I discovered carob powder a few years back when I realised my body unfortunately doesn’t respond well to the caffeine in raw cacao powder. Utterly devastated thinking I could never eat raw chocolate again, I searched for a substitute and learned of the not-so-common carob powder. The chocolatey taste is not as deep and rich as cacao powder, but it’s still sweet and delicious and definitely satisfied my chocolate cravings.
So what exactly is carob?
Carob is a fruit from the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) that looks like a dark brown pea pod, which carries pulp and seeds. The powder is made by grinding up the seeds and is commonly used as a replacement for chocolate because of it’s chocolate-like flavour.
Carob is high in protein and contain essential vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients. It is rich in copper, calcium, potassium, zinc and selenium. It also contains tannins that are high in gallic acid which provides antiseptic and antibacterial qualities.
Carob helps to boost the immune system, manage diabetes, and prevent heart disease. Carob’s unique fibre properties inhibits the discharge of postprandial ghrelin which is a hormone that tells the body it’s hungry. This means that consuming carob prevents you from overeating therefore assisting in weight loss/management.
It’s rich source of fibre, particularly insoluble fibre, bulks up stools in the digestive tract and stimulates peristaltic actions improving overall digestion and elimination.
So I think it’s time to stop thinking of carob as a substitute because it’s a highly nutritious food all on its own. Use it in any recipe you’d usually use cacao powder, and incorporate it into your diet regularly to begin reaping the incredible health benefits.
You can start by blending up these healthy whole food ingredients into this deliciously creamy smoothie and drinking it for breakfast. The result is a rich and decadent meal that will keep you full and energised for hours.
Creamy Carob and Blueberry Smoothie
- 2 frozen or fresh bananas
- 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
- 4 dates pitted
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 1 tbsp raw carob powder
- 2 cups filtered/spring water
- Blend until smooth and creamy, adding extra water to achieve desired consistency.