Carrot Cake Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

INGREDIENTS

2-1/2 Cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1 egg
1 Cup Almond Milk (regular ol’ cow’s milk works fine, too)
1/4 Cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1/3 Cup maple syrup
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup grated carrots

Frosting ingredients:
1/2 Cup cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

STEPS

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: the rolled oats, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the “wet” ingredients: the egg, milk, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Mix until ingredients are well-combined.

Use a spatula to transfer the egg mixture to the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until batter is just combined, then add the shredded carrots. Stir so that carrots are distributed throughout.

Transfer batter to an oiled 8×8-inch baking dish, then bake for 35 to 40 minutes. The breakfast bars are done when a toothpick, inserted in the center of the pan, comes out clean. Remove bars from the oven, and allow to cool at least 5 minutes in the baking dish before gently removing them from the pan, cooling them completely on a wire rack.

Make the frosting while the breakfast bars are cooling: combine the cream cheese, maple syrup and vanilla, and use a mixer to whip until smooth. Adjust texture / consistency of frosting with a little milk, if desired.  Cut cooled cake into 16 squares, and top with cream cheese frosting.

Leftover bars can be kept for up to 5 days in a sealabe container, preferably in a single layer, so as not to “smoosh” the frosting.