If you’re on a mission to normalize eating nutrient-dense versions of carrot cake muffins, cookies, baked oats, and the like for breakfast, you’ve come to the right place. Not only are carrots packed with vitamins and minerals that can get you off to a good start, some of the commonly used ingredients in carrot cake are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties, making them a great choice for early mornings.
“Thanks to their orange hue, carrots are a great source of the antioxidant beta-carotene that is converted to vitamin A in the body,” says registered dietitian Maggie MichalczykRDN, the founder and recipe developer behind Once upon a time there was a pumpkin† According to Michalczyk, vitamin A not only has antioxidant properties, but is also important for your eyesight, cell health and immunity, among other functions. “Carrots are also a great source of fiber, biotin, vitamin K, and potassium,” she adds. Fiber is a great morning nutrient as it helps you stay regular and fights inflammation. Biotin, or vitamin B7, plays a key role in maintaining your body’s energy levels, while vitamin K helps with bone strength and potassium helps your body regulate fluids.
But the carrots aren’t the only inflammation-fighting ingredient in these carrot cake breakfast recipes. “Nuts typically found in carrot cake are a strong source of protein and healthy fats, which are important parts of an energizing breakfast. And spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves also contain anti-inflammatory properties,” says Michalcyzk.
If you’re looking for super-nutritious ways to incorporate more dessert-like flavors into your morning regimen, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite healthy carrot cake breakfast recipes that will have you, ahem, hopping into the kitchen as soon as your alarm goes off.
7 Anti-Inflammatory Carrot Cake Breakfast Recipes
1. Carrot cake oatmeal breakfast cookies
It’s hard to go wrong with biscuit cake any time of the day, but in the morning, it’s really worth getting up for. This recipe from Erin Lives Whole is packed with protein, fiber and antioxidants, thanks to the rolled oats and oat flour, cinnamon, ginger, carrots, raisins and nuts. Feel free to use whatever kind of nuts you have on hand – almonds and walnuts are traditional, but cashews, pistachios or pecans would be equally divine. The single-ingredient frosting is the (literal) icing on the cake!
Get the recipe: Carrot cake oatmeal breakfast cookies
2. Gluten Free Healthy Carrot Cake Bars
These cream cheese-coated carrot cake bars have the added benefit of being gluten-free, so even those with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity or allergy can join the carrot cake breakfast promotion. Like Ana Ankeny, the recipe developer at The Real Food Dietitians says, “Spring and carrots go together like May and flowers!” The bars are made with freshly grated carrots, warm cinnamon, a handful of walnuts and applesauce, making them particularly moist and tender with a tasty crunch.
Get the recipe: Gluten Free Healthy Carrot Cake Bars
3. Carrot cake oatmeal
Think oatmeal is a snooze-worthy breakfast? Think again. This no-bake carrot cake recipe is a cinch to make—it only takes 10 minutes to make—and just as delicious as the actual carrot cake. By the way, the recipe developer at Krolls Korner, Tawnie, is a true registered dietitian, so you know you’re starting your day off right with this one. We love that she incorporated some crushed pineapple into the dish — talk about the secret oatmeal ingredient you never knew you needed.
Get the recipe: Carrot cake oatmeal
4. Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting
These healthy morning muffins look just like cupcakes, and that’s what we’re here for. Not only do they taste delicious, but they are also completely free of refined sugar if you bake them frosting-free. Do you want to make them gluten free? Go for it: Ambitious Kitchen suggests using chickpea flour (talking about major anti-inflammatory benefits) instead of wheat flour.
Get the recipe: Healthy carrot cake muffins with cream cheese frosting
5. Healthy carrot cake granola
We love this Not Enough Cinnamon granola for its versatility. Add it to oatmeal or yogurt for extra flavor and a great crunch. And where to start with the anti-inflammatory benefits? Almost every ingredient in this breakfast recipe fights free radicals in the body and contains antioxidants, from the rolled oats, coconut flakes and warming spices to the golden raisins and toasted pecans. Pro tip: Keep it in the fridge if you love your granola additional crispy.
Get the recipe: Healthy carrot cake granola
6. Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
We love a well-baked oatmeal for its fantastic crust and gooey center. This easy recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod has quickly become a staple on the morning rotation. We love that it can be used in large batches rather than single-use – and if you’d like to make the oatmeal in muffin tins rather than in a pan so you can take your breakfast on the go, cut the baking time down to about 20 minutes and pull them out when they are golden brown.
Get the recipe: Carrot cake baked oatmeal
7. Carrot Cake Baked Oats With Cashew Cream Cheese
†[This carrot cake baked oats recipe] is full of carrots and oats, so lots of fiber to keep you full and satisfied most of the morning,” says baker, nutrition coach and fitness instructor Sashah Handal on the episode of Alt Baking Boot Camp, adding that the recipe also calls for pecans, which are packed with heart-healthy fats. Those aren’t the only anti-inflammatory ingredients in the recipe, though: You’ll also see cashews, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Oh, and we love the addition of cashew cream cheese.
Get the recipe: Carrot Cake Baked Oats with Cashew Cream Cheese
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