With the sun soon setting on my restful break back home in the suburbs of South Florida, I found myself stuck between a rock and a 10 lb bag of carrots. Allow me to provide some context. This summer, I’ve been volunteering at The Soup Kitchen in Boca Raton and each week I’ve been awed by the sheer quantity of donations from local businesses, especially that of Publix bakeries. Having tested my better judgment on multiple occasions already this summer, a bar of Publix carrot cake spotted on one of my shifts at the Soup Kitchen was precisely what sparked the creation of the first version of this recipe. Like their sprinkle sugar cookies, Publix’s carrot cake gets special nostalgia brownie points in my book. However, one cursory glance at the nutrition label and I’m both amazed and saddened by fleeting teenage metabolisms.
Thus, I sought to satisfy my carrot cake cravings instead with these healthy Vegan Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies and boy did it do the trick! Well I suppose after all, there really are few things more satisfying than a warm bowl full of relatively guilt-free cookies. Anyway, the recipe below is actually that of my third version of these cookies. Although six weeks ago I had fallen completely nuts over the first version I had made, the tedious task of making homemade almond butter got me seeking easier alternatives. I was originally going to wait until I got back up to Penn to test more versions; however, when the day-of need for potluck-dish-essential carrots struck and my mom didn’t want to make another grocery stop, a 10 lb bag of Costco carrots was acquired and (in the words of my recent Netflix binge of Iron Chef America) Battle Carrot had begun.
So conveniently coordinated with my pre-existing desire to start the school year healthy, these Vegan Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies conquer three distinct fronts (breakfast, snack time, and even dessert) and thus answer my school year’s resolution to try and incorporate nutritious veggies into as many meals as possible. Incredibly easy to make plus fun to eat, these cookies have left me with a lot to feel excited about!
Vegan Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 16 bite-sized cookies (Loosely adapted from Minimalist Baker)
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flaxseed + 3 tbsp water)
- 1 large ripe banana, mashed
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats, divided
- 1/3 cup walnuts, ground
- 1/4 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp baking soda
- Spice mix: 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp cardamom
- Pinch of salt
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
- In a large bowl, combine the ground flaxseed and water; let stand for 5 minutes or until the mixture achieves an egg-y consistency. Add in the rest of the wet ingredients (banana, sugar, oil, vanilla); stir well.
- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (3/4 cup oats, ground walnuts, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt). Using a small food processor or bullet blender, grind the remaining 1/4 cup of oats into a flour and mix together all the dry ingredients.
- Add the dry mixture into the wet mixture and stir until homogenous. Then add the mix-ins (carrots, raisins, walnuts) and mix again until homogenous. Refrigerate the batter for 5 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Using a 1.5 tbsp scooper, allocate the dough out into a windowed 4×4 grid onto a non-stick baking sheet (note: these cookies do not spread).
- Bake cookies for ~17-20 minutes or until set. Enjoy warm!