The ‘c’ word: it’s carob powder!

December 17, 2017 1:38 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

At Naturally Good Food, we now stock carob powder, as part of our Superfoods and supernutrients range. Why have we chosen to include this kind of powder in our range? What makes it such a great choice? And – ssh! – are we really talking about the ‘c’ word?

We now stock carob powder at NGF.

Ever tried baking with carob?

What’s carob powder?

Carob powder is made from the ground-up pulp of the pods of the carob tree. These trees (also known, picturesquely, as ‘St John’s-bread trees’ or ‘locust beans’) are found in various parts of the world, but are particularly suited to the Mediterranean climate. Inside their pods, there’s a sweet pulp, which is dried and roasted before being ground to produce the powder.

Carob powder is derived from the pods of the carob tree

The pods of the carob tree contain a sweet pulp

What’s the point of carob powder?

Carob powder has been widely used for thousands and thousands of years. It’s got a great taste, is naturally light and sweet, and is high in both fibre and calcium. It has traditional religious uses, as well as a role in remedies for soothing upset stomachs. You can use the powder in hot drinks or in baking, for a sweet, smooth treat.

But of course, it’s almost impossible to talk about carob without mentioning the other ‘c’ word: chocolate!

The real ‘c’ word?

Carob is a popular alternative to chocolate

Is it carob – or chocolate?

Today, carob is most often thought of as an alternative to chocolate. It looks pretty similar, resembling cocoa powder in its ground form and firm chocolate when made into bars or chips. It has a somewhat similar taste, and adds the same sort of ‘luxury’ to a product as chocolate does.

But carob is quite different in one crucial respect to chocolate – and once again, it’s another ‘c’ word…

Another ‘c’ word: caffeine

Carob, unlike chocolate, contains no caffeine at all. People avoid caffeine for all kinds of reasons, including to try to stave off migraines. If you’re excluding caffeine from your diet, but are yearning for something to take the place of chocolate, then carob is well worth a try.

At Naturally Good Food, as well as carob powder, we sell the Hemp9 Carob Hit bar, which is really great as an energy-booster, and Biona’s Carobio Hazel spread, which makes a good alternative to chocolate nut spreads. You can spread the latter on toast, use it as a sweet dip, add it to smoothies or use as the filling for a cake.

Any special requirements?

If you’re baking with carob powder, remember that it’s naturally sweeter than cocoa, so you may wish to add less sugar. However, to get the right ‘chocolatey’ taste, you might need more carob powder than the amount of cocoa powder a recipe calls for – and you’ll need to keep an eye on your baking in the oven, as carob can burn at a lower temperature.

The following link has some great carob recipe ideas:

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/advantages-carob

Hmm…carob or diamonds?

Did you know? Carob seeds were once used to weigh out diamonds – it’s this that gives us the word ‘carat’. At Naturally Good Food, we agree that carob is well worth its weight in diamonds. Or gold. Or indeed, in chocolate.

 

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This post was written by Yzanne

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