Happy post-Valentine’s day sugar crash! There is no better time to discuss the wonders of carob then the day after we have all consumed copious amounts of its cousin, chocolate. So gear back up that sweet tooth and let’s get to it.
What is it?
In its most natural form carob is a tropical pod that is composed of inedible seeds surrounded by an edible pulp. To form carob chips, the pulp is dried and roasted and ground into a powder which is then molded into those little chips that are oh so easy to nibble on. Most people, including myself, use carob as a substitute for chocolate as it can be purchased as a vegan alternative, is caffeine free, and is less processed than traditional chocolate chips.
Is it good for me?
Carob is high in vitamin A and calcium. As you can see below, it also contains B vitamins (great for vegetarians) and several trace minerals including iron, magnesium, and copper. Carob is notoriously high in saturated fat so it is best to consume in moderate amounts.
Beyond the standard nutrition facts, the tannin content found in carob may aid in prohibiting bacteria and can stop toxins and free-radicals from floating freely in your body.
What does it taste like?
In its natural, powder form carob resembles cocoa powder in both taste and texture. It has a sweet, mild flavor that is more understated than traditional chocolate.
How do I use it?
Carob is a perfect baking alternative that may be used in everything from candy, cookies, to beverages (think hot cocoa, err carob!). Because carob is higher in sugar and lower in fat than regular cocoa, you must be sure to adapt your recipe accordingly. Think less sugar, more butter.
Where do I buy it?
I have found carob powder and chips at specialty stores such as Whole Foods but have also scored much lower prices at my local Kroger.
As always, if you guys have any other questions feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you. Also, I am taking requests for future “What the Eff are you Eating?” posts so let me know if you have any recommendations. Thanks!