No chocolate? Try carob!

2 Jul

Earlier in the year a co-worker of mine found out she was allergic to chocolate.  Having an allergy to chocolate just shouldn’t be allowed.  I couldn’t imagine.   

Since finding out she’s been very good about staying away from chocolate, but I know it’s difficult at times.  I wanted to make her a treat that reminded her of chocolate but that wouldn’t give her a horrible reaction since many times she leaves me goodies and my favorite chocolate – endangered species chocolate – in my desk drawer.   

She had never tried carob before so I thought it would be a good chocolatey trick for her.   

In case you were wondering about some differences between carob and cocoa here’s a bit of info:    

One tablespoon of unsweetened carob powder has 25 calories, no fat, no saturated fat, no cholesterol, and 6 grams carbohydrate. By comparison, one tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder contains 12 calories, 1 gram of fat, no saturated fat, no cholesterol, and 3 grams of carbohydrate.  Unlike cocoa powder and chocolate, carob is caffeine-free. Carob also contains three times as much calcium as cocoa powder.   

I purchased a small bag of carob chips in bulk and heated them over a double boiler – just like you would with chocolate.  My double boiler is homemade – not an actual double boiler that you can purchase but it works just as well.  I take my smallest pot and fill it with about 1 inch of water and place a large glass bowl ontop of the pot.  Simmer the water with the chocolate in the glass bowl. 

Carob Almond Clusters

 Ingredients:

1 to 1 1/2 cups of carob chips
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup raisins
 
Heat the chocolate as described above in a double boiler until melted and smooth.  Transfer half to 1 bowl with the almonds in it and the other half to a bowl with the raisins in it.  Stir the mixtures and spoon heaping tablespoons onto a sheet lined with parchment paper.  Transfer to the fridge to harden for 15-20 minutes.
This recipe doesn’t have to be followed to a T.  You can use more carob or less, but at lease a 2:1 ratio of carob chips to nut/dried fruit.

Carob Raisin Clusters

I followed the same measurements above and made a batch of chocolate peanut clusters for Jacob.  These used semi-sweet chocolate chips which were a bit sweet for me.  I think a good combo would be unsweetened chocolate with raisins.  Mmmm the bitter chocolate and sweet raisins will pair perfectly… at least to me.  What do you think?  Is unsweetened chocolate a bit too bitter or just right?   

Chocolate Peanut Clusters

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5 Responses to “No chocolate? Try carob!”

  1. jodie July 2, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    I am drooling right now.:)

  2. Katie @ Health for the Whole Self July 2, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    You just gave me a huge chocolate…errr, I mean, carob craving! 🙂

  3. Naomi (onefitfoodie) July 2, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    i just got carob chips and OBSESSED!! they are so freakin good whre have they been all my life!

  4. Faith July 4, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    Aww, that looks delicious, and SO thoughtful!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Color your diet « Get Healthy With Heather - October 22, 2010

    […] evening snack: A piece of dark chocolate, a chocolate peanut cluster or […]

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