Grated Carrot Cake Overnight Oats (Vegan)
If you love carrot cake as much as I do, you will LOVE these vegan carrot cake overnight oats! Made with simple ingredients like grated carrot, walnuts and oat milk, sweetly spiced with just the right amount of crunch. Plus, they’re low FODMAP and gluten free (with a nut free option) so everyone can enjoy them.
You know, looking back, it all makes sense: carrot cake has been my favourite since I was a kid, so I was probably always destined to be a dietitian. Well, that…and my unnatural love of green leafy vegetables since birth, ha!
In the spirit of knowing thy (my!) self, I’ve realized that I tend to go on these food jags where I hyperfixate on a certain food for a while and these days it’s definitely overnight oats. With two kids and a biz to run, I understand when someone says they’re too busy in the mornings. Right now, I need something in the fridge I don’t have to think about before the coffee has kicked in.
So I’ve been happily dreaming up new flavours like my creamy tiramisu overnight oats, protein-rich brownie batter overnight oats or banana peanut butter overnight oats, my spin on another childhood fave. And while you’ll have to wait a little while longer for my take on carrot cake (April 2023! Shh!!) I couldn’t resist giving overnight oats a carrot cake makeover right NOW.
I’m starting to really geek out about it too: when I’m designing these plant-based recipes, I try to keep in mind that everyone has a different take on overnight oats. Some want a larger, hearty portion…but others want something for a smaller appetite. Others love a creamy, porridge-like consistency…while others are mush-averse and looking for more texture.
These vegan carrot cake overnight oats were designed with texture in mind: the fresh grated carrot retains its delicate crunch even when soaked overnight and along with the chopped walnuts, the oats are perfectly hydrated, but never mushy!
Plus, the serving size is great for smaller morning appetites or for those who want a hearty overnight oats snack…which now that I think about it means they would also be great as a post-workout snack: each serving has 10 grams of plant-based protein with carbohydrates from whole grains!
These overnight oats are gluten free – when using certified gluten free oats – as well as low FODMAP. I’ve got plenty of low FODMAP recipes on the blog, and if you need more, pick up a copy of Good For Your Gut, which contains gut-friendly recipes, including more than 30 low FODMAP options!
Raid your pantry to make these vegan carrot cake overnight oats!
Chances are, you already have all of these 10 basic pantry ingredients like cinnamon and almond butter already in your kitchen, but just in case, I’ve added a few simple substitutions.
- Oats: I always use traditional rolled oats because I think they give the best texture, hearty, thick and satisfying. Quick rolled oats totally work but if you prefer steel cut oats, it’s best to use my specially designed steel cut overnight oats recipe and then just tweak the flavours.
- Oat milk: you can absolutely use any plant-based milk you prefer. I chose oat milk because it’s creamy and rich and low FODMAP-friendly but if you want more protein, use unsweetened soy milk and if you want something lighter, choose almond milk.
- Carrots: I like to use fresh grated carrot here as it has more moisture than store-grated carrots. Want to save time when making larger batches? You could absolutely grate a bunch of carrots in your food processor and then freeze any leftovers in ¼ cup portions.
- Almond butter: I feel like the flavour of almond butter blends well here, but you could just as easily make these with peanut butter if that’s what you have on hand. And, if you need a nut free option, try tahini or sunflower butter.
- Maple syrup: I love the flavour of maple syrup in these oats but cane sugar works well too as a budget-friendly option. If you need a low sugar option, try a bit of monk fruit sweetener or stevia.
- Spices and flavour: I use vanilla, cinnamon and allspice for a more true carrot cake flavour as well as a pinch of salt – don’t overlook it! You wouldn’t make a cake or cookie without salt, would you?
- Optional toppings: people have strong feelings about including raisins and nuts in carrot cake. I’m not gonna tell you how to live your life…but in this recipe, I love both!
How to make these carrot cake overnight oats in just 5 minutes
In addition to being a near-effortless make-ahead breakfast, overnight oats win major bonus points because there is zero technique involved: just stir and refrigerate!
Step One: whisk together the wet ingredient base – oat milk, almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice and salt – and then stir in the oats and carrot and raisins and nuts if using.
Step Two: transfer to a jar, cover and refrigerate overnight…or up to 4-5 days! Enjoy cold on-the-go or warm on the stove or in the microwave.
Why overnight oats are so, so good for you
Overnight oats make it so easy to eat a nutrient-dense plant-based breakfast on the go! In fact, they’re one of my favourite ways to eat rolled oats, which are a plant-based staple for a reason. Rolled oats are packed with nutrition benefits like soluble beta-glucan fibre, which is particularly good for gut health, in part because they feed the gut microbiome.
There is a lot of weird misinformation about oats on the internet these days…so know that not only are these a healthy way to start your day, I always design my overnight oats recipes with balance in mind. What does that even mean? Including extra fibre, healthy fats and proteins from nuts, seeds and nut butters because this helps you feel more full and satisfied, while supporting more balanced blood sugars.
And these yummy carrot cake overnight oats are no exception: each serving contains 7 grams of fibre, 10 grams of protein and 2.6 milligrams of iron in a serving suitable for smaller appetites…or enjoyed as a hearty snack or post-workout meal!
Desiree’s tips, tricks and substitutions
- In a rush? You could probably eat these oats in as little as 4 hours…but soaking them overnight gives them the best texture. And they’ll last 4-5 days in the fridge so go ahead and make a week’s worth in one go!
- Prefer your oats warm? Just warm with a splash of water in a small pot, or microwave in 30 second increments in a microwave safe bowl.
- Want a boost of protein? If you’re not low FODMAP, add 4 grams of protein by using unsweetened soy milk instead of oat milk. Even more? Add a tablespoon of hemp hearts for a boost of protein, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids.
- YES, these overnight oats are low FODMAP, including the toppings! Just ensure you use a low FODMAP oat or almond milk and stick to peanut or almond butter, both of which are low FODMAP in a 1 tablespoon serving.
More nourishing vegan overnight oats recipes
- High Protein Overnight Oats
- High Fibre Steel Cut Overnight Oats
- Blackberry Pie Overnight Oats
- 5 Minute Blueberry Chia Overnight Oats
Grated Carrot Cake Overnight Oats (Vegan)
- ½ cup oat milk, or soy milk if not low FODMAP
- ⅓ cup rolled oats, gluten free if needed
- ¼ cup grated carrot
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, optional, to taste
- 1 tablespoon almond butter, or your favourite nut or seed butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch allspice
- pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts, or pecans or sunflower seeds
- In a bowl, whisk together the wet ingredient base – oat milk, almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice and salt – and then stir in the oats and carrot and raisins and nuts if using.
- Transfer to a jar, fasten lid and refrigerate overnight, or up to 5 days. Enjoy cold or warm gently in a pot or in the microwave-safe bowl.