Last week I got into what carob is exactly and how it is similar to cocoa powder. Today I want to look at why you would want to replace chocolate or cacao in your diet with carob. There are actually many health benefits to carob and reasons why you should consider reaching for carob powder instead of cocoa.
Some people have a sensitivity to caffeine or want to avoid it completely for other reasons, which is understandable. Caffeine is one of the most widely used drugs on the planet and you can get physically addicted to it, albeit mildly. Carob is naturally sweet like cacao, and can be used in place of cacao in your recipes while providing a similar texture or “mouthfeel” as all the foodies say.
In terms of nutrition, carob provides a number of vitamins and nutrients. Carob is packed with vitamins A, B1, and B2, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. It contains no fat, no saturated fat, and no cholesterol. However, carob powder has double the amount of calories compared to cocoa powder (25 vs. 12 per tablespoon) and twice the amount of carbs (6g vs. 3g.) But, the bitterness of cocoa is typically softened with butter and sugar, making it much less healthy. This isn’t needed with carob powder.
Carob is also known to ease upset stomachs. If you have an queasy stomach, try mixing in a tablespoon or two of carob powder in your smoothie. It can help when you’re suffering from diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. Of course, you can mix it in with your smoothies or substitute it in place of cocoa in your recipes even when you’re not feeling under the weather.