Shredded vegetables add flavor and fiber to this healthy Carrot Cake Granola! With every bite, you’ll get hints of sweet carrots coupled with the subtle anise flavor of parsnips. Pair this gluten free granola recipe with yogurt or almond milk for a delicious breakfast.
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Happy hump day Veg World! I jumped out of bed this morning and just couldn’t wait to get this carrot cake granola recipe up on the blog for you. There’s a lot going on in this one, and it’s all delicious!
I made this recipe with fellow carrot cake lovers in mind, who…ya know…want to eat cake for breakfast too. And I got some inspiration from one of our favorite cookbooks: Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. There’s an amazing recipe for honey cardamom granola in there, and I just can’t get enough of it.
So, since I’m now a granola addict, I set out to make a flavorful, veggie-loaded version for all of you veggie enthusiasts.
First, you have the amazing flavors of carrot cake (carrots, pecans, cinnamon, and coconut…oh my!). But then I took it to the next level and added a few rogue ingredients, namely parsnips and cardamom. If you haven’t tried cardamom, now’s your chance. It’s an excellent addition to any spice cabinet! (It may also have a number of health benefits…check out my article on Healthline about cardamom if you’re interested.)
The final result is incredibly flavorful with a wonderful, crunchy texture. I hope you enjoy my take on carrot cake granola as much as I do!
How to Make Carrot Cake Granola
If you’re new to making granola, don’t fret…it’s actually SUPER easy. To make this recipe:
- Mix together the oats, pecans, coconut, shredded carrots and parsnips, cardamom, cinnamon, and sea salt in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl or measuring together, whisk together the honey, olive oil, and vanilla extract. (Yup, I use olive oil in this recipe and it works really well! Check out the Healthy Olive Oil Zucchini Bread for another way to use olive oil in baking.). Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the dry ones and stir until coated.
- Spread the granola out on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Pop in the oven!
Expert Tips for Perfect Granola
My number one tip for making good granola is to make sure you don’t set the oven temperature too high. The right temp (about 275°F) will ensure that the granola cooks evenly and doesn’t burn.
You also want to use parchment paper to line your baking sheet so you don’t end up with burnt granola that’s stuck to the pan! (That’s the worst…am I right?)
Finally, it’s really important to let the granola cool completely before you try to eat it or transfer it to containers. When you first take it out of the oven, you might think it needs more time because it’s not “crunchy” yet. However, it usually doesn’t need to cook more and just needs to cool.
After 15 minutes of letting it cool, the granola should be crunchy and you should be able to break it up into clumps. The final product can be stored in a glass jar or container at room temperature for several days, but I doubt it will last that long ;-).
By the way, to make sure this carrot cake granola is gluten free, use certified gluten free oats. You can also make it vegan by substituting maple syrup for honey. If you don’t have cardamom, use ground ginger or pumpkin pie spice.
Ways to Use Carrot Cake Granola
Once you have your granola stash, you can:
- pair it with plain Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey (my personal fav)
- eat it like cereal with milk
- serve it over ice cream
- sprinkle it on top of an apple with peanut butter
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More Healthy Recipes Using Oats
- Spiced Parsnip and Apple Baked Oatmeal
- Zucchini Carrot Oat Muffins
- Spinach Banana Muffins
- Individual Microwave Parsnip Pear Crisp
- Spiced Oat and Butternut Squash Muffins
- Chocolate Cherry Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear how you like it! Please rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments section.
Carrot Cake Granola
- 2 cups old fashioned oats - certified gluten free
- 1 cup chopped pecans - can sub other nuts
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup grated carrots - about 1-2 carrots
- 1 cup grated parsnips - about 1-2 parsnips
- 1/2 tsp cardamom - can sub ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, pecans, coconut, grated carrots and parsnips, cardamom, cinnamon, and sea salt. Pour in the honey, olive oil, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
- Transfer to the lined baking sheet and spread the mixture into an even layer. Bake for 40 minutes, turning it over with a spatula at 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let the granola cool entirely (at least 15 minutes). Break it into clumps and store in glass containers in a cool dry area. Enjoy!
- If you don't have parsnips, just double the amount of carrots.
- Sub maple syrup for honey to make this vegan.
- This granola can last for a couple of weeks at room temperature, but I bet you'll eat it sooner than that!
- Serve with milk, yogurt, ice cream, or sprinkled over fruit.
Enjoy! – Lizzie
This recipe was originally published in February 2019. It was updated in March 2020.