When I was a kid I went to one of those schools that banned chocolate and junk food in the canteen. Instead, we were offered 'Carob Buds' for 10 cents a bag, and we went bonkers over them. As an adult, I still shamelessly love carob, my mind always associating it with the most decadent treat we could get our hands on at school.
Carob is, in fact, thought to give us a huge range of health benefits, in particular due to the Gallic acid it contains. Gallic acid is heralded as a great analgesic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral and antiseptic. Carob contains no caffeine, but is rich in Vitamin E and calcium. Read more about the health benefits here. Above all these wonderful things is that, of course, it's absolutely delicious! No wonder it was such a great trade off for school kids.
It is, obviously, a worthy chocolate substitute for those who are cannot eat dairy, or for those simply trying to substitute chocolate for a healthy alternative. These carob chips are designed to be used in place of chocolate chips for cooking and baking, or for simply snacking away like we did at school. There are a number of carob chip recipes floating around out there, some of which involve a long list of ingredients and complicated solidifiers to keep them from melting away. Frankly, that all sounds like a lot of hassle - this recipe is super simple, and as long as you store them in the fridge or freezer, they won't melt on you (don't you think it's a bit weird that regular chocolate chips can be kept in the pantry without melting anyway? That's preservatives for you!).
- 1/2 cup organic coconut oil
- 1 cup good quality, organic carob powder
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Wash a small saucepan with very hot water, and dry with a tea towel. Without placing on the heat, melt the coconut oil in the warm pan. The residual heat will melt the oil gently, and help the chips to set smoothly. Note: If your coconut oil is already in liquid form, you can skip this step.
- Combine the melted oil, honey and vanilla in a bowl. Sift in the carob powder, and stir to combine.
- Line a slice tin with a sheet of baking paper, and pour the carob mixture in. Spread out evenly.
- Transfer to the freezer for around 30 mins to set.
- Using a sharp, warm knife, cut the carob slab into chunks or chip-size pieces. Bake or snack as you wish!
- Transfer leftovers to a freezer-safe container, and return to the freezer for storage.