Made with rolled oats and freshly grated carrots, these soft and chewy Carrot Cake Granola Bars make the classic sweet treat a healthy part of your day. They’re fun to mix with your hands, then bake while the scent of cinnamon wafts through your kitchen. Keep a batch on hand for the perfect grab-and-go!
You know that feeling when you realize just how vast the world is and how small a piece you are in it? It hit me last week, leaving me amazed by technology. I know I’m a millennial, I grew up with the Internet, but I needed to get that out there.
Looking back at the times we printed directions from MapQuest instead of plugging in Waze cracks me up. One day while cleaning my room I uncovered a bag full of disposable cameras that I never developed. God only knows what’s on them. Comparing that to our digitally-led lives today is pretty insane if you think about it. We constantly have worlds of information in our back pockets. We can instantly see whether a photo is good, not to mention editing it to look even better. But the craziest part to me is the relationships that technology helps us make with people we never would have met otherwise.
Case in point– I found my spirit foodie on Instagram several months ago. One day, she started talking about ways to incorporate more vegetables into your diet without getting bored. If you know me, then you probably know I’m all about that life. Cauliflower rice in smoothies, mixing bowl salads, on top of pizza, in cookies. Trust me, dessert and vegetables are not mutually exclusive.
Like in these Carrot Cake Granola Bars.
You’ve at least got to be familiar with the first part of that. Everyone knows the sweet cake, full of walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon. Maybe you’ve even made it before, dumping in a couple jars of baby food for that smooth puréed carrot component. Do you have a clear image in your mind? Good, now go ahead and erase it all because we’re making these appropriate for breakfast. Or snack time. Really any time of day.
The first time I saw anyone make carrot cake, I was shocked by what’s in it. Could you even taste carrot underneath everything else? Definitely not what I wanted on a regular basis, but now you can finally have your carrot cake and eat it too!
I’m going to make a bold statement here. These granola bars will help you make friends faster than Facebook. They’ve got all the most important parts–
Rolled oats for hearty substance
Carrots for a natural sweet factor
Raisins for extra chew
Walnuts to keep it texturally interesting
Cinnamon and ginger to spice up the conversation
Maple syrup to tie it all together
Pretty much everything I’d want in a friendship, except this one I can dunk in a tall glass of milk.
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment below, save it on Pinterest, or tag #lensesandlentils on Instagram so that I can see your creations!
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ¾ cup grated carrot
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup raisins
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp protein powder, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, then line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Mix the ground flaxseed and water in a cup and let sit for 5 minutes to gel.
- Meanwhile, combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Next, add the flaxseed mixture and maple syrup, stirring to coat everything. Once mixed thoroughly, transfer it to the loaf pan, pressing down with the back of a spoon or the palm of your hand to make even.
- Bake for 23-25 minutes. Leave the granola bars in the pan to cool, then cut into 5 slices.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, or in the freezer.
**Although it's optional, I highly recommend toasting the oats and walnuts! Simply spread them out in a single layer on a pan and bake for about 7 minutes, being careful not to burn them.
***TO MAKE NUT-FREE: substitute pumpkin seeds for the walnuts.