Quick Recipes and Easy

Indulge Your Taste for Chocolate – Guilt-free

What do you do when you like chocolate but are concerned about the calories, caffeine, and other harmful substances it contains?

That is the question with which my mother dealt while I was growing up. My father is border-line sugar diabetic, but he has a sweet tooth, particularly when it comes to chocolate. His all-time favorite cake is still German chocolate cake. Mom checked into healthy alternatives for chocolate and learned carob powder.

Because they taste very similar, carob powder is a fantastic substitute for cocoa, and it’s a breeze to use: just replace the cocoa powder prescribed in any recipe with the same amount of carob powder. By so doing, you will get the chocolate taste you crave without putting your health at risk.

UCLA Professor Arthur C. Gibson teaches a course on economic botany and has written the manual used as a textbook for the course. In his informative essay on carob located on UCLA’s botanical garden web site, Professor Gibson describes the nutritional advantages of carob powder when compared with cocoa powder:

“Although this product has a slightly different taste than chocolate, it has only one-third the calories (total 1595 calories per pound), is virtually stout-free (chocolate is half stout), is rich in pectin, is non-allergenic, has abundant protein, and has no oxalic acid, which interferes with absorption of calcium. Consequently, carob flour is widely used in health foods for chocolate-like flavoring.”

Carob powder is generally available from health food stores and can also be bought over the Internet.

Here is a recipe from Barry Farm Foods to start you on your path to guilt-free indulgence:

2 c. sugar
6 T. Carob powder
2 T. butter
2/3 c. milk
Pinch of salt
1 t. vanilla

Combine sugar, milk, salt and carob powder. Bring mixture to boil, not stirring. Boil to soft ball stage (234-238°F). Add butter and vanilla and cool without stirring ’til butter melts. Beat mixture ’til creamy and thickening and shine disappears. Pour into well-buttered pan. Cut into squares.

NOTE: If you want nutty fudge, add 1/2 c. chopped nuts when you add the vanilla.

Delight in your guilt-free “chocolate” indulgence!

Revka Stearns is a SAHM whose blog, The Porch Light, shares her thoughts and thoughts about family, faith, parenting, and life in general. You can view The Porch Light at ourfamilyporch.blogspot.com/ ourfamilyporch.blogspot.com

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