Last summer, in the blazing heat, I made an enormously decadent cream-cheese frosted layered carrot cake. It was absolutely fantastic, but sometimes I crave the challenge of making something secretively healthy (and not cloyingly sweet) that still packs that satisfying punch. In other words, I want to eat cake for breakfast and not feel bad about it.
I love a good quick-bread, especially for breakfast, slathered with nut or seed butter and washed down with a hot mug of coffee. This Carrot Breakfast Bread scratches that itch for me. It’s packed with carrots, pulsed oats, and a touch of yogurt, oil, and fruit (I used up the last of the charoset that I made for Passover). It’s sweetened with agave and chopped dates, and simply feels right to eat first thing in the morning.
I was feeling lazy (and efficient, mind you), so I used my blender to speed up the preparation time. First, I pulsed my oats in the clean, dry blender. After that I grated my carrots in there, and then I mixed my wet ingredients together in the blender. Just a few pulses and some mixing together by hand and that’s it.
Of course, if you are not a fan of unfrosted carrot cake, you could always enjoy this healthy carrot bread frosted with Love and Lemon’s cream cheese frosting. It’s all about balance.
Healthy Carrot Breakfast Bread
adapted from LoveandLemons
2 cups flour, I used 1c. oat flour (pulverized oats in the blender until they turned to flour) and 1c. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
spices: 1 T. cinnamon, 1/4 t. cloves, 1 t. ground ginger, 1/2 t. nutmeg, pinch of salt
1 lb. carrots, peeled
1/2 cup of agave
1/4 cup canola oil or coconut oil
1/4 cup plain yogurt, I used plain, low-fat Stonyfield yogurt
1/4 cup applesauce or mashed/pureed fruit such as banana
1/4-1/2 cup dates, pitted and chopped dates
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly dust a loaf pan with flour.
I used a blender for this recipe; you could also use a food processor. Grind your oats in the blender until they look like flour. Transfer to a bowl and whisk together the 1 cup of oat flour with the 1 cup of all-purpose or whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
Take your peeled carrots and chop them into rough bite-sized pieces. You will need to do this next step in batches: throw a small amount of the carrots into the blender and pulse until a fine chop (not totally a puree but not giant carrot chunks…somewhere in the middle). Dump the finely chopped carrots into a large bowl. ***Note: you could also grate the carrots by hand, but I was lazy.
Next in the blender go the eggs, agave, oil, yogurt, and applesauce. Pulse for about 20 seconds until everything blends together. Pour this mixture into the carrots and stir it all together with a rubber spatula.
Add the dry mix to the wet and fold with a rubber spatula until it all comes together. Fold in the chopped dates. Dump everything into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with some cinnamon and maybe a dash of sugar on top. Bake for about 50 minutes to an hour, rotating half-way through baking.
Serve for breakfast with some sunflower or almond butter and a hot mug of coffee or tea.