easier to digest.
Medicinal Mushrooms (optional)
I know it may sound funny to add ground-up mushrooms to your morning oats. However, they provide what I think is a pleasant earthy flavour along with a myriad of potential disease-fighting benefits. For this recipe, I typically use the FreshCap Mushrooms Thrive 6 Mushroom Blend or Reishi, Cordyceps or Chaga (not sponsored). However, feel free to use your favourite adaptogen(s), adjusting the amounts accordingly.
FreshCap Mushrooms Thrive combines six different culinary medicinal mushrooms, including reishi, chaga, cordyceps and lion's mane. These immune-boosting fungi are rich in B vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and each species has its own unique health profile.
Lion's mane, for example, has been recognized for its nootropic or cognitive-enhancing effects and is believed to boost memory, concentration, and brain function. Chaga and cordyceps are considered energizing adaptogens because they can help improve stamina and endurance while reducing stress and anxiety. Studies also suggest they may have anti-cancer properties.
Carrot Cake Overnight Protein Oats Recipe
Ingredients for one serving:
1/3 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 Tbsp Nuzest Clean Lean vanilla protein powder
1 Tbsp collagen peptides (omit for vegan)
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp gelatinized maca powder (optional)
1/2 tsp FreshCap Mushrooms Thrive 6 mushroom blend or cordyceps, chaga, or reishi powder (optional)
1/2 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg and/or ginger (or more to taste)
2/3 cup unsweetened almond or nut-free milk (I like to use my Almond Cow to make homemade plant-based milk)
2 Tbsp plain probiotic coconut yogurt (recipe here) or Greek yogurt
1 cup grated raw carrot
Lakanto monkfruit sweetener or sweetener of choice, adjusted to taste
optional add-ins: 1/2 grated apple, 1/4 cup frozen riced cauliflower, 1 to 2 Tbsp raisins, almond butter, or blackstrap molasses
optional toppings: granola, bee pollen, nuts/seeds or nut butter, or toppings of choice
Put oats, protein, collagen, chia seeds, maca, mushroom powder, and spices in a bowl or single-serving mason jar and stir to combine.
Add milk, yogurt, and carrots, and optional add-ins as desired and stir until well incorporated. Sweeten to taste.
Cover and refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 6 hours. Stir and add additional milk as needed for desired consistency.
Carrot Cake Overnight Protein Oats can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Serve chilled or heated with your choice of toppings.