The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Indulge your taste for chocolate - guilt-free!

What do you do when you love chocolate but are concerned about the calories, caffeine, and other harmful substances it contains?

That is the question with which my mother dealt while I was growing up. My father is border-line sugar diabetic, but he has a sweet tooth, particularly when it comes to chocolate. His all-time favorite cake is still German chocolate cake. Mom checked into healthy alternatives for chocolate and discovered carob powder.

Because they taste very similar, carob powder is a great substitute for cocoa, and it's a breeze to use: just use carob powder instead of the cocoa powder prescribed in any recipe. Doing so allows you to get the chocolate taste you crave without putting your health at risk.

UCLA Professor Arthur C. Gibson teaches a course on economic botany and has written the manual used as a textbook for the course. In his informative essay on carob located on UCLA's botanical garden web site, Professor Gibson describes the nutritional advantages of carob powder when compared with cocoa powder:
"Although this product has a slightly different taste than chocolate, it has only one-third the calories (total 1595 calories per pound), is virtually fat-free (chocolate is half fat), is rich in pectin, is non allergenic, has abundant protein, and has no oxalic acid, which interferes with absorption of calcium. Consequently, carob flour is widely used in health foods for chocolate-like flavoring."

Carob powder is generally available from health food stores and can also be purchased over the Internet.

Here is a recipe from Barry Farm Foods to get you started:


2 c. sugar
6 T. Carob powder
2 T. butter
2/3 c. milk
Pinch of salt
1 t. vanilla

Combine sugar, milk, salt and carob powder. Bring mixture to boil, not stirring. Boil to soft ball stage (234-238°F). Add butter and vanilla and cool without stirring 'til butter melts. Beat mixture 'til creamy and thickening and shine disappears. Pour into well-buttered pan. Cut into squares.

If you want nutty fudge, add 1/2 c. chopped nuts when you add the vanilla.

Enjoy your guilt-free "chocolate" indulgence!

This post is an entry in the Fourth Healthy and Fit Family Carnival hosted by Thrifty Mommy.


knowhimwell said...

Looking great!


Revka said...

Having grown up with this substitution, I think it's pretty good; my sister, on the other hand, hates carob. I guess it's like any food - some people like it and others don't.

Shoshannah said...

You weren't lying, I despise it. I found out that I don't like chocolate powder either. Both powders give a gritty texture. YUK!