One of the things that people are wondering about is how well carob and chocolate can replace each other, so it might be worth learning more about the difference between them.
While carob is not the same as cocoa powder, you can still reach for it when you need a chocolate replacement.
Today we’re going to explore what are the differences and similarities between chocolate and carob so that we can understand their relationship.
The first thing to know is that there isn’t much in terms of actual ingredients or flavorings used in making either one.
Both contain sugar, milk solids, butter fat, lecithin, vanilla extract, and sometimes salt.
But while both have similar amounts of these basic ingredients, they also differ on some key points.
For example, carob contains less than 1% caffeine compared with 5-6% found in dark chocolate. Carob has no tannins, which means it doesn’t get bitter like chocolate does over time.
Carob comes from pods that grow underground. The seeds inside the pod are called drupelets. They look very different from cacao beans.
They don’t even taste anything close to chocolate. But if you grind up those drupelets into flour, then add water, you’ll end up with something that tastes pretty good. It’s actually quite sweet!
Chocolate gets its name because it was originally made by grinding down dried cacao beans.
It takes around 20 pounds of raw cacao beans to make just 2 ounces of chocolate.
Chocolate makers use this bean mixture to create a paste that goes through an alkalizing process before being molded into bars. This makes the final product smoother and easier to eat.
In contrast, carobs are made using ground carob seed kernels. These are usually sold already roasted and ready to go.
This roasting step gives carob a slightly nutty flavor.
If you’ve ever tried eating carob, you may notice that it feels kind of sticky in your mouth. That’s because it’s sweeter than regular granulated white sugar.
This sweetness helps mask any bitterness that could come from the natural compounds in the plant.
When you compare the two, you’ll find that carob is almost twice as sweet as regular table sugar.
That said, most recipes will call for equal parts of both sugars. So you won’t really miss out on too many calories.
You should note though that carobs tend to stick together better than chocolate. You’ll want to stir it often during baking to keep everything mixed evenly.
Because of this, carob is best suited for baked goods such as cookies, cakes, muffins, brownies, etc.
As mentioned earlier, carob contains less caffeine than chocolate. In fact, it only has 0.3 mg per ounce versus 3mg/oz in dark chocolate.
So if you prefer having a little bit of energy without feeling jittery, try adding a few drops of stevia instead of plain old sugar.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy carob besides baking. For instance, you can mix it with yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast. Or sprinkle it onto cereal or fruit salad.
Or you can simply chew on pieces of fresh carob pods. Just be sure not to swallow them whole.
The main reason why people choose one food over another isn’t always about nutrition. Sometimes it’s all about preference.
And when it comes to choosing between chocolate and carob, there’s definitely a big difference in flavors.
Dark chocolate is rich and creamy tasting. It’s got lots of butterfat and milk solids. All of these things give chocolate its distinctive texture and flavor.
On the other hand, carob is much lighter and more neutral tasting. It doesn’t have nearly as much fat content. Instead, it’s mostly composed of fiber and carbohydrates.
These carbs help provide a nice smoothness to the overall experience. They also contribute to making carobs feel like a healthy snack option.
While we’re talking about differences between chocolate and carob… let’s talk about where they actually grow!
Both foods originate from plants called legumes. But while carob grows naturally throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, chocolate originates exclusively from South American countries including Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and even some Caribbean islands.
Yes, but their production methods differ slightly. Cocoa beans go through an initial fermentation process before being dried and roasted. This step makes the beans easier to grind into flour.
Carob seeds don’t need to undergo this extra processing step. As a result, they tend to stay intact longer after harvesting.
In addition, the bean itself is smaller than those used to make cocoa. That means it takes fewer beans to produce 1 cup of ground carob compared to what would take to get 1 cup of cocoa powder.
It does indeed. The two share many similarities in terms of appearance, aroma, and flavor profile.
But because carob is lower in calories and fats, it tastes sweeter than regular chocolate. So if you’ve ever wondered how to tell which kind of candy bar is healthier, look no further than your pantry shelf.
If you see "carob" written next to something labeled "chocolate," then chances are good that it’s safe to eat.
You’ll find recipes online that call for using carob instead of sugar. These include cookies, cakes, brownies, muffins, pancakes, waffles, breads, pastries, ice cream, pudding, sauces, dips, spreads, candies, beverages, and more.
If you want to try out any of these ideas at home, just remember: You may substitute up to half of the amount of sugar listed in each recipe with equal amounts of carob powder.
The short answer here is yes. While both contain similar levels of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein, and dietary fibers, carob has less saturated fat and cholesterol.
This gives it a slight edge over dark chocolate. However, since most people already consume plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and dairy products on a daily basis, adding another source of plant-based nutrients isn’t going to hurt anyone.
As long as you stick to certified organic varieties, there shouldn’t be much risk involved when feeding carobs to pets or livestock.
However, keep in mind that not all types of carob are created equally. Some brands have been found to cause digestive issues in dogs. If you suspect your dog might suffer from such problems, consult your veterinarian first.
While its popularity continues to grow among health conscious consumers, one reason why it hasn’t become mainstream yet could simply be due to lack of awareness about it.
Many people still associate carobs with children’s snacks and treats. They also think that eating too much of it will lead to weight gain.
That said, studies show that consuming moderate quantities of carob doesn’t increase body mass index either. In fact, some research suggests that it actually helps reduce obesity by increasing satiety.
Carob is definitely pricier than other forms of chocolate. But this price difference varies depending on where you live. For example, while buying carob bars in New York City costs around $3 per ounce, they cost only $1.50 per ounce in Los Angeles.
So before making assumptions based on location, check prices across different cities. Also note that grocery stores often offer discounts during certain times of year.
Chocolates come in many shapes and sizes. From milk chocolates to white chocolates, dark chocolates to truffles, ganache filled chocolates to plain ones, we’ve got them all! The best part is that even though they vary so widely in terms of taste, texture, shape, size, etc., they all share one thing in common – their ability to satisfy our sweet tooth.