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, but in a refined sugar-free brekkie that’s loaded with chocolatey goodness — and antioxidants, protein, fibre, healthy fats, probiotics, and stress-busting adaptogens, too!
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 improve vision, reduce the signs of aging, and help ward off cancer, stroke, heart disease, and cognitive decline.
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.
Side note: Visit my favourite Products & Discounts page for discount codes and links!
Chocolate Carrot Cake Overnight Protein Oats Recipe
Ingredients for one serving:
1/4 cup gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
1 Tbsp Nuzest Clean Lean chocolate protein powder
1 Tbsp Further Food chocolate collagen with reishi (omit for vegan)
1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp Plant Burst or Organika maca powder (optional)
1/2 tsp FreshCap Mushrooms Thrive 6 mushroom blend or cordyceps, chaga, or reishi powder (optional)
1/4 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 cup kefir (dairy or dairy-free)*
1/4 cup unsweetened almond or nut-free milk (I like to use my Almond Cow to make homemade plant-based milk)
1 cup grated raw carrot
1/2 to 3/4 cup frozen cauliflower rice (or steamed-then-frozen if needed for better digestion)
Lakanto sugar-free powdered monkfruit sweetener, Swerve confectioners’, or sweetener of choice, adjusted to taste
optional toppings: candied ginger, diced dark chocolate (Giddy Yo 72% cacao Moka Crunch bar) or chocolate-covered golden berries, granola, bee pollen, tahini (here) or nut butter, berries, or toppings of choice
*Note: Another option is to omit the kefir, increase almond milk to 1/3 cup, and add a couple tablespoons homemade probiotic coconut yogurt (or Greek yogurt).
Put oats, protein, collagen, chia seeds, maca, mushroom powder, and cinnamon in a bowl or single-serving mason jar and stir to combine.
Add kefir, milk, carrots, and cauliflower, 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.
Chocolate Carrot Cake Overnight 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. Below I topped my oats with blueberries, lemon ginger granola, Giddy Yo chocolate-covered golden berries, and tahini.