Have you ever tried a “healthy” cookie and actually liked it? You most likely have the humble carob chip to thank! Chocolate has had it good for far too long, and it’s time for carob to get its due! Let’s take a closer look at this wonderful cocoa alternative, and find out more about what makes it even possible.
What are carob chips?
Carob is made from carob pods, which grow on trees indigenous to the Mediterranean. The pods can be processed into a powder or chips that highly resemble chocolate. To create carob chips, producers mash the pods of the carob tree into a pulp, which is then dried, roasted, and ground into a powder that can be used as a natural sweetener in baked goods. The powder can also be made into chips or chunks, to be used in the stead of proper chocolate chips in cookies, trail mix, or anything else that could use a faux-chocolate boost.
What is in carob chips?
Aside from carob powder, carob chips generally contain some sort of sugar (beet or coconut or cane), as well as sunflower lecithin and palm kernel oil. Precise ingredients will, of course, vary from product to product.
Carob chips vs chocolate chips: How do they compare?
While carob chips and chocolate chips do taste vaguely similar, you’re unlikely to mistake one for the other if you are paying attention. The flavor of carob is sweet and mild, and somewhat lighter in profile than standard chocolate. One notable difference between carob chips and chocolate chips, however, is that carob’s sweetness is naturally occurring, whereas the natural taste of chocolate in its purest form is bitter.
Both carob chips and chocolate chips are used frequently for baking things like cookies and cakes, and can be used practically interchangeably. That said, carob chips don’t melt the same way as chocolate chips.
Using carob instead of cocoa is better for those with gluten intolerance, and carob chips have fewer calories, as well as less fat and sugar, as well. Carob chips also contain potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, zinc and manganese.
While they may not taste the exact same as our beloved chocolate (there’s probably a reason we’ve never heard of a carob-aholic), carob chips will get the job done if chocolate isn’t an option. Real chocolate still certainly has the edge, but there may come a day when we’re all walking around, munching on carob bars that we impulsively bought at the check-out line! Just kidding. Chocolate forever.