Carrot Coconut Oatmeal

I don’t normally make recipes with quite so many servings, however this is one that I like to make a big batch of on Sunday night and then enjoy it throughout the week. You put it in the slow-cooker the night before so it is ready by the time you wake up. This also works well if you have kids or house guests and need a quick breakfast in the morning. I tested this recipe with both rolled oats and steel cut oats. The rolled oats pretty much disintegrated after 6 hours in the slow cooker so it made a big bowl of mush. It was still tasty but didn’t quite have the desired texture. Therefore, I recommend using steel cut oats. They hold together better and give it a nice chewy texture. You can grease the sides of the slow-cooker before you add the ingredients if you wish, but it is not necessary. The oatmeal will probably stick to the sides a little, depending on your slow-cooker. I’d recommend using a little non-stick spray or coconut oil if you use anything, but don’t feel like you have to, I never do. *Gluten-Free: oats are naturally gluten-free, however they are usually processed on the same equipment as wheat and other gluten containing grains. If you are following a strict gluten-free diet then make sure to buy gluten-free oats. Bob’s Red Mill is one company that offers them. If you only have a minor gluten allergy then you may be fine with regular oats.

Makes: 10 cups (about 8 servings)

Preparation time: 20m
Cooking time: 20m
Total time: 8h20m


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shredded carrot (1-3 large carrots)
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (1-2 large zucchini)
  • 2 cups steel cut oats (gluten-free if desired)
  • 1 cup frozen kale
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 7 cups water
  • 8 pitted dates (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon almond extract and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut (optional)
  • 1/2 cup toasted nuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds (If you add more than 1/4 cup add a little extra water)

Equipment: slow cooker


Instructions:

  1. First, you need to chop/shred the carrot and zucchini. You can do this several ways, either: 1. use a knife and cut into small pieces, 2. use a cheese grater to shred it, 3. place them into a blender/food processor and use the chop setting.
  2. Place the shredded carrot and zucchini into a slow cooker, along with the oats, kale, coconut milk, water, chopped dates, ground flax seeds, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (depending on your slow-cooker). Some slow-cookers are hotter than others, and some have a "keep warm" setting. If yours has a "keep warm" setting that kicks in automatically after the cooking time finishes, then I recommend using this and setting the timer for 6 hours. That way it'll still be warm when you get up after a full night's sleep.
  4. Serve with toasted coconut, toasted nuts and raisins and let people add as much as they want. I add about 1 tablespoon of each (coconut, nuts and raisins) to each serving.

My recipe was inspired by the “Vegan Carrot Cake & Zucchini Bread Oatmeal” recipe from Kathy Hester's cookbook, The Vegan Slow Cooker.