Carob makes a great substitute for a delicious and healthier treat on any of the holidays that typically call for chocolate like, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas, birthdays, etc.
Chocolate and cacao, including raw cacao, are stimulating, addictive and toxic substances. In fact, they are drugs that disrupt neurotransmitters in the brain, overstimulate the sympathetic nervous system and cardiovascular system, harm the gastrointestinal tract, lead to addiction and produce a variety of other negative effects that can be detrimental to our health when consumed on a regular basis.
While chocolate and cacao can produce headaches, anxiety, nervousness, rapid heartbeat, cravings, and intense irritability, carob does not have these effects. Carob is free of caffeine, theobromine, theophylline, tyramine, phenylethylamine, anandamide, and oxalic acid; some of the stimulating, mind-altering and addictive substances that are present in chocolate.
Carob is high in protein and fiber and also contains a variety of other nutrients like calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, folate, choline, potassium, zinc, vitamin A and D, and vitamins B2 and B3.
Additionally, carob is smooth and creamy, just like chocolate; and it is actually much richer in flavor and even sweeter than chocolate. Chocolate is actually bitter unless you add sugar. That is not the case with carob; it is lightly sweet in its natural state.
Just like chocolate, carob can be found in powder, bar and chip form, is easy to use, and thus can be used in the same manner as its counterpart. You can snack on the carob chips out of the bag, melt them for fondue, form them into candy bars or fudge or drizzle it over strawberries or bananas. You can even have a nice cup of hot carob on a cold winter’s night.
Every now and then I like to melt unsweetened carob chips and stir in some nut butter for an instant and delicious fudge experience. Here’s my recipe, if you’re interested.
Unlike chocolate, carob will not harm your dog, so you can feel free to share a little with your best friend, if you have one.
All of this makes it a much better choice than chocolate or raw cacao. However, carob is a legume and legumes are very high in lectins, which are destructive to the gastrointestinal tract and may result in nutritional deficiencies, leaky gut and autoimmune disorders. Furthermore, it is also high in carbs, which means it will prompt an insulin response; and therefore can contribute to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, obesity, etc. if eaten frequently or in excess. It can also be a trigger for cravings in the sugar and carb addicted and will feed Candida yeast if one has overgrowth, which means it could also incite anxiety or depression in certain individuals.
Therefore, carob is not a perfect food either and should be reserved for occasional treats and holidays, not consumed on a daily basis.