Make it Naked

Carrot Cake Granola

My dad is many things…awesome comes to mind immediately.

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But he’s also: Generous. Advice, a hug, a home cooked meal – he’ll give it to you. Hilarious. At least he thinks so. Ask him to tell you his termite joke. No. Don’t. Genius. He can fix anything with WD-40 and duct tape. Even your very first car that maxed out at 25mph and occasionally caught fire. The one you wished was beyond repair because no car might actually have been better than this car. But he fixed it. Thanks dad.

Adding to his awesomeness, he’s a cancer survivor, a great cook and a master gardener. He’s a family man, an inspiration and…a carrot cake lover.

I had intentions of making him carrot cake cupcakes to celebrate Father’s Day, but then I received a phone call from my dad. Something along the lines of “When you come see me you better bring it. Saturday workout. No sissies allowed. No crying,

or much both.

weeping or moaning. The earlier the better. No excuses. Bring your swimsuit, clothes, and an oxygen tank…whatever you need to survive. Bring it.” Hmmm….no mention of carrot cake on that list. It seems Dad’s taken healthy to a whole new level and he’s not messing around. Scratch the delicious amounts of butter and sugar. Time for a carrot cake transformation.

What better to fuel a day at the gym than a healthy, flavorful granola? It’s crunchy…with clusters. Yum, clusters! And it actually smells and tastes like real carrot cake. Probably because it’s made with real carrots. Three of them. Are you still reading? Or did I lose you at the part where I told you to eat granola instead of cake? I know. Seems crazy, right? But this stuff is really good. I brought it alright. Carrot Cake Granola (makes about 5.5 cups) (adapted from Healthy Food For Living originally from Live Laugh Eat) Ingredients: 2 cups oats (I used gluten-free oats) 1 cup chopped pecans 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 1/2 cup finely shredded carrots, about 3 large carrots 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 1/8-1/4 cup agave (I used the lesser amount) 2 heaping tablespoons ground flaxseed Zest of 1 orange 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used Mexican

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vanilla) 1 teaspoon canola oil 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg Pinch of salt 0-1 cup raisins (see note 1 below) Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl combine the oats, pecans and coconut. Mix.
  3. In a small bowl combine all other ingredients except for raisins. Stir until combined. At this point it will look like baby food. You’re doing it right.
  4. Pour the wet carrot mixture over the oats and stir to coat all of the oat mixture.
  5. Spread the granola on the parchment covered cookie sheet and bake for about 30-40 minutes. Be sure to stir the granola around every 10 minutes.
  6. Remove and let cool. Stir in the raisins. It will crisp up as it cools. If it doesn’t put it back in the oven for a few more minutes.


  1. Don’t think for a second that I ate a raisin. They are easy to leave out or pick around, but my taste tester said he liked it better with the raisins, so I left them in there. Gross.
  2. I set a timer every 10 minutes to remind me to stir the granola. I actually took mine out after 30 minutes, but it was still a little chewy so I baked it for 10 more minutes. Perfection. I used a Silpat which could be why mine didn’t crisp for 40 minutes. Just keep an eye on it and remove when it starts to turn golden brown.
  3. I used a microplane to shred my carrots but I think you could probably use the smallest grate on a box shredder.
  4. I wasn’t going to post this. I was just going to give it as a Father’s day gift. But then I ate some. And then Jon ate some. And then I ate some more. You see where this is going? I needed an excuse to make another batch. Enjoy!

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Posted on June 25, 2011

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