What you need to know: For all of you dying for a chocolate alternative, this is it. carob is a member of the legume family, and yet has an uncanny likeness to chocolate. While carob may taste like chocolate, it does not contain some of chocolate’s less appealing health attributes. Free of stimulants, caffeine and theobromine, you do not have to worry about the post-chocolate jitters. In addition, it is also free of oxalic acid, so for those of you who are prone to kidney stones, carob will not promote their development.
Why you should try it: Like all good superfoods, carob has a strong mythical past. First used thousands of years ago, it was once believed that John the Baptist sustained himself on the carob bean alone, which led to it also being referred to as St. John’s bread. So how did he do it exactly? Carob contains vitamins A, B, B2, B3 and D, making it no slouch in the vitamin department, and it is also a good source of protein, making it practically a complete meal. But to top off the list, it is also an excellent source of calcium, said to contain more than three times as much calcium as milk… vegans are you listening? Therefore, it is a key preventative food for osteoporosis, and an excellent nutritional supplement for anyone who is dairy-free.
Let’s get together: Carob wins the prize for pleasing your taste buds without the side effects, and fortunately we can think of a few ways to use it. Rich and creamy, and slightly sweet, this is the perfect powder to be used in all desserts and smoothies, and the best part is that it is really healthy for you too. If you are as anxious as I was to start using it, try this utterly enticing recipe for raw orange carob pudding that satisfies without expanding that waistline. Plus it can be made in under 10 minutes! Now that is superfood perfection.
Raw Orange Carob Pudding
1 avocado, peeled and pit removed
1 banana, ripe and peeled
4 Tbsp carob powder
2 Tbsp raw honey
1 tsp vanilla extract (alcohol-free is best)
1/2 cup fresh-pressed orange juice
Place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend on high until creamy.
Place in a storage container and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Serve chilled, and feel free to add toppings such as orange zest, carob chips, shredded coconut or coconut whipped cream.