The word "BRUNCH" has come up with clients quite a few times in the last few weeks. For example:
"I think I ate five pounds of bacon, French toast and syrup at brunch on Thanksgiving weekend,"
"Christmas Day brunch probably set me back a few weeks' of progress toward my weight loss goals and slowed my 5K time by about a minute per mile."
These may be slight exaggerations, but brunch is synonymous with overdoing it. Who doesn't love a special sweet and starchy something on the holiday brunch buffet? That said, your New Year's Day brunch need not completely derail your health and fitness goals.
This Baked Carrot Cake Oatmeal--adapted from a recipe by the fabulous Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows--is hearty and tasty, all while providing plenty of whole grains, nutritious nuts and even a vegetable in the form of real carrots! Add it to your buffet to crowd out some of the starchier, bacon-y-er options on your plate. Let me know if you give this one a try:
Baked Carrot Cake Oatmeal
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk, plus up to another 1/2 cup, divided
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- About 2 cups lightly packed grated carrots (3 large carrots)
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger (you could use a teaspoon of ground, but it won't have the fresh, delicious ZING of the real deal)
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnut halves
- 2 Tablespoons of raw pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas)
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk (light or full fat)
In a large bowl, mix together the rolled oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt.
In a measuring cup, measure out 2 1/2 cups almond milk and maple, and add the vanilla. Whisk together well and pour it over the oats, stirring well till combined. Allow to soak at least a half hour, up to overnight.
When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 375F and lightly grease a 9x9 casserole (or Pyrex dish or other dish about this size). I used coconut oil but you can use another light flavored oil.
Grate the ginger and carrots on a box grater or in a food processor, and then stir them into the oat and milk mixture with the walnuts and pumpkin seeds. If the mix is very dry from soaking, add a bit more milk to loosen the mixture, up to a half cup.
Pour the mixture into your dish and press it down gently. Pour the coconut milk over the top of the oats.
Bake uncovered for about 35 minutes, and allow to cool about 10 minutes (if you can wait!) before serving. Leftovers are delicious cold, room temp or heated with additional milk.