Baked oatmeal, for a crowd or for a week, with all the flavors of your favorite carrot cake and a lightly sweetened crunchy nut topping. This is one of those rare dishes that qualifies as both comfort food and health food.
Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
Preheat oven to 375º and grease a 2-quart baking dish with coconut oil. In a large bowl, combine oats, baking powder, spices, salt, carrots and raisins and mix well. Transfer oat mixture to prepared baking dish.
Using the same bowl you used for the oats, beat the eggs, then add the almond milk and vanilla and whisk thoroughly. Pour egg mixture over the oats making sure everything is evenly soaked. Place the baking dish in the oven and set a timer for 10 minutes.
While the oatmeal is baking, assemble the crunchy top layer. Combine nuts, seeds, 2 tablespoons coconut oil and maple syrup in a bowl. Mix with your fingers until everything is well coated. When the oatmeal has baked for 10 minutes, remove it from the oven and sprinkle the nut mixture evenly over the top. Return to oven and continue cooking for another 20 minutes. It is done when the oatmeal is just set and the nuts are nicely toasted. Let cool slightly before serving.
When grating (or purchasing pre-grated/shredded) carrots, you're looking for thin flat ribbons as opposed to little matchsticks. The matchsticks may not cook enough to get tender all the way through leaving you with an unpleasant crunch. The large holes on a box grater produce ideal shreds.
A 2-quart baking dish is 8" x 8" or similar (the one I typically use is 8" x 9" and 2.25" deep). I made the mistake of using a 9" x 13" the first time I made this and the oatmeal mixture dried out before the carrots cooked through; however, 9" x 13" is perfect if you want to double the recipe.
***If you have a severe gluten allergy or sensitivity or otherwise are serious about eliminating gluten from your diet, always check your labels carefully and buy certified gluten free products.