Carrot cake quinoa porridge

This week it’s been overcast and rainy on the Gold Coast, signalling a cool change into winter. Thus meaning only one thing for me at breakfast time: porridge, and quinoa porridge at that!

During the cooler months, it can be a bit boring to just top your porridge with the same ingredients day in day out, so it’s nice to spice it up by adding flavours when cooking. Here’s the first of many porridge flavours for you to enjoy this coming winter… carrot cake!

Creamy carrot cake quinoa porridge. Emma Lauren Food.

Cooking the carrot

It’s important the carrot is cooked through so you’re not eating raw carrot for breakfast. It is also a great way for kids to get some extra vegetables in their daily diet – as they wouldn’t expect to have them hidden in their porridge! Just a little tip, if making it for children grate the carrot even finer and ensure it’s completely mixed in so they won’t see the flecks of orange.

Creamy carrot cake quinoa porridge. Emma Lauren Food.

Creamy consistency!

Cinnamon and nutmeg are warming spices which are ideal to incorporate into your breakfasts on those cooler mornings. These spices, among others, aren’t just for flavouring dishes they are also beneficial to your health.

Creamy carrot cake quinoa porridge. Emma Lauren Food.

Ready to warm you up!

This porridge surprisingly tastes like carrot cake and is a real treat to enjoy for breakfast!

Creamy carrot cake quinoa porridge

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 TBSP coconut yoghurt
  • 1 TBSP raisins
  • 1 TBSP coconut chips or shredded coconut
  • 1 TBSP walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp almond or walnut butter

Method:

  1. Place quinoa, carrot and almond milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until creamy, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger, and continue to cook for two minutes.
  4. Stir through coconut yoghurt, raisins and coconut chips.
  5. Serve in bowl and place chopped walnuts and nut butter on top. Enjoy!

What’s your favourite porridge flavour?

Raw gingerbread tart

Yesterday family friends were coming over for morning tea and there weren’t any healthy treats in the house to enjoy with our morning coffee. This just wouldn’t do! So, I decided to whip up a raw tart and as I wanted to keep with the Christmas theme, gingerbread flavour it was.

I realise I’ve posted two raw tarts in a row but many of you were asking specifically for this recipe to enjoy over Christmas. So, here it is…

Base ingredients

I used sultanas in the base as they add a very natural sweet flavour which contrasts with the ginger spiced filling.

Pressed into the tart pan

As with all my cakes and tarts I always grease and line the pan. This ensures your creation can be easily removed from the pan and all your hard work does not go to waste.

Roasting the walnuts

I acknowledge the maple walnuts are not ‘raw’ however the tart definitely needed something crunchy yet decorative on top. These certainly fit the bill and really enhance the overall aesthetic and flavour of the tart.

Cinnamon and maple syrup flavoured

I like to utilise the same ingredients just in a different way in many of my recipes. I used the same flavours from the tart base for the maple walnuts to ensure the flavours all tied together.

Keep moving them…

It is important to keep moving the walnuts once they are out of the oven the second time around to ensure they don’t stick together.

Morning tea is served

This raw tart will keep in the freezer in a sealed container for up to two weeks.

Raw gingerbread tart

Serves 16

Ingredients:

Base
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 4 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
Filling
  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 2 TBSP ginger, spice
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
Maple walnuts
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 TBSP cinnamon

Method:

  1. Place all base ingredients in a food processor and process for 3 minutes or until crumbly.
  2. Press into a 22cm tart pan which has been lightly greased with coconut oil and lined on the bottom. Smooth with the back of a wet spoon then place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  3. Place all filling ingredients into a Vitamix or food processor and process for 5 minutes or until smooth.
  4. Pour into tart base and even out with a spatula.
  5. Place in the freezer for 1 hour, or until solidified.
  6. Decorate with crushed maple walnuts, cut into 16 slices and serve. Enjoy!
Maple walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Spread walnuts on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  2. Place in the oven and roast for 8–10 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove walnuts from oven and set aside to slightly cool.
  3. Combine the maple syrup and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  4. Add walnuts to the bowl and coat in mixture.
  5. Spread coated walnuts and the rest of the mixture on the same lined baking tray and return to oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven once cooked and with a spoon keep moving for the first few minutes to prevent them from sticking together.
  • If there are maple walnuts left over, enjoy them as a sweet snack!

Are there certain flavours that signify Christmas to you?

Carrot cake oats

Having oats for breakfast day-in-day-out can be monotonous. By varying the spices and fruit I add to my oats, I look forward to breakfast and what bowl of goodness I’ll be enjoying!

I decided to go for warming spices and a vegetable this time – I’ll admit, I was a little scared of putting carrots and oats together but safe to say it actually tastes amazing!

Only need one pan

What I love most about oats is how quickly they cook. In little to no time you have a tasty, healthy and filling breakfast.

Orange oats!

The carrots cook down and release their orange colour which takes over the dish. The raisins provide a sweetness and the walnuts add a slight crunch.

Breakfast is served!

I love the grated apple on top as it adds a fresh tartness to the oats.

Carrot cake oats

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely grated
  • 1/4 cup gluten free rolled oats or regular rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 TBSP raisins
  • 1 TBSP raw walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 green apple, peeled and grated
  • Shredded coconut for sprinking on top

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Cook for 5-7 minutes until creamy, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve in bowl and place grated apple and shredded coconut on top. Enjoy!

Note: you can add a drizzle of honey or 100% pure maple syrup to add a sweet element.

How do you like to mix up the flavour of your oats?

Coconut carrot cake pancakes with cashew lime dressing and maple walnuts

By now you have probably gathered that I love to cook! My favourite part about cooking (besides creating new dishes) is knowing that I’ve created delicious and nutritious food that my family and friends enjoy.

I made these pancakes for Mother’s Day as something special for Mum. Looking around the breakfast table, I loved seeing everyone devouring their stack of goodness and going back for seconds! It just reconfirmed to me that you can eat healthy and still really enjoy tasty food!

Pancakes cooking

I always like to test my food before serving so this little pancake in the middle was mine to taste!

Cashew dressing

This cashew dressing is so easy to make and really lifts the dish! It makes quite a lot but I always like to over cater to ensure everyone is able to enjoy plenty of food.

A MUST to make with this recipe!

The lime really contrasts well with the raisins in the pancakes and the maple walnuts.

Coated in sweet, earthy flavours

I prefer to make my pancakes without any form of sugar. Instead I like to add toppings, such as these maple walnuts, that bring out the flavours in the pancakes.

Maple walnuts

These maple walnuts provide the dish with a crunchy sweetness.

Indulgent breakfast!

Each dish will keep separately in the fridge for up to two days in a sealed container.

Coconut carrot cake pancakes with cashew lime dressing and maple walnuts

Makes 18 pancakes

Ingredients:
Coconut carrot cake pancakes
  • 3 carrots, peeled and finely grated
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • Coconut oil for cooking
Cashew lime dressing
  • 2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup
Maple walnuts
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1/2 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
Method:
Coconut carrot cake pancakes
  1. Mix almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, raisins and desiccated coconut together in a large bowl.
  2. Mix carrots, eggs and almond milk together in a separate bowl.
  3. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and mix well.
  4. Heat a large frypan over medium-high heat and place 1 TBSP coconut oil in the pan.
  5. Spoon batter into small pancakes onto frypan. When you see little bubbles appear flip and continue to cook for 2 minutes, or until completely cooked.
Cashew lime dressing
  1. Combine cashews, water, lime juice, vanilla and maple syrup in a food processor/Vitamix/blender. Process on high until smooth.
  2. Place in a serving bowl and in the fridge until serving time.
Maple walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Spread walnuts on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  2. Place in the oven and roast for 8–10 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove walnuts from oven and set aside to slightly cool.
  3. Combine the maple syrup and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  4. Add walnuts to the bowl and coat in mixture.
  5. Spread coated walnuts and the rest of the mixture on the same lined baking tray and return to oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven once cooked and with a spoon keep moving for the first few minutes to prevent them from sticking together.

Note: you can make the batter the night before to save time in the morning – keep it covered and refrigerated overnight!

Have you too had a moment that reconfirms your healthy lifestyle?

Apple and pear baked oatmeal

A lot of people find breakfast boring, probably because they eat the same thing day-in-day-out. Personally, this is my favourite meal of the day! So much so, two friends and I used to go out to brunch once a week – it was a great opportunity to try out many different cafes and to catch up!

I find I have a lot of inspiration in the morning and always loving knowing that I have started my day off with a great meal.

All the dry ingredients

This is such a hearty, warming breakfast. I will definitely be making this more often, yet I’ll mix up different flavours just to keep it interesting.

Dry and wet ingredients mixed

Dry and wet ingredients mixed

To give it extra flavour I used vanilla extract. There is often a lot of confusion as to what the difference is between vanilla extract and vanilla essence.

Putting it simply, vanilla extract is made from real vanilla pods and vanilla essence is commercially manufactured using chemicals. I definitely prefer to use the former!

All set for the oven

All set for the oven

This is the perfect dish to make ahead. Either make a large batch on the weekend so it is an easy breakfast during the week, or make it the night before so it’s all set to be baked in the morning.

Topped with coconut yoghurt and honey - all ready to be eaten!

Topped with coconut yoghurt and honey – all ready to be eaten!

I love these Le Creuset ramekins my sisters gifted me for Christmas a few years ago (they know me so well!). I find them the perfect size for a meal.

Apple and pear baked oatmeal

Serves 5

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds*
  • 2 green apples, diced
  • 1 pear, diced
  • 2 TBSP desiccated coconut
  • 2 TBSP raisins
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups almond milk*
  • 2 TBSP honey, extra for drizzling on top once cooked
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • Coconut yoghurt, to top the baked oatmeal*

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and prepare 5 ramekins or one large baking dish*. 
  2. Mix the oats, chia seeds, apples, pears, coconut, raisins and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  3. Stir in the almond milk, honey and vanilla.
  4. Spoon into the prepared dish/es and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, uncovered.
  5. Once cooked, remove from oven and top with a dollop of coconut yoghurt and a drizzle of honey.

*Notes:

  • I didn’t grease the ramekins, the baked oatmeal didn’t stick to them either once cooked.
  • You can replace the chia seeds with oats – make it 1 3/4 cups of oats instead of 1 1/3 cups.
  • Use natural yoghurt in place of the coconut yoghurt – however this won’t be dairy free.
  • Also, use whole milk instead of almond milk – again, this won’t be dairy free.

These will keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. When reheating, just add a splash of almond milk to ensure it doesn’t dry out. Either place in the oven for 5-7 minutes or the microwave for 1 minute. I personally prefer the oven however I completely understand if you’re time poor the microwave is more convenient.

Enjoy these little pots of joy!