Carrot, Zucchini, Apple Oatmeal Bake
I know, this sounds like an awkward combination but work with me here. Everyone loves zucchini bread, you don’t taste savory and it brings a wonderful texture and softness to a bread. Carrot cake is so freaking good, no one really questions that, only if it has coconut shreds or not (I’m a hard no for those shreds). And apples make everything better, so why not have them crash together in a wonderful breakfast you can feel good about. It was totally inspired by a quick bread from Mom on Timeout, I have made several times and the whole family has enjoyed so I know the combo works. From there, I just tweaked my other two oatmeal bakes and came up with this beauty.
If you are looking to make this ahead of time, just prep all the dry and wet components the day before and store separately. When you are ready to bake, combine as the recipe describes. I had a friend do this and she said it worked out perfectly. A celebration of Spring flavors that can be enjoyed all year long for brunches, make ahead breakfasts, and can even be frozen in individual portions. This is also kid approved, albeit very skeptical faces when I told them to try it. I was hoping purple carrots would make it colorful enough to draw them in. Thankfully my girls are usually up to try things at least once before refusing and they enjoyed it!
Carrot, Zucchini, Apple Oatmeal Bake
2 cups rolled oats (Old Fashioned), GF if necessary
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 large eggs or flax eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 can (15 oz) coconut milk
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or preferred milk)
1/2 apple, diced (about 1 cup)
1 medium zucchini, shredded and liquid squeezed out (about 1 cup)
2 large carrots, shredded (about 1 cup)
9-12 walnut halves to garnish, optional
- Preheat the oven to 375 and spray a baking dish with oil, use an 8x8 or 9x13 dish.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients - oats, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamon, walnuts, chia, salt. Either store at this point or pour into the baking dish.
- Using the same bowl, whisk the wet ingredients - apple sauce, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut milk, and almond milk. Once combined, add in the apples, zucchini, and carrots.
- Slowly pour about 1/3 of the wet mixture on top of the dry in the baking dish. Stir to combine and level out with a spatula. Pour the remaining wet mixture over the top and arrange the walnut halves on top to form a pattern.
- Carefully place in oven and bake until set. 8x8 is about 1 hour and 9x13 is 40-45 minutes. Check for doneness by pressing your finger in the middle of the bake to see if it is still liquidy. Cool completely before slicing.
All the dry stuff gets to get mixed up in a bowl, pretty simple.
Then pour the dry mix into a baking dish that has been sprayed. I used an 8x8 glass dish but this bake is pretty hefty, I would suggest a 9x13 dish.
For the wet ingredients, I just used the same bowl as I did the dry so any spices that stuck to the bowl would be picked up in this mix. Also, whisk all the wet elements before adding the apples and veggies because it is hard to whisk with them included. You will want it to be smooth and get as many coconut milk chunks broken up. Then just stir in the apples, carrots, and zucchini.
Remember to squeeze out the excess liquid on the zucchini, otherwise it will be very soggy. I just squeezed it between my hands in a couple batches over the sink
Pour a third to a half of the wet stuff into the dry, mix it up, and level it out. That way, there is no dry layer left after you bake and it allows for the flavors to be throughout the bake.
Next, pour the remaining wet over the top and garnish with some walnut halves if you like. Lastly bake this pretty dish! When it is done, let it cool pretty well before slicing into it so it holds it’s shape. You can slice and freeze (wrap each slice in cling wrap and store in a freezer bag). Or you can store this in the fridge to enjoy throughout the week. To warm, just pop it into a microwave for a minute once thawed.