Saturday, September 28, 2013

Before the Rain Came Again, there was Carrot Cake Oatmeal...

After the rainiest of rainy weeks that led into blue skies Saturday morning followed by more thunderstorms and hail that afternoon, I made carrot cake oatmeal for breakfast.

Before the rain came again, I woke up thinking about oatmeal, and wishing that it were still raining that morning, even though Colorado really needed a break from all that rain.  So many areas were badly flooded, with severely damaged highways from Lyons up to Estes Park.

Oatmeal is one of the few cooked breakfasts I remember eating on a regular basis as a kid - as opposed to cold cereal, pop-tarts and frozen waffles - and I've always loved it.  There was no better way to warm up on chilly school mornings than with a bowl of steaming oatmeal with lots of brown sugar.  And although now I eat it three or four times a week with blueberries and no sugar for the nutritional aspect, every so often I have to make it the way I really enjoy it.

As I was getting all the ingredients ready, I thought about what it would taste like if I combined two of my favorite things - oatmeal and carrot cake.  Carrot cake is a close runner up to pumpkiny things this time of year, and I'm really not sure which I like better.

I often requested carrot cake for my birthday, and I'm a little bit of a purist, I suppose, when it comes to my recipe, with lots and lots of carrots, plenty of spices, and toasted pecans.  You won't find any coconut, raisins or pineapple in my carrot cake.

But for a perfectly delightful fall breakfast, though, the combination of all of those ingredients (except pineapple) in oatmeal, sounded simply fantastic, and so, out came the oats, carrots, raisins and coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves, vanilla and milk, and to top it all off, a spoonful of cream cheese and a sprinkling of toasted pecans.

To say it tasted good would be an injustice to how wonderful it was.  Not your every day bowl of oatmeal, to be certain, but one that welcomes fall with open arms.

One Year Ago:   Orange Marmalade Muffins with Brown Sugar Streusel
Two Years AgoCookies 'n' Cream Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely grated
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • pinch of cloves and nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature, beaten until smooth
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

In a saucepan, combine the oats, carrots, raisins, coconut, brown sugar and spices.  Stir in the milk and vanilla.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to medium low and cook until thick and creamy, about 4-5 minutes.

Spoon into bowls and top with a spoonful of cream cheese and the pecans.

Yields 4 servings

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen