Have you heard of carob before??
If you’re parents were into the early healthfood movement in the 70’s and 80’s, perhaps you don’t have the fondest memories of carob. Or if you’re like my husband, maybe you do!
Either way, if you’ve heard of it or not, carob is making it’s way back into the healthfood scene as a chocolate alternative.
Wait up. Pump the breaks. What was that??
As a chocolate lover myself, I’m not too thrilled when I hear the words ‘alternative’ and ‘chocolate’ together…but hear me out, because dare I say it, but I actually enjoy the carob from Azure standard!
It’s smooth and creamy and it actually does taste similar to chocolate. Plus carob has some extra health benefits that chocolate cannot claim.
But first let’s talk about why most carob gets a bad reputation.
Most carob brands out there have a lot of extra sugar added, plus they often use hydrogenated oils in the refining process….um, no thanks. That’s a great way to suck any nutritional benefit right out of it.
What I love about UnCommon Carob from Azure is that they use 3-4 times LESS sugar their sweetened carob and it’s 100% organic and non-gmo (they offer an unsweetened version as well with zero added sugar) and they use organic palm oil that is not hydrogenated. These two factors really help keep this in the “healthy” column, in my opinion.
But what about the rainforests? Here’s what Azure has to say:
Most palm oil has got a lot of bad publicity lately, and rightly so, for its contribution to destroying vast acres of natural rainforests. Uncommon Carob‘s supplier of Organic Palm Oil, was chosen for being the most environmentally active company we could find. No rainforests were destroyed in its production. They have earned an impressive number of environmentally friendly and humanitarian certifications.
So what about comparing UnCommon Carob to Chocolate?
How does it really stand up? Is it really worth using carob over chocolate?
- has twice the amount of calcium compared to cocoa
- is free of a migraine-triggering compound
- is caffeine- and fat-free
- contains oxalic acid, which interferes with calcium absorption
- can trigger migraines in some people
- is high in sodium and fat
Carob is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.
But what does the research say?
Well I have good news because according to the latest research, there is actually scientific evidence to prove that this stuff is healthy for you. Science has found that carob is rich in polyphenols (i.e. micronutrients) and that the polyphenols in carob can reduce total and LDL cholesterol (LDL is the kind we don’t really want too much of) in patients with high cholesterol. Yay science!
What about the flavor?
Since we’re talking about health benefits here, I think it’s best to compare the healthiest Carob to the healthiest Chocolate. Dark chocolate. Do you follow Rachel Hollis on Instagram?? She recently shared this…
View this post on Instagram
It cracked me up because it’s true! Who really even truly would choose Dark chocolate (like 80%+, not hersey’s special dark chocolate, that’s not dark y’all) over a sweetened chocolate because of flavor…not very many of us!
But here’s the thing. Even with zero added sugar or sugar alternatives, the unsweetened UnCommon Carob is delicious. I don’t particularly enjoy super dark chocolate, but the ‘dark’ carob is actually good! It’s naturally occurring sweetness keeps it very enjoyable, the extra sweetener isn’t necessary. Does it taste just like chocolate? No. But it’s close, and enjoyable in it’s own right. And I find that when baking with carob, it more easily passes for chocolate 😉
How to use Carob
You can use UnCommon Carob in any way you would use chocolate. They have it in bars and in baking chips. Please note that just because you make your favorite chocolate chip cookies with carob, that doesn’t really make them “healthy” just “healthier” 😉 But feel free to use them in cookies, banana bread, zucchini muffins, melt to make a fruit dip. Seriously, however you enjoy chocolate, you can enjoy carob.
Have you tried carob yet? Tell me what you think of it in the comments!
*Disclosure: Chickadee Homestead was given samples of UnCommon Carob for review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.