You only need 5 ingredients (plus salt and vanilla) to make this luscious Carob Avocado Sauce/Spread and that not only tastes amazing but is actually healthy!
Naturally sweet and refined-sugar-free, this healthy Carob Sauce/Spread makes a great topping for waffles, pancakes, and toast, or a yummy dip for fruit.
What is Carob?
Carob, also called St. John’s Bread or locust bean, grows on the carob tree. The pods of the carob tree are harvested and the pulp of the pods is dried and ground into a fine powder to make carob powder.
Is Carob Healthy?
Carob is a good source of slimming fiber, which can help with weight loss and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
It also contains polyphenol antioxidants which have been shown to reduce oxidative stress and help prevent cancer.
And carob contains 2X to 3X the amount of calcium as cocoa.
Carob also contains magnesium, iron, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, niacin, and vitamin A.
The carob pods are highly nourishing and helped sustain John the Baptist during his wilderness sojourn, hence the name St. John’s Bread.
How is Carob Different than Chocolate?
Not only does carob have more calcium than cocoa, but cocoa contains oxalic acid, which inhibits the absorption of calcium in the body.
Unlike cocoa, carob does not contain caffeine or theobromine or methylxanthines – chemicals in chocolate that are cellular toxins and damaging to the health. These chemicals in cocoa have been shown to raise blood sugar and insulin levels and impair insulin sensitivity.
Chocolate contains tyramine, which may cause migraine headaches in susceptible people. Carob is free of tyramine.
In addition, carob has some natural sweetness, but cocoa is bitter so sugar (or other sweeteners) must be added to make it palatable.
How to Use Carob
The texture and appearance of carob powder is very much like that of cocoa powder, and you can use carob powder just like you would use cocoa powder. For example, if a recipe calls for 1/4 cup of cocoa, use 1/4 cup of carob powder.
Because carob is naturally sweeter than cocoa, you may want to slightly reduce the amount of sweetener in your recipe; although I usually try a recipe as written first (replacing the cocoa with carob) and see how it turns out before adjusting the sweetener amount (the second time around).
What Does Carob Taste Like?
While carob powder and cocoa are interchangeable and carob tastes somewhat like chocolate, carob has a unique taste and the flavor is definitely not the same as the flavor of cocoa. If you expect carob to taste like chocolate, you may be disappointed; however, if you expect it to taste like carob 😊 you will probably love this delicious and nutritious food.
Although carob doesn’t taste just like chocolate, it is a delicious and healthful alternative to chocolate or cocoa powder in many recipes. Here are some delicious carob recipes that I think you will enjoy.
Where to Buy Carob
Carob Avocado Spread (or Sauce)
- 1 cup whole, pitted dates - (about 20 dates)
- 1/2 teaspoon Teeccino Vanilla Nut Naturally Caffeine-Free Herbal Coffee Granules - optional
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk - or water (or more if you want to make this into a sauce)
- 2 small to medium avocados
- 3 tablespoons roasted carob powder - See note
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Place dates, Teechino (if using), and milk (or water) in a saucepan. Cover, and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes or until dates are very soft.
- Meanwhile, cut avocado in half, remove pit, scoop out flesh, and place flesh in blender.
- Add carob powder, salt, and vanilla to blender.
- When dates are soft, transfer dates and liquid they were simmered in to blender. Blend until very smooth. Mixture will be very thick and will need some coaxing to get it to blend. Add a tablespoon or two of milk or water as needed for desired consistency.Be sure to take the time needed blend the mixture smoothly; otherwise, the date fiber may not blend well enough, and the spread will be fibrous instead of smooth and the flavor will not be as sweet.
- Serve warm or chilled.
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R.W. Owen et al. Isolation and structure elucidation of the major individual polyphenols in carob fibre, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 41, Issue 12, 2003
Corsi, L. et al. Antiproliferative effects of Ceratonia siliqua L. on mouse hepatocellular carcinoma cell line, Fitoterapia 2002
Papagiannopoulos, M. et al. Identification and quantification of polyphenols in carob fruits (Ceratonia siliqua L.) and derived products by HPLC-UV-ESI/MSn. J Agric. Food Chem 2004
Chiva-Blanch, Gemma, Visioli, Francesco. Polyphenols and health: Moving beyond antioxidants. Journal of Berry Research, 2012
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