Calling all chocolate lovers! Let’s talk carob today. You may have spotted carob bars, flour and chips in health food markets. However, did you know that you can easily the use carob pods in a variety of ways? Don’t be intimidated by theses uniquely shaped pods. After learning about all carob has to offer, you’re going to want to get yourself familiarized with this fantastic ingredient.
Health enthusiasts love carob for its roasted cocoa-like flavor and often use it as a substitute for chocolate or coffee. Carob is caffeine-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. It is an excellent all-around ingredient for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth without sacrificing too many health benefits. Processing these high-fiber pods may look complicated but trust us when we say it’s anything but. Simply grind up the pods in a food processor or blender and use as a stand-in for cocoa powder. Or after grinding up the pods, mix with a little boiled water to make a sweet chocolatey syrup.
This week in Melissa’s Corporate Kitchen, our Chef’s Team put together this phenomenal carob butter. Not to toot our own horn but this beats out other dessert spreads any day. After all, it tastes pretty close to cookie butter, except with healthier ingredients. Win-win for all! The natural chocolatey undertones from the carob pods mixed with the nuttiness from the cashews and sunflower seeds make for one dynamite combination.
Use this carob butter as a spread over gluten-free toast or a dipper for finger foods. We tried it with sliced apples and the results were simply delectable!
- 2 (7 oz.) Packages Melissa's Carob broken into pieces
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup Cashews
- 1/2 cup Sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Granulated Sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Place the carob in a blender or food processor and spin until finely chopped. If needed, you can also process further in a spice grinder. Pass the carob through a mesh strainer into a bowl to remove any large fragments. You should have about 1 cup of carob powder. Mix in the coconut oil and set aside.
- Place the cashews and sunflower seeds on a cookie sheet and toast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Once cooled, place the nuts and seeds into a food processor and coarsely chop. Add the hemp seed and the sugar and process to a fine meal, scraping down the sides as you go. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until it forms a ball. Use warm or store in the refrigerator. Spread on apple slices, toast, veggie crudite, etc. Makes 3 1/2-4 cups.