So you want chocolate? You'd kill for some chocolate right now? But there's all that fat and sugar and you really shouldn't, right?
Well, that's what carob is for. Same flavor, same kind of mouth feel but it's not chocolate. Not really. Carob comes from the pod of a shrub that grows along the Mediterranean. The pulp that is found within this pod is dried and roasted then ground into a powder that can be substituted one-for-one for cacao in recipes. It has its own sweet, mild flavor. Carob is low in fat and high in fiber, all without a trace of caffeine. Traditionally carob was even used to treat an upset stomach.
Carob also trumps chocolate in other ways. This magic powder contains Gallic acid that serves as an analgesic, an anti-allergic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral and antiseptic. It improves digestion, lowers cholesterol, and helps prevent lung cancer with regular use. The vitamin E in carob also treats coughs, the flu, anemia and fights osteoporosis due to the richness of phosphorus and calcium. And, if you like to karaoke, chew some put husks to clear your voice and throat before your stage debut!
Use carob in baking by substituting it one-for-one in recipes containing cacao or use three tablespoons in place of each square of chocolate. You can even put a little in your coffee or smoothie in place of sugar!