Megan’s Morning Glory Oatmeal

Morning glory oatmeal -

Carrots are stealing the show this week. This recipe features the same flavors as morning glory muffins—shredded carrots, raisins, orange zest, coconut and walnuts—in oatmeal form. I came across it in Megan Gordon’s new cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings.

In the headnote, Megan calls the oatmeal “porridge,” which always brings Goldilocks and her three bears to mind. I prefer to call it oatmeal, which sounds ever-so-slightly more sexy than porridge, but it’s still just fancied up peasant food. Not that I have anything against peasant food. Those royals weren’t doing themselves any favors with their fine white flour and refined sugar. I’d take hearty whole grains over that stuff any day (am I showing my peasant roots?).

morning glory oatmeal ingredients

Anyway, back to Megan. She runs a granola business, posts recipes and stories on her blog, contributes to The Kitchn and, somehow, in between all of that, produced a killer cookbook. The book is brimming with breakfast/brunch recipes, organized seasonally, that incorporate whole grains. When Megan asked me if I’d like a review copy, I said yes (because Megan knows how to make a great breakfast) while kicking myself for not coming up with such a terrific concept.

morning glory oatmeal cooking process

This recipe called to me from the winter section. It’s just sweet enough to taste like a treat, but hearty enough to hold me over until lunch. I’d almost forgotten about the steel-cut oats in the back of my pantry before I made this. Steel-cut oats are what rolled oats are made out of—they’re the oats you grew up eating, before they were rolled flat. They take a little longer to cook than old-fashioned oats, but they are so creamy that they are worth the wait.

I prefer to make big batches of oatmeal at once like this. Then I can warm the oats in the morning while I make my coffee, which takes less time and effort than it would to heat up one of those sad packets of instant oatmeal. I usually swirl in some plain yogurt for protein and creaminess. (Bonus: yogurt cools down the oatmeal, which is nice when you’re an over-eager breakfast eater like me.) I’m looking forward to another bowl tomorrow morning.

Once I’m out of this batch, I want to try Megan’s technique for cooking “the very best oatmeal,” which you can find at The Fauxmartha and A Couple Cooks. That’s about as sexy as oatmeal ever looks, folks. Then I’ll probably have to try Laura’s spin on the farro bowl and prepare some saucy tomato poached eggs for brunch once I’m settled into my new house. I. Can’t. Wait!

how to make morning glory oatmealMorning glory steel-cut oatmeal - cookieandkate.comMorning glory oatmeal recipe -

Morning Glory Oatmeal
4.9 from 7 reviews
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Creamy, wholesome steel-cut oats cooked with carrots, coconut milk and spices. Serve with yogurt for a breakfast that sticks with you until lunch time. (This recipe is gluten free and easily vegan.)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup light coconut milk (or milk of choice or another cup of water)
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup grated carrots (about 2 large carrots)
  • ⅔ cup seedless raisins (I used golden raisins)
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes (I used a mix of unsweetened shredded coconut and large flakes since that's what I had)
  • 1½ tablespoon grated orange zest (this took 1½ oranges for me)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 or more tablespoons maple syrup (or honey or agave nectar or brown sugar)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional but recommended)
  1. In a saucepan, bring the water and milk to a boil. Stir in the oats, carrots, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Bring the mixture back to boil, then decrease the heat to low and partially cover the pot.
  2. Cook the porridge, without stirring, until it begins to thicken and the oats are soft yet chewy. Check the oat's texture by stirring them after 25 minutes of cooking (it might need a few more minutes of cooking).
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut flakes, orange zest and vanilla. Add maple syrup (or other sweetener), to taste. Cover and let the oatmeal rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  4. Toast the walnut pieces in a pan over medium-low, tossing frequently, until the edges are golden and the walnuts smell nice and toasty.
  5. Serve the oatmeal with a sprinkling of walnuts and a splash of milk or a swirl of plain yogurt.
Recipe adapted from Megan Gordan's cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings.
Change it up: This recipe is wide open to adaptation. Feel free to sub other dried fruit for the raisins, change up the nuts, etc.
Make it gluten free: Buy certified gluten-free steel-cut oats if you are avoiding gluten.
Make it nut free: Skip the nuts. You can substitute pepitas (pumpkin) or sunflower seeds if desired.


  1. says

    Sneaky vegetables are the best, especially for breakfast. These are exactly the kind of recipes I encourage for my nutrition clients. Beautiful photos on this one and well done Megan! I need to get this book.

  2. says

    I agree with Melissa! Holy gorgeous photos … mine never looks this lovely. Thank you so much for the kind words about the book; I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! This recipe hasn’t made it’s way into our kitchen since I was testing the book, actually, and your post has me craving it big-time. Happiest of weekends!

  3. says

    This is a fantastic recipe! Thanks for sharing! I love oatmeal, and I’m with you on the peasant food outlook! Oatmeal is just so hearty, how can it not be considered anything less than delish?:) Thanks for sharing!!

  4. says

    I’m not a big breakfast eater, so I find that hot oatmeal (usually with nuts, seeds and a few squares of chocolate!!) is the easiest thing for me to force down to keep me going. And of course it’s so GOOD for you! This really looks amazing (great photos!) – I would never ever have thought of making oatmeal with some of these ingredients, like coconut milk, and it’s a fantastic idea to make it ahead and re-heat. Thanks, Kate!

  5. Katie says

    This is all of my favourite things tossed together in a bowl! I wonder how it would be if I combined it with your baked banana blueberry oatmeal recipe. Morning glory baked oatmeal? Don’t mind if I do.

    • says

      Katie, sorry for the super slow response, just had to say that your baked carrot cake oatmeal idea sounds awesome. Please let me know if you try it!

  6. jacquie says

    that does look yummy. however, I have to say to my ears “porridge” is sexier though in a down to earth way than “oatmeal” does.

  7. says

    Oatmeal definitely sounds better than porridge to me…but more than anything, I’m loving the carrots mixed in here! I feel like i could convince myself this was actually carrot cake. Mmm.

  8. Mary Whittaker says

    I’m thinking I’ll leave the cinnamon out. It makes everything along these lines taste the same. Just season with ginger, nutmeg, orange zest, vanilla, salt …Yum!

  9. says

    I love Morning Glory Muffins! I’m going to have to try this…love the idea of using coconut milk to make oatmeal. That would definitely give it more flavor than usual!

  10. Leigh says

    This looks incredible… (your pictures are beautiful!) I will make it this week for sure.

    I’m definitely considering the cookbook too! Who doesn’t like the sounds of 65 breakfasty recipes!? I’m all in!

  11. Susan says

    I made the Morning Glory oatmeal this morning and it was amazing! Super tasty with just the right balance of spices and sweetness. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

  12. says

    That sounds ridiculously delicious, so much better than the other carrot cake oatmeal style dishes that are circulating at the moment. Love the warming spices, the gorgeous coconut flakes, nuts and the fragrant orange. It’s not really oatmeal weather here at the moment but I adore the sound of this anyway. As soon as a coolish morning arrives, I’m cranking up my cooking pot! xx

  13. says

    I am loving the spices, orange, vanilla and maple together here! Sounds so bright and cheery for any morning! You really did photograph this so beautifully…. I am not usually super excited about oatmeal, but suddenly it’s all I can think about. Delicious!

    Are you moving really soon? Good luck, and here’s to lots of friends with pickup trucks that might want to pitch in :)

  14. Christine says

    I love to eat vegetables for breakfast, so I am very happy to meet another proponent of that concept. I am going to make this for a weekend brunch and serve it in acorn-squash halves as bowls. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Teresa says

    Wow. Just discovered this site and I’m so glad I did. Gorgeous photos, amazing recipes. I’ll be spending a lot of time here!

    • Katherine Corbin says

      Yep just ate this and it does taste like carrot cake or carrot bread. Yum! I was actually kind of worried about the carrots but its good!


  16. Anna says

    This recipe inspired me finally to try steel-cut oats.
    It was sooo delicious !!! I skipped maple syrup though , it was sweet enough for my taste without it.
    Thank you very muchly Kate for beautiful breakfast!!! Indeed it was Morning Glory!

  17. christine says

    Im soo excited to try this! How do I store leftovers for future use?
    and can I use quick oats instead of steel cut?

    • says

      Hey Christine, you can store the leftovers in the fridge, covered. If you use quick-cooking oats, you might need to adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe, and you’ll definitely need to reduce the cooking time. You can figure that out by looking at the cooking directions for the quick cooking oats. I recommend using steel cut!

  18. Laura says

    Hi! this looks wonderful! I have a question though: how much orange zest is needed? The instructions say 1 1/2 tablespoon. Is that correct? Seems like you would get a lot more from 1 1/2 oranges? Thanks!!

    • says

      Hey Laura, you only need 1 1/2 tablespoons of orange zest. I needed the zest of 1 1/2 oranges to get that much zest—I provided that detail so readers could know about how many oranges they would need to obtain 1 1/2 tablespoons zest.

  19. says

    2 recipes in just one day! That´s how much I am loving your blog :)
    This tasted amazing and the apple oat muffins were perfect for my afternoon tea. Keep up the good work!

  20. Edie says

    This recipe is so delicious, I’ve been making it for months! I add an additional cup of shredded zucchini (drained) during the last 10 minutes of cooking. It’s especially good, cold, atop yogurt for a quick on the go breakfast during these awfully hot summer months.

  21. ruth how says

    These steel cut oats have been sitting “untouched” in my cabinet for months. So I decided to try this method and save the leftovers for quick breakfasts. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this whole thing, so I stopped adding ingredients to the pot after the salt and only added the rest to my one bowl. Good thing, because the orange zest got me. I didn’t like it the one time I added to a smoothie and didn’t like it in my oatmeal either. I think I will experiment with each bowl, because other than the zest, and maybe the coconut, I really enjoyed the rest. My next thing is to try the Strawberry Cake.

  22. Courtney says

    I cannot wait to try this recipe! But I do have a quick question… a lot of your recipes call for coconut milk. Do you use it from a can or buy the kind in a carton? Thanks for any suggestion!

  23. Kelly says

    I made this for the 2nd time this evening! I think its simple and delicious. I keep a container of it in my fridge so I have a healthy breakfast to take to work. I make sure to add a step and toast my coconut. MM MM mmmm!! Thank you for jazzing up my breakfast.

  24. says

    Hi Kate! Thanks for posting this recipe and your comments on it. I made it this morning (plus extra to keep me warm for the next few snowy mornings!) and it was scrumptious! It has all the ingredients of the carrot cake I have for my birthday each year (except of course the oats) and the dash of Greek yogurt gave it the same tang you get from cream cheese frosting. Good call! Is it okay if I link to your page on my blog? Thanks again!

  25. Jenna says

    Love this recipe! I’ve made it countless times, it’s the perfect breakfast! I like to use vanilla coconut almond milk when making it, and I skip the raisins and maple syrup (I’m not a fan of super-sweet things…I know, I’m weird), and I like to stir in a good dollop of natural almond butter towards the end of the cooking process. I top the oatmeal off with pecans and walnuts toasted in coconut oil, some pepitas, and some coconut cream. So delicious! Thank you for this great recipe!

  26. Dorothy says

    It’s funny, “discovering” a recipe more than a year after it was originally posted… I feel like I’ve been missing out for more than a year! We are literally daily steel cut eaters and this recipe just blew me away. The orange rind is really what makes it so special, I’m convinced.

    I toasted up the oats with coconut oil for a bit before adding all the other ingredients to give it more of a coconut flavor.

    Love love loved this recipe!

    • says

      Well, I’m glad you found the recipe! Thank you, Dorothy. Delighted to hear that you’re enjoying it so much. I will try toasting my steel-cut oats in coconut oil next time!

  27. Deborah Deacon says

    A great addition steel-cut oatmeal recipe repertoire. Several tweaks: toast both the coconut flakes and walnuts in the oven for enhanced flavor and texture.

  28. Rikka says

    Hey Kate!

    I just found your website yesterday and i just made this recipe in the morning.
    Something was always missing from my carrot cake oatmeal… It was good but somehow too soggy or i dont know.

    First i toasted the rolled oats for some minutue. I didn’t have nutmeg (still have no idea where can i get that) so i used almond extract and 2tsp organic almondbutter instead. The fresh ginger was amazing too!

    I never cooked my oatmeal without stirring and with a lid on. Probably this is the key as my oatmeal got soooo perfectly creamy with your measurements of liquid (i never measure it just pour by my heart).

    So thank you very much, and keep up! I love your website, i wish i could make your recipes every 3rd hour! :)))

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