Culinary Nutrition Guide to Carob and Carob Recipes

Carob products are making a comeback. Once considered the domain of eccentric hippies in the 1960s and 1970s, and a pale imitation of chocolate, carob is being recognized as a delicious ingredient in its own right that can enhance a lot of recipes! Let’s dive into carob and the carob recipes that might inspire you to use it!

What Is Carob?

The carob tree, Ceratonia siliqua, is mainly grown in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It bears fruit in the shape of a long, flat pod and its pulp and seeds are used for culinary purposes, as well as in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Carob’s popularity began to grow in the 1950s and 1960s when experts proclaimed it was a ‘healthier’ alternative to chocolate (we now know that isn’t true). Recipe creators and home cooks began swapping carob into all kinds of recipes – mainly baked goods and sweet treats – that called for chocolate.

You’ll commonly find carob in a few forms:

Carob Powder

Carob powder is fashioned by drying out the carob pods, removing the seeds, and then grinding the pods into a fine powder. It has the same texture and consistency as cocoa powder or cacao powder. You can even try making your own if you have access to carob trees!

Carob Chips

An alternative to chocolate chips, carob chips are typically made with carob powder, oils, and sugar. You’ll want to read labels carefully if purchasing carob chips, as many brands can contain unhealthful cooking oils, gluten, dairy products, and refined sugars.

Locust Bean Gum

Locust bean gum, also called carob gum, is a polysaccharide extracted from the endosperm of carob seeds. It has a thick, gooey consistency and is frequently used by food producers as a thickener and stabilizer in their products. Pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies also draw on these thickening and stabilizing properties.

Culinary Nutrition Benefits of Carob

Carob has many beneficial health properties! Carob is:

Research indicates that the compounds in carob can inhibit cancer cell growth, reduce cholesterol levels, help regulate blood sugar, and have anti-diabetic effects. It can also benefit the digestive tract, reducing diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, and ulcers. The fibre content of locust bean gum has been shown to benefit digestion, the cardiovascular system and have anti-cancer effects.

And a side note: unlike chocolate, carob is safe for dogs!

Carob Recipes Versus Chocolate Recipes

Carob has lived most of its modern life in the shadow of chocolate, often declared inferior and less flavourful. Carob has a nutty, earthy flavour and it’s actually very sweet. If you’ve ever tried cacao powder, cacao nibs, or 100% dark chocolate, you’ll likely have noticed that chocolate is very bitter. Carob isn’t – and for this reason, you can typically reduce the natural sweeteners you add to carob recipes or sometimes leave them out entirely.

Carob is often used as a substitute for chocolate, particularly in the Autoimmune Paleo Diet (AIP). It’s nice to have the option of swapping carob for chocolate 1:1 in recipes, but remember that carob will taste different!

How to Use Carob

Carob powder is very easy to use in your favourite recipes. Try carob in:

Due to its natural sweetness, we prefer using carob in treats and baked goods.

10 awesome Carob Recipes To Try

Loads of carob recipes for you!

Homemade Carob ‘Chocolate’ Bars

carob recipes

Homemade Carob ‘Chocolate’ Bars by Healing Family Eats

This three-ingredient recipe (with absolutely no sugar) allows you to experience the wonderful flavour of carob.


Oat Carob Energy Bites

carob energy bites

Oat Carob Energy Bites by Crystal Dawn Culinary

An easy, no-bake snack for a bump of energy (or just because they’re tasty).


Superfood Maca-Carob Latte

carob latte

Superfood Maca-Carob Latte by Darn Good Veggies

A 5-ingredient elixir recipe starring carob and the culinary adaptogen maca.


Carob Chia Pudding

carob

Carob Chia Pudding by Jennifer’s Kitchen

A creamy and luxurious chia pudding that is great for meal prep and batch cooking.


Paleo Carob and Tahini Seed Bars

carob recipe

Paleo Carob and Tahini Seed Bars by Love Food Nourish

A nut-free granola bar recipe that combines carob with one of our favourite seed butters – tahini.


3 Ingredient Carob Nice Cream

carob recipes

3 Ingredient Carob Nice Cream by Hurried Health Nut

All you need are frozen bananas, carob powder, and coconut milk, plus a blender to whip up a creamy batch of homemade ice cream.


Carob Pumpkin Blender Muffins

carob muffins

Carob Pumpkin Blender Muffins by Sondi Bruner (*Academy of Culinary Nutrition Head Program Coach)

We all like pumpkin and chocolate, so why not pumpkin and carob? These gluten-free, vegan, and nut-free blender muffins are soft and tender.


Creamy No-tella Carob Butter

carob recipes

Creamy No-tella Carob Butter by Ricki Heller

Who needs that conventional breakfast spread that shall-not-be-named when this healthier recipe is around?


Carob Cacao Maca Truffles

carob truffles

Carob Cacao Maca Truffles by Vanilla Crunch

If you’re not 100% on board with carob recipes, these truffles help to ease the transition by mixing carob with cacao powder.


Dreamy ‘Chocolate’ Zucchini Bread

carob recipes

Dreamy ‘Chocolate’ Zucchini Bread by Rally Pure

This carob bread has a lot going for it: it’s free of common allergens, is grain-free, AIP-compliant, and full of vegetables.

 

Exploring new ingredients is an important component of culinary nutrition. We encourage you to give carob some love – you won’t regret it.

Carob recipes

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2 responses to “Culinary Nutrition Guide to Carob and Carob Recipes

  1. Mona Currans March 11, 2021

    Does your team know of any brand of soy-free carob chips that are sold in Canada- specifically Halifax, Nova Scotia? Thanks to your amazing team! Meghan, I own all your cookbooks and read all your blogs! I’m a grandmother and I still find everything relevant!

  2. Academy of Culinary Nutrition March 16, 2021

    Hi Mona! Thank you for your kind words – and for reading our posts! For carob chips, check out Organic Matters: https://www.omfoods.com/products/carob-chips-unsweetened. They’re a great online source for all kinds of quality ingredients.

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