I used pecans rather than the usual walnut because they have a buttery taste that stands out against the natural, earthy flavor of the carrots and oats. They also remind me of when I was living in New Orleans and would gorge myself on pralines and pecan pie.
A few years ago, I discovered mashed banana as a great binding agent for vegan and gluten-free baked goods. It produces that moist texture usually provided by eggs, butter, or oil in traditional recipes, and it won’t overpower the carrot flavor.
Although easier, avoid buying shredded carrots and opt for finely grating them yourself. It only takes a few minutes and the soft, tender grated pieces will make the batter extra smooth. I also find that this lets the oats and pecans provide the texture while the carrots provide the flavor.
If you’re gluten-free, simply substitute the whole-wheat flour for gluten-free flour and use gluten-free oats. If you’re looking to sweeten it up, cut the pecans to 1/4 cup and add in 1/4 cup of your favorite vegan chocolate chips.
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 rolled oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup finely grated carrots
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Combine baking soda, baking powder, whole-wheat flour, rolled oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt. Mix together.
3. Add almond milk, applesauce, mashed banana, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Stir until evenly combined and a batter forms.
4. Slowly stir in grated carrots and pecan pieces.
5. Pour in thoroughly coated 9″x5″ pan and top with pecan pieces.
6. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
7. Let cool for 15 minutes. Slice and serve plain or with vegan butter.
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Photo: Addie Zoller