Enjoy carrot cake for breakfast with these healthy carrot cake overnight oats jars. With a combination of fresh carrots, maple syrup, warming spices, raisins (optional), and tangy yogurt "frosting" layer, these healthy carrot oats are packed with flavor, nutrients, and taste! Plus, enjoy this recipe gluten-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, and/or vegan with just 5 minutes of prep!
Rinse, peel (if necessary), and grate the carrot using the medium holes on a box grater OR grating disk in a food processor (the latter takes literal seconds!). If you use the smallest grater option, the carrot seems to get lost and struggles to retain texture within the overnight oats mixture.
Combine the carrot with the oats, chia seeds, milk, spices, and raisins (if using). You could also add a small handful of chopped/crushed pecans. Stir well and set aside for a minimum of 1 hour (for chewy oats and more soupy/cereal-like results)or up to 8 hrs (or overnight, for thicker, tender results).You can do this directly in the jars or in a larger bowl and transfer to jars after soaking.
Step 2: Prepare the Sweetened Yogurt Layer
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt of your choice with the sweetener and vanilla extract and mix well. Taste and adjust the sweetener if preferred.
Set the mixture aside to soak for at least 2 hours – or overnight.
Step 3: Assemble the Overnight Oats Jars
Give the carrot cake overnight oats a final "mix." Then divide the mixture between your jars.
Top it up with the yogurt mixture and the toppings of your choice. I used some pecans, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and edible flowers.If you want to decorate your jars with carrot slices as I did, use a little sticky syrup like honey (or a vegan sticky syrup) as a "glue" to stick them to the side of your (dry!) jar.
How To Make Ahead and Store
Make ahead: overnight oats make for a fantastic meal-prep breakfast, and these carrot cake oats are no different. You can make them 4-5 days in advance when fully compiled. Store: once assembled, store the carrot cake overnight oats jars covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I don’t recommend freezing overnight oats!
Adjust the carrot texture: finely grated carrot practically melts into the oats and is almost unnoticeable. Whereas medium/large grated pieces will retain their texture and add a little crunch to the carrot cake oatmeal.
Enjoy the overnight oats warm: do this before adding any toppings to the oats. Warm them in the microwave for 60-90 seconds (based on the power of your machine).
Adjust the texture: several factors impact the texture of these carrot cake overnight oats. The first is how long they're left to soak for (2 hr will be chewy and liquidy, overnight or longer will be more combined and tender with just a slight chew and thicker/less liquidy). The ratio of liquid to oats will also impact the final texture. As will the addition of yogurt, if mixed into the main oats mixture. Feel free to experiment to find your perfect balance if desired.
For thicker overnight oats: use a 1:1 ratio of oats to milk (i.e., 1 cup milk to 1 cup oats).
Adjust the sweetener: I usually rely on the raisin sweetness for the main carrot cake oat layer and then sweeten the yogurt layer to function as my healthy "frosting." However, if you have a sweet tooth, add a little to the oats too.
Salt: just a tiny pinch of salt in the overnight oats’ mixture can help to enhance the flavors.
Ground ginger: just a pinch added to the carrot oat mixture.
Zucchini: yes, I’m suggesting you add a SECOND veggie to these overnight oats. By finely grating zucchini (around ¼ cup) into the oats, you’ll hardly be able to tell it's there but still get all its benefits! It's a win-win!
Pineapple: just a tablespoon or so (per portion) of pineapple can help to add extra flavor and sweetness.
Shredded coconut: to add texture and healthy fats, you could add 1-2 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut to the carrot oatmeal (per portion).
Protein powder: you could add ½ a scoop (per serving) of plain or vanilla protein powder to the carrot cake oatmeal layer. It will thicken the oats more, so add extra liquid if desired.
Cream cheese: fairy-free or not. For more of a cream cheese "frosting" feel to the yogurt layer, you could substitute around 1 teaspoon yogurt for cream cheese.
Other toppings: hemp seeds, cacao nibs, extra shredded coconut, a drizzle of nut/seed butter, etc.
Sugar-free: use a sugar-free sweetener like stevia, monk fruit, erythritol, or a sugar-free maple alternative. You can also omit the raisins, which are high in sugars.
Check the blog post for more ingredient notes and answers to top FAQs!