Loaded with grated carrots, raisins and cinnamon flavor these carrot cake overnight oats taste like cake for breakfast! Vegan and gluten-free.
Spring is here and I’m so excited for fresh produce, visits to the farmers market and moving towards light and fresh foods (yeah, salads) instead of the heavy comfort foods we crave throughout the winter.
I hope you’re ready for the transition because today I have a new overnight oats recipe for you! The recipe is very similar to some of my other overnight oatmeal recipes, but with a carrot cake spin.
almond milk – I like using unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but any type of milk (dairy or dairy-free) will work.
grated carrots – can’t have carrot cake overnight oats without carrots! I love the health benefits of carrots. Besides being delicious, they’re high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamin K and potassium.
raisins – for a little sweetness. If you’re not a raisin fan, feel free to skip them!
maple syrup – pure maple syrup is the perfect natural sweetener to use because it’s liquid so it blends in nicely with the oat mixture and I personally love the flavor. Honey or another natural liquid sweetener will work here. If you want to reduce the sugar in this recipe, feel free to use a sugar alternative like stevia or monk fruit.
cinnamon – for a little spice.
vanilla extract andalmond extract – these are optional, but they add such a nice flavor!
unsweetened coconutflakes– this is also optional, but the addition of coconut pairs so nicely with the cinnamon and oats. Highly recommend!
chopped walnuts or pecans – for topping. I love the added crunch the nuts add to the oats.
How to Make
Overnight oats couldn’t get any easier to make! All you have to do is combine all your ingredients (except the toppings) in a bowl or mason jar, mix, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least a few hours.
The next morning, grab your overnight oats from the fridge, give the mixture a big stir and top with your favorite toppings. At this point, you can simply dig right in as overnight oats are meant to be eaten cold. See my note below if you’re not keen on eating cold oats.
This is the fun part! There are so many options for flavor additions. Here are some of my favorites:
My secret to filling overnight oats is to add protein! If you feel like you’re hungry shortly after having oatmeal, try adding protein. I like adding in a little protein powder or Greek yogurt to the mix. My favorite brand of protein powder is Nuzest! Use code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order.
How Long Do Overnight Oats Need to Soak?
Given the name, you’d assume overnight oats need to soak overnight, but you can actually make them in 2-4 hours if you’re in a rush. While it does take some time for the oats to absorb the liquid, they don’t necessarily have to be soaked overnight, especially because these don’t contain chia seeds.
I recommend at least 8 hours for true overnight oats, but there have been mornings where I decide I want overnight oats for breakfast even though I didn’t prep them the night before. When this happens I’ll make them the morning of and let the oats soak for just 2-4 hours. With this quick soak, they’re not as soft as overnight oats that have soaked longer and they’re a bit more liquidy, but they’re still delicious.
Can You Eat Them Hot?
Short answer, yes! You can definitely warm up overnight oats, but the whole point of overnight oats is to eat them cold like muesli. Even if you think cold oats sound strange, I recommend giving it shot before you write them off. Of course, if you simply can’t do the cold oats you can always heat them up. Just pop the overnights oats in your microwave, cooking in 30-second increments until the oats are warm throughout and enjoy.
How Long Do Overnight Oats Last?
When stored in an airtight container in the fridge overnight oats should last for up to 5 days. They will soften more the longer they sit so I find they’re best on days 1-3, but they’re still safe to eat on days 4 and 5. With this said, overnight oats are great for meal prep. Feel free to make a whole batch for the week on Sunday. I like prepping them in wide mouth 16 oz mason jars.
1Tablespoonchopped walnuts or pecans , for topping
Place all ingredients except the nuts in a container and stir until well combined. Seal with a lid and place in the fridge overnight (or at least a couple hours).
Bring out of the fridge in the morning and stir. You'll notice that the oats soak up a lot of the liquid so you may want to add a little more almond milk before serving. Top oats with chopped nuts and serve.
Almond milk: Feel free to use any dairy or non-dairy milk of choice.
Maple syrup: Honey or another natural liquid sweetener will work here as well. If you want to reduce the sugar in this recipe, feel free to use a sugar alternative like stevia or monk fruit.
Want to add protein? Add a scoop of protein powder or 1/4 cup Greek yogurt and reduce the milk to 1/2 cup.