Carrot cake in the morning? Yes! These perfectly portable Carrot Cake Millet Breakfast Bars are vegan, gluten-free, and only 94 calories per big square. Your morning grab & dash is going to be delicious!
I cannot live by oats alone. Despite being so handy and delicious, sometimes the breakfast grains need some mixing up.
So, let’s give millet a shot. Specifically in the form of Carrot Cake Millet Breakfast Bars!
They are, quite literally, handy. And most definitely dandy. They also happen to be easy to make, vegan, gluten-free, high-fiber, and frugal. If you are in the midst of a New-Year’s resolution reboot (you can do it!), you will also be happy to know that these have a measly 94 calories per big square.
First, in case you do not have any in your pantry, you will need to acquire some millet. You will love it! It is super-versatile (make it like pilaf, polenta, breakfast porridge, or toast it to use as a nut-substitute in baked goods), and relatively inexpensive, too.
It is also:
*high in B vitamins
*high in fiber & protein
*one of the only grains that is alkalizing to the body
I’ve added a heap of shredded carrots to the carrot cake bars; we might as well feel virtuous for having eaten vegetables first thing in the morning, right? More carrots also equals more natural sweetness, so the total amount of added sweetener can be kept low.
Millet takes quite a bit longer to cook than rolled oats, which makes it tricky, if not impossible to prepare, on any given weekday. Make-ahead bars are the solution. And though the millet will have to first simmer before heading into the oven, both the simmering and baking are unattended time, so you can whip these up in the evening or on the weekend while doing (or not doing!) other things.
A generous scoop of flaxseed meal holds the bars together while simultaneously adding to the rich, carrot cake-like texture of these bars. I added a scant amount of raisins (I coarsely chop them, for better distribution throughout the bars). If you are an avowed raisin hater, leave them out, sub another dried fruit, or add some nuts, seeds, or miniature chocolate chips in their place.
Once cooled, these bars will keep all week in the refrigerator, perfect for grab & go mornings! They are stellar straight up, but you can also gild the lily with additional toppings, such as a generous schmear of cream cheese (dairy-free or traditional).
Let us eat cake!
- 2-3/4 cups water
- ½ cup uncooked millet
- 1-1/2 cups nondairy milk (or dairy, as desired)
- 1-1/2 cups semi-packed shredded peeled carrots (about 3 medium)
- ⅓ cup flaxseed meal
- ¼ cup raisins, chopped
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the millet; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.
- While millet simmers, line a 9-inch baking pan with foil or parchment. Spray the sides (otherwise the bars will stick to paper/foil). Preheat oven to 375F.
- Remove saucepan from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour and spread into prepared pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes until golden brown and firm at the center. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
- Remove from pan and cut into 9 squares. Serve cooled, chilled, or rewarm in the microwave for 15 to 45 seconds, as desired.