Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Question Tuesday: Carob Vs Chocolate

What's the difference between Carob and Chocolate??

For many of you who don't know what Carob is...don't feel bad. I did really know much about either; just that I have seen it at the bulk barn before and some of my friends use it in their baking instead of chocolate. So we are going to walk through this together. Please be advised that I have never used carbo before in my baking (I have had it before in a cake and it tasted fine...the color was a bit lighter then a chocolate cake) so if you have used it before please feel free to leave some comments on your option of the stuff.

The carob fruit is a dark brown, flattened leathery pod (or legume). These pods have been around for ages as many scholars believe that this is what John the baptist lived off of as it is sometimes referred to as "locust bean".
To make Carob powder (or flour), that looks a lot like cocoa is produced by a continuous process of drying, grinding, and roasting the pods. The resultant flour has a versatile array of uses. It is an incredibly rich food source, and is perhaps the ideal "survival food" since it lasts a long time, requires no special storage conditions, and can be eaten with no preparations. Carob flour contains about 40% natural sugar making it naturally sweet (remember I have not tasted before...this is only what my research is saying). Although carob has a high sugar content it contains 60% fewer calories than chocolate due to it being lower in fat. Carob is caffeine free, a rich source of calcium and potassium, and contains small amounts of iron and some B vitamins.

Carob powder and carob chips can be used whenever a recipe calls for chocolate or cocoa. To replace carob for cocoa, simply use the same amount of carob. To replace chocolate with carob, use approximately three tablespoons of carob powder for each square of chocolate that the recipe calls for.

After all the reading on this stuff I think that I might pick up a small amount the next time I am out at the bulk barn...that is if its not too expensive. One thing to note is that many of the articles I read stated that although there seems to be some healthy benefits that it needs to be consumed in moderation along side a balanced diet, that includes a variety of foods from each of the food groups.

Here are some recipes I found that I will try when I get some of this stuff. If its cheaper then cocoa it may be the new ingredient in my baking. Niki can you help me out with some recipes and maybe the price??

Carob Cocoa

Carob Christmas balls

No bake carob cookies

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Referenced used for this were




Minimalist Mommy said...

Thanks, sums it up perfectly. I initially was drawn to it from the nourishing Traditions book. They have a recipe for carob cookies that are amazing but I think it has to do with the butter not so much the chips. They are good but they tend to go flat and although amazing they don't stay together well. Not a great recipe to take somewhere but stuffing your face at home when nobody is looking, they are divine. I will bring you the book to look at.

Shiloh said...

Hi Kate,
In cakes, muffins, cookies, etc. I found that carob could easily pass for cocoa. As a hot beverage, I tend to prefer it mixed with about equal amount of organic cane sugar (preferably fair trade) and hot milk, though I have tried it in hot water with a bit of milk, added a touch of cinnamon at times...the possibilities are endless! I find it tastes quite different from regular hot chocolate or hot cocoa, so I think of it as a separate hot drink and enjoy it for its own unique flavour.

Nancy said...

I use carob and dip my dog's bones in it - they love it!

Blue Castle said...

My mom used to make us carob chip cookies - made with whole wheat and honey - when I was a kid. It does take a little getting used to, but it does taste good.

Thanks for stopping by my blog1 :)

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