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Carob Powder

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carob-powder in small wooden bowlBoth carob and cacao have a place in a health-conscious kitchen, but they are not the same by any means. Neither in health benefits or taste. Many people believe that the two can be used interchangeably, this just isn’t the case.  We have to put carob in its own category because it is marvelous and intriguing, with a personality of its own.

Challenging my taste buds.

I can’t hide the fact that I haven’t been much of a fan of carob over the years.  But to be honest, I am not sure that I have even given it a fair chance.  At the beginning of my raw adventures, I remember trying it and not caring for it so it just sort of fell off my radar.

But over the years I have received plenty of recipe requests that incorporated carob instead of cacao.  It was a difficult challenge for me since I wasn’t too enthused about the flavor.  Hard to fine tune and taste test recipes that you don’t care for… know what I mean?  I am willing to open myself back up and continue to experiment with it.

All pain comes from attachment.

That is one of my favorite sayings because it is often very true.  If you are looking for carob to taste exactly like cacao/chocolate, you might be highly disappointed. As I mentioned earlier… they don’t taste anything alike. So either learn to embrace it for its unique nature, flavor, and taste or learn to use it in creative ways.

One trick to getting it to taste close to chocolate is by adding a teaspoon or two of instant coffee or coffee substitute such as chicory-based “coffee” powders.  You can also create a combination of both raw cacao and carob powder.  The cacao would help give carob that light chocolatey flavor and in return the carob would help to mellow out the bitterness in the cacao.  Another thing that I have come to learn with packaged raw ingredients is to try different brands before you make up your mind on how you feel about it.  Just like fresh apples… each one can have a completely different flavor.

Carob has a fairly sweet flavor so you don’t have to add too much extra “sugar”, whereas cacao is 100% bitter and sweeteners are a must.  Cutting cacao powder with carob powder can perhaps create a healthier balance and lean more towards the true taste of chocolate. You could also bump up the flavor by adding a few drops of chocolate extract.

When using carob in place of cacao, you will likely need to adjust your ratios and sweeteners to make it blend into a recipe better.  Use less sugar than you would for powdered cacao.  In the end, it just depends on your likes and what you are trying to achieve. Taste test as you go!  Think of your taste buds are your sous chef.

Caffeine Free

Carob is naturally caffeine free which is why many people turn to it as a replacement for cacao.  This alone makes it better for kid-friendly recipes.  Carob has Vitamin B2 which may help regulate metabolism and contribute to healthy immunity.   It also has magnesium and calcium which may contribute to normal and strong bone health.


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