Slow Cooker Creamy Carrot Cake Barley

Cara Lyons - Creamy Carrot Cake Barley-2

I have a little confession to make.

Back when I first started trying to eat healthy, I used to be a boring breakfast eater. Instant oatmeal every day of the week. I eventually graduated from sugar-laden packets to plain quick oats with my own add-ins, but the answer to “what’s for breakfast” was always guaranteed to be the same.

Oats (yes, even quick oats) are well and good but have you ever thought about eating other grains for breakfast, like barley? Not just for the sake of changing things up, but for something that will stick to your ribs a little longer because it has even more fiber and protein? I have. But I admit, I’m kind of lazy busy and don’t feel like have time to stand over a stove and stir anything. Barley takes a long time to cook.

Thanks goodness for slow cookers. They make those slow-cooking grains so much easier to tackle. With my slow cooker method for Creamy Carrot Cake Barley, full of tender carrots, warm spices, plump raisins and crunchy walnuts, you can make five servings of breakfast in less (active) time than it takes to stop at the drive-through. And, I promise you’ll be satisfied much longer.

But you know what the best part is? You can have your cake and eat it too, thanks to these powerhouse ingredients:

  • Barley has a high concentration of soluble fiber, which means is slows the absorption of glucose in the blood, thus promoting healthy blood sugar levels (and keeping you fuller, longer!)
  • Carrots contain high levels of anti-aging beta-carotene and cancer-preventing antioxidants.
  • Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened Vanilla is the unbelievably creamy beverage with 30 unthinkably low calories per serving that provides the richness of this satisfying, hearty breakfast. Milk lovers, have no fear: it also contains 50% more calcium than a glass of skim milk, and is free of cholesterol and saturated fat. By using Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened in place of skim milk in this recipe, we save 40 calories per serving.

Cara Lyons - Creamy Carrot Cake Barley-4

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Slow Cooker Creamy Carrot Cake Barley

Yield: 5 servings, about 1 cup each

Satisfying whole-grain breakfast of creamy barley, carrots and almond milk with raisins and spices.

Ingredients:

1 cup pearl barley
2 cups finely grated carrots
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup maple syrup
4 cups Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened Vanilla
1/3 cup chopped, lightly toasted walnuts

Optional Toppings:
Additional raisins and chopped walnuts
Shredded coconut
Plain or lightly sweetened Greek yogurt

Directions:

In a 3- or 4-qt slow cooker, combine all ingredients except for walnuts. Stir well, cover, and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Before serving, stir in walnuts. Divide among serving bowls and add toppings as desired.

Tip: refrigerate extra servings in individual containers and reheat with a splash of milk for a quick breakfast.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 312
Total Fat: 8g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 215mg
Total Carbohydrate: 58g
Dietary Fiber: 10g
Sugars: 19g
Protein: 7g

Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com

This recipe was developed as part of a  sponsored campaign with Silk and FitFluential, LLC. All opinions are my own. Learn more about Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened on Facebook and Twitter.

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16 Responses to “Slow Cooker Creamy Carrot Cake Barley”

  1. 1

    Jeanette — January 29, 2013 @ 8:20 am Reply

    I’ve never had barley for breakfast, but I love how hearty this sounds and the idea of having carrot cake for breakfast ;)

  2. 2

    Shannon — January 29, 2013 @ 2:22 pm Reply

    ooh i just tried someone else’s recipe for crockpot carrot cake oats and they just didn’t do it for me. i think these are up next :)

  3. 3

    Kim — January 29, 2013 @ 3:51 pm Reply

    This looks really good. Do you think it would work with quinoa in place of the barley?

    • 3.1

      Cara — January 29, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

      Thanks Kim! To be honest I’ve never made quinoa in the slow cooker, but since it cooks so much faster than barley on the stovetop (and with a different liquid ratio) my gut feeling is that the cooking time and/or amount of liquid would need to be altered. To keep the same cooking time and liquids with a different grain, I would opt for brown rice or steel cut oats. Hope that helps!

  4. 4

    Kate — January 29, 2013 @ 4:22 pm Reply

    I’m a boring breakfast eater – I tend to have yogurt most mornings.

  5. 5

    Alisa — January 29, 2013 @ 6:00 pm Reply

    I LOVE barley! I’ve had it for breakfast a few times, but never like this! Definitely pinned :)

  6. 6

    Heather — January 29, 2013 @ 6:53 pm Reply

    Mmmm I’m going to do this with my next batch of slow cooker oats!

  7. 7

    Joanne — January 29, 2013 @ 8:41 pm Reply

    Now this is seriously what I want to wake up to every day! I LOVE Silk’s almond milk. It’s by far my favorite. And carrot cake flavors for breakfast? Count me in!

  8. 8

    Dawn — January 30, 2013 @ 10:10 am Reply

    That and oat groats take FOREVER. I can’t wait to try this. Great idea to do it in the slow cooker and I can think of a great mix in. :)

  9. 9

    Ari @ Ari's Menu — January 30, 2013 @ 11:47 am Reply

    I’ve never tried barley, but I really love the idea of my breakfast being ready when I wake up in the morning! Plus this carrot cake idea sounds super delicious! Great recipe Cara!

  10. 10

    Roberta — February 1, 2013 @ 9:35 am Reply

    Made this overnight for breakfast this morning. Outstanding!

    • 10.1

      Cara — February 1, 2013 @ 9:51 am

      aww thanks, glad you liked it!

  11. 11

    grace — February 1, 2013 @ 12:19 pm Reply

    never in one million years would i have thought to do something like this. what a unique and wonderful and delicious idea!

  12. 12

    Miachel — February 2, 2013 @ 4:06 pm Reply

    Absolutely delicious-looking. I think I’ll try this with the old-fashioned oats in my cupboard and see what happens!

    One cook to another, do you have have any recs for shredding carrots? I never seems to do it efficiently.

    • 12.1

      Cara — February 3, 2013 @ 7:21 pm

      Thank you! Hope it works out with the oats :)
      I am lazy, I use the shredding attachment on my food processor most of the time. Though I might have used the box grater this time, I can’t remember.

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