Carrot Cake Oatmeal


 Noble Pig Carrot Cake Oatmeal
It’s my husband’s Birthday week and I have carrot cake on the brain. It’s his absolute favorite and I’m always making a new version this time of year. 

I thought it would be fun recreating the carrot cake oatmeal I enjoyed during a Grimmway Farms trip I took last summer. I loved it and knew I’d have to make it at home. Their version is healthier than this one (no sugar). I had to doctor it up as my hubby is not a regular fan of oatmeal. But either version you make, you will love this stuff!! My husband called it dessert for breakfast and it was perfect for a Sunday morning.

And speaking of carrots, have I shared with you all that one of my family members “created” the baby carrot? Yes, the ones we all eat today. Sit down and relax and I’m going to take you all on a little carrot journey.

Noble Pig and Grimmway farms Carrots
Last summer I was invited on a media trip to Grimmway Farms, the world’s largest grower/packer/shipper of fresh and processed carrots and owner’s of the Cal-Organic, Bunny-Luv and King Pak produce labels. 

I love going on these trips and meeting the families who own these companies and farm our foods. However, there was another reason I was a little bit excited to head down to Bakersfield, California. A family member, and my father’s best friend, Mike Yurosek, referred affectionately in some circles as “The Father of Baby Carrots” created/invented baby carrots as we know and love them today.

The Bunny-Luv label was his business, and was acquired by Grimmway Farms around 1995. Back in the 60’s, Mike was frustrated with the waste factor of the knobby, twisted and broken carrots that would come in for processing. They were not sellable and were often more than half of the carrots that came into the plant. 

His idea to take the carrots that were normally waste and use an industrial potato peeler to cut them down (along with some other processing equipment) was the beginning of the baby carrots we know today. There is so much more to this great story, but the baby carrot lives on through Grimmway Farms. I was so happy to see the Yurosek’s family legacy carried on by another wonderful family-owned company like Grimmway.

Noble Pig and Grimmway Farms Bunny Love Carrots
At one of the farms we visited, it just so happened one of the old Bunny-Luv trailers (remember seeing these on the roads) was parked on site. I was thrilled to see it and it brought back so many memories of my childhood.

Do you see the logo, it was drawn by Mike’s wife after Warner Bros. was unhappy with the Bug’s Bunny-ish logo Bunny-Luv was previously using. Instead of heading to court to fight it out, Mike’s wife free-hand drew about 50 bunnies. Mike sent them to Warner Bros. and asked, which one can we use? So essentially, Warner Bros ended up choosing the logo you see on the Bunny-Luv bags today. Kind of cool huh?

Noble Pig Grimmway Farms Party Bus
Anyway, I do have the coolest job in the world. The media trips I get to go on are always fabulous and extremely educational. I also get to meet people from all over the country who are doing amazing things. 

Best part, even with the most crucial planning, funny things happen. We were supposed to have a regular large transport vehicle for our time at the farm. However, what arrived was the gigantic party bus that was sent by mistake…ha-ha. Quite a few jokes were made with this thing.

Noble Pig at Bakersfield Swanky Hotel
And no media trip would be complete without a stay at a swanky hotel. I have to admit, Bakersfield has come a long way with its newest boutique hotel, The Padre. This is the front desk and the rest of the place is equally as gorgeous. 

Noble Pig Grimmway Farms Dinner
We had our dinner at the Padre the first evening. Here we (Jennifer, Sharon, Melinda, myself, Jennifer) are hanging at the Padre’s outdoor sport’s bar. It was so old-school “Palm Spring’s” with the misters and outdoor scenery going. And it was HAWT. I had forgotten about that kind of heat, but it felt good. It did cool down nicely in time for our dinner, made with lots of produce farmed by Grimmway.

  • Golden Beet Carpaccio Salad (verjus vinaigrette radish chips, onion petals, carrot sorbet and shaved goat cheese)
  • Crispy Skin Chicken (creamy carrot risotto with wilted rainbow chard)
  • Carrot Napoleon (layers of carrot pastry cream, crispy filo, whipped berry cream cheese, carrot powder & mixed berries with mint

The meal was incredible, healthy and overall delicious. 

Noble Pig at Grimmway Farms Carrots Field
We headed out at 6 AM the next morning, with a full agenda and a lot to see.

Grimmway Farms had lots to share when it came to their sustainable farming practices, innovative seed development and showing us how they harvest carrots.

Noble Pig at Grimmway Farms with Carrots
Honestly, once you learn where your food comes from and understand how it gets to your table, you never look at it the same way again.

Noble Pig at Grimmway Farms Tour
And yes, we got to ride the carrot harvesters. These machines are massive and gave us a bird’s eye view on how it’s all done.

 Noble Pig at Grimmway Farms learning about carrot production
The carrots are pulled out of the ground, destemmed and put into a truck that follows very closely. This is an efficient process that gets the carrots to the processing plant soon after picking.

Noble Pig in Grimmway Farms Green Bean Fields
A recently harvested green been field set against the mountain backdrop in the Cuyama Valley.  
Noble Pig at Grimmway farms carrot flower
The “carrot flower” turns pale-pink before opening and then bright white and round in full bloom. It gets nest-like and concave in shape before seeding and falling off the plant, eventually turning into tumbleweeds.

Noble Pig Collage of Grimmway Farms Edible Schoolyard Lunch it was amazing
One the most interesting parts of my trip was a visit to Grimmway Academy and their edible schoolyard. This is an independent, public charter school founded by the Grimm Family Education Foundation and a successful example of what can happen when families give back to their community.


The edible schoolyard is integrated fully into the school’s curriculum. Students learn to grow, harvest, prepare and eat the food they cultivate. The picture you see above is the luncheon we enjoyed from food made and grown on site. With an amazing staff, who shares in the academy’s vision, an incredible environment has been created for the children in this rural community.

Noble Pig and Cal Organic Kale
The Cal-Organic kale farms were beautiful. It was kale for as far as your eye could see.

Print Recipe

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Recipe from: Inspired by Grimmway Farms | Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced and peeled Granny Smith apple
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups dry, old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  • Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute carrots and apple until slightly softened, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add carrot-apple mixture to a pot with milk and water and bring to a boil. Add oatmeal, cover and turn the heat down to a simmer, cooking for 5 minutes more. Stir in raisins, sugar, agave, vanilla and cinnamon. Continue cooking until creamy, about 5 minutes more.
  • Serving size: 1-1/4 cup
  • Calories: 349
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Unsaturated fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 69 g
  • Sugar: 38 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Cholesterol: 9 mg
Noble Pig and Grimmway Farms Carrot Harvestor 1
Thanks to Grimmway Farms for this incredible opportunity to see where my food comes from and meet all who make it happen.

One Year Ago: Mexican Bowtie Pasta Bake
Three Years Ago: Lite Bean and Cheese Enchiladas
Four Years Ago: Bert’s Southern Fried Chicken
Five Years Ago: You Will Survive

Disclosure: Travel and expenses were paid for by Grimmway Farms, however all opinions about them and my trip are 100% my own. When possible, please support this wonderful family-owned brand that is out doing great work for their community.

To connect with Grimmway Farms & Cal-Organic, follow them on social media channels:

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram

Post a Comment

9 Comments and 2 Replies

  1. Leslie 1

    Loved the carrot story, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  2. Yes! I LOVE anything revolving around carrot cake. What a great way to wake up in the morning.

    Reply
  3. HPH 3

    Thanks so much for the info Cathy!

    I always knew in my heart that ‘baby’ carrots were the sweeter inside of a ‘regular’ carrot. But I figured they were a by-product of production carrot shredding.

    So glad your family member ‘created’ these. Not only are they yummy, it’s a wonderful thing in today’s throw-away society.

    Enjoy your Day!

    Reply
  4. Karen Terry 4

    Loved this today! Thank you for sharing your trip not only to the farm, but to memory lane. Love your writing and recipes.

    Reply
  5. My daughter got to ride on one of those buses on a school trip once. The kids called it the disco bus. Well, I won’t share my thoughts about this bus with you. 😉 I am a huge carrot cake fan myself, but haven’t baked one lately. Thanks for the reminder. Happy birthday to your husband!

    Reply
  6. You really do have the best job! I want to go on some of those field trips, too! Love the carrot journey – super interesting! And how fun that you know the ‘father of baby carrots!’ These are a staple at my house! My little one loves them with ranch, my hubby prefers hummus. But there are usually several bags in my fridge!
    Ok. Carrot cake oatmeal? I want to be best friends with carrot cake oatmeal. I need this in my life! Thanks for an amazing recipe – I cannot WAIT for this!! :)

    Reply
  7. Love this Cathy! Hope to see you this year, too! :)

    Reply
  8. Harrison 9

    Very cool story, and I’m salivating at the thought of a bowl of ‘carrot cake’ oatmeal. I’d definitely need to give this a try. I have one gripe though…

    Carrot cake isn’t carrot cake without the creme cheese icing. I think I might try doing something with a bit of creme cheese, honey and plain yogurt. I notice you’ve got something creme on the top of your glamour shot at the top of the post. I’m curious what you did there :)

    Reply
  9. John 11

    Great article, just came across it whilst researching how to visit Grimmways.

    The full baby carrot story is in the World Carrot Museum plus just about everything else carroty!

    Reply

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