Carob vs. Cocoa Powder

Since my recent post of the devilish chocolate indulgence cookies, a curious follower of my blog posed the following question: "These cookies look delicious! I may try them very soon. Might you know of any good (healthy) carob recipes? I have a vat of carob powder and I don't know what to do with it. Thanks dear!"

This sent me on a short excursion to find the best use for the tub-o-carob the reader has stored away. Carob, like cocoa powder, comes from a tropical pod, which is dried, roasted, and ground into the powder that we're familiar with. However, carob is a slightly healthier alternative when comparing the two. With a higher calcium count (three times as much), no caffeine content, nor fat, carob presents your taste buds with a different experience (1). When contemplating substitution, consider that while unsweetened carob powder is slightly sweeter than its cocoa counterpart (containing twice the carbohydrate content), due to the composition and lack of fat, carob is considerably less flavorful. When making the switch, for every one part of cocoa powder, use 2.5 parts carob by weight (1). 

Don't forget that both contain properties thought to reduce artery clogging and cancer risks (1), so go ahead and indulge...I mean get healthy!
Try sweet carobutter squares (2); freeze and use them at your leisure in various baking projects (makes 12, one ounce squares):
1 cup butter-room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup carob powder-sifted

1. Mix butter and sugar together; stir in carob powder. Mix until smooth. Measure out into containers (such as ice trays or individual, one ounce cups) and refrigerate or freeze for later use.
2. Omit the sugar for regular carobutter squares.
3. Use for carob cupcake surprise by: cutting each sweet carobutter square into quarters; filling muffin tins 1/2 way full with batter; dropping a quarter of a carobutter square inside, and placing the rest of the batter on top. Bake as directed
3. Try carobutter ice-cream swirls by: allowing 1 quart of vanilla ice-cream to sit at room temperature for ~30 minutes. Adding 3-4 sweet carobutter squares and swirling them into the ice-cream with a knife, then refreezing the ice-cream (2).
Also, why not try using your carob powder in moist zucchini carob cookies (4-5 dozen cookies) (2):
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup butter-room temp
1 egg
1 cup carob powder
2 t vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t salt
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

1. In a bowl, mix oil, butter, and egg; beat in carob powder, brown sugar, and vanilla until thick.
2. Stir in flour, soda, spices, and salt; mix well.
3. Add zucchini, coconut, and pecans and mix well.
4. Drop spoonfuls, 2 inches apart, on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
5. Bake at 375F, 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool (2)
I would also consider mixing carob powder with powdered sugar and adding it to cream cheese for a delicious carob cheese cake! Will have to do some testing and report back with the yummy findings.
(1)Source: Easy Home Cooking Magazine; TLC Cooking, What is Carob? Discovery Communications LLC.
(2)Source: Carob Cookbook; by: Tricia Hamilton;Sunstone Press Publishing.

1 comment:

  1. you are far too cute! and rather awesome for doing this in honor of little ol' me =D