Do you love snack goodness but do not know the best natural alternative for your health?
Carob: Best snack alternative for health.
Carob is a healthy substitute for most snack foods, and it is best for everyone who is looking for a snack that does not have unhealthy extracts or contamination. Carob is also suitable for all who love sweets and are seeking a chocolatey flavor in their meals. Especially if you are on a certain diet and need to look for something different.
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Did you know that carob is low in fat and high in fiber? In this review, we will take you on a journey of understanding the benefits of carob’s goodness:
What is Carob?
Fruit of the carob tree, the evergreen tree likely from Syria and cultivated since ancient times, it then spread to the Mediterranean region. The word “carob” comes from the Arabic word kharrub, which means “pod.”
The carob tree is related to the tamarind tree; it is sometimes known as the “Bread of Saint John” because a legend tells that John the Baptist would have fed his seeds with honey during his crossing of the desert.
The food industry makes extensive use of carob as a substitute for cocoa and as an additive for its stabilizing, binding and gelling properties. The carob also serves as a substitute for coffee and food for the animals.
The carob reappeared massively on the market at the beginning of the ’80s, notably in North America, when the food industry used it to replace the cocoa become rare and expensive as a result of a shortage.
The carob tree can live 100 years; it grows in hot climates and reaches up to 12 m high. This decorative tree has relatively large leaves that are leathery, green, and shiny on the surface.
Small reddish flowers grouped into clusters give rise to fruits, long pods brown flattened and measuring 10 to 30 cm long. They contain a sweet and juicy pulp, within which is a row of 3 to 10 shining seeds, hard, flat, and reddish-brown.
The cultivation of carob has spread to many parts of the world; this tree grows, especially in Mexico, the southern United States, India, South Africa, Australia, and the Middle East.
The carob tree provides two distinct products: carob powder, similar to cocoa, obtained from pods, and locust bean gum obtained from carob seeds contained in the pod.
It is marketed in solid form (powder, broken) or liquid (syrup). The powdered carob is obtained by drying, roasting, and milling the pod after removing the seeds.
Unlike cocoa, carob doesn’t contain high levels of theobromine, a caffeine-like stimulant, and also a compound that is seen to be toxic to dogs in large quantities. Did you know that many dog treats are made with carob powder?
Its amazing to think that something good for you is also good for your dog. This is one less thing to avoid giving your beloved pet.
Taste and value
Due to its sweet flavor, it is not necessary to add sugar when it is used instead of cocoa. However, the taste of carob gains to be relieved, either by cinnamon or mint.
The degree of roasting alters the color and flavor; the higher it is, the darker the carob is, and the more it loses its flavor.
The solid carob, syrup, and broken pieces are made from the powder. As for the seeds contained in the pods, which are covered with a very narrow brown envelope, they contain a white, translucent endosperm that provides locust bean gum. It acts as a thickener.
The carob is used like cocoa and chocolate; it is used in cakes, cookies, drinks, and confectionery. It is used as is or combined with cocoa or chocolate.
One can substitute for each part of cocoa, 11/2 to 2 parts of carob by weight in most recipes. However, it is best to add strong-flavored ingredients to enhance the taste.
When the carob powder replaces the cocoa, reduce by about a quarter the amount of sugar in the recipe, because this powder is sweeter than the cocoa powder.
Carob is less soluble than cocoa. A certain amount remains in suspension in the liquids, giving a less clear consistency and creating a deposit at the bottom of the container; first, dilute the carob with warm water to dissolve it better.
The carob melts at a lower temperature than the chocolate and liquefies faster, which can be embarrassing for the preparation of foams, for example.
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The carob is a relatively caloric fruit since it is estimated that 100g of carob flour is equivalent to about 220kcal. Among its main components, carob contains mainly carbohydrates, half of which are dietary fiber. Proteins, lipids, and water are also found.
Both unsweetened and sweetened carob chips contain no cholesterol. Although it has a little bit more calories compared to chocolate. It is frequently chosen as a healthier replacement.
In terms of minerals and trace elements, carob has a high level of potassium, but also calcium. It also contains phosphorus and magnesium. Besides, the carob contains vitamin A.
These nutritional values differ between the seed and the carob pulp.
Source: Benefits of Carob
Should One Consume Organic Carob?
Of course, it is better to opt for organic carob. However, do not just stop at a common organic name when sourcing for a product. It must have a known origin, and be verified and issued certification by a relevant agency such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Beware of products with unknown origins that are sometimes found on the internet and whose price is often attractive.
It is also present in some slimming diets thanks to its fiber and its appetite-suppressant effect.
Carob is for everyone who wants to discover a new ingredient to make desserts or drinks.
The Best Carob Source I Found
Among the various types available for sale in stores, my family and I have selected a few that seem to offer the best quality and taste on top of having a reasonable price. These are products designed by Azure Standard and take the forms of:
- a) Naturally sweet Bar and baking buttons: As the name implies, this is naturally sweet. I think this is the best substitute if you want to make the change to a healthier alternative to chocolate. The taste is similar to milk chocolate. We were actually surprised at how smooth and silky it is. Truly a great caffeine-free alternative.
- b) Pure unsweetened Bar and baking buttons: I was expecting this to be bitter. But it is not. The taste is actually quite similar to the naturally sweet bar. Perhaps a tad less sweet. But still a great treat.
- c) Cool Mint Bar and baking buttons: For the chocolate mint lovers, this stuff is amazing. My son decided to hide the bar and bag for himself.
Let me give the reasons why.
Although I love chocolate, I am always on the lookout for easy to find, flavorful and healthier alternatives. One that doesn’t require making drastic changes in my palate.
I never thought I would find it in the form of carob. Let me tell you, Azure’s “Uncommon carob” products are unique. It is a chocolate lovers dream.
Both the bars in particular, are silky smooth. The baking buttons are smooth as well and is a perfect mix of chocolatey goodness and flavour. It looks like chocolate, and also quite delicious. We use the baking buttons as a vegan alternative to our croissants and muffins. At home, my kids barely noticed the difference.
The bars have just enough sweetness, tastes really close to chocolate and we are not craving any more candy afterward. If you are the type of person looking for a delectable and satisfying substance, It is time for you to try Azure standard’s uncommon carob today.
As a healthy and informed parent, it would greatly benefit you to visit Azure Standard’s site. If you are ever stuck on finding healthy, organic and reasonably priced products, all in one place, while shopping in the comfort of your living room, this is the one site you need. As a personal experience, my child had many food allergies at an early age. At that time, in the state of Alaska, it was difficult to find reasonably priced non-allergenic, non-dairy drink and substitute to his diet. It was a blessing that I found Azure standard. Now I need not look anywhere else.
If you would like to try healthy and natural alternatives, Azure Standard is a good source of many safe, naturally sourced products and ingredients. Having everything delivered to you is a great plus for a busy mom, don’t you agree?