When hunting for your favorite chocolate chips at the grocery store, there are full chances of you getting across the carob chips. While they look similar to our all-time favorite chocolate chips, they are completely different things.
Just like chocolate comes from cocoa pods, carob comes from carob pods. You can find it mostly in powder and chips form. So, what exactly is carob? And what does carob taste like?
Continue reading below to find out!
What does carob taste like ?
While carob may remind you of cocoa and chocolate, it also has its own unique flavor. Usually carob is less bitter than cocoa, and has a roasted flavor that makes it very similar to cocoa.
It’s not as richly flavored, and definitely not as high in fat as chocolate. It is slightly sweet and has very beautiful earthy notes to it. The taste is reminiscent of luscious caramel.
Due to carob being kind of sweet on its own, less sugar is used when making carob chips. They’re still sweet, but not as sweet as chocolate chips.
What is carob ?
Carob is a native to the Mediterranean. It comes from the pods of the carob tree. The freshly ripe pods usually contain the sweet flesh which is then extracted, dried and ground into a fine powder.
This powder is known as carob powder and resembles closely to the cocoa powder. Moreover, it is the main ingredient for manufacturing carob chips.
Talking about the resemblance, both the carob chips and the powder look very similar to the chocolate chips and cocoa powder in terms of color and texture.
They too have a dark brown color but the flavors are very different than the chocolate. Usually, carob has a nutty, roasted and sweet flavor with earthy notes and it is not bitter like chocolate.
Also unlike chocolate, carob is ‘lighter’ in taste, resembling something like hot cocoa made with water instead of milk. There is no cocoa butter in carob to give it the same flavor as chocolate.
Another point of distinction is that carob is free from caffeine and is very nutritious as well.
Is raw carob naturally sweet ?
Yes, carob has a slightly sweet taste. It gives a very subtle, chocolate-like flavor which is very addictive and gentle on our taste buds.
It is a great option for someone who is avoiding sugar as it can be used without any added sweetness. However, you can always adjust the sweetness according to your taste by adding more sweetener if you like.
Because raw chocolate tastes bitter, you can replace it with carob to get a more intense and sweet taste to your baked goods.
How can I use carob powder, raw or roasted ?
You can use carob powder in both ways. The powder tastes different in two forms. When it is roasted, it becomes more sweet and nutty and gives off a beautiful caramel flavor.
Roasted carob turns a bit dark in color, so you can use it for making brownies, cakes, cookies etc.
Raw carob has a less developed flavor, the same way raw cacao is a little different from roasted cacao.
Read also: Cocoa Butter And Cocoa Powder – Understanding Cocoa Beans
Do carob chips taste similar to chocolate chips ?
No carob chips don’t taste like our regular chocolate chips. Note this thing very clearly in your mind while shopping for the carob chips.
If you’re buying carob chips for the first time and want them to have a taste similar to that of chocolate chips, then hunt for the ones that have cocoa powder, coconut oil or coconut butter as their ingredients.
Having said that, they can act as a decent chocolate substitute. Just don’t expect them to be earth shatteringly delicious like chocolate.
Can I melt carob chips ?
Yes, you can definitely melt your carob chips in the same way you melt the chocolate chips. In fact, you can use them in a similar fashion, add them to your cookies, cakes, milkshakes etc.
But you have to be more careful while melting them as they tend to get clumpy. Make sure to stir continuously over low heat to melt them evenly.
Seeing as carob chips don’t contain any cocoa butter, they won’t have to be tempered and they will take a little more to melt.
Are carob chips sugar free ?
The store-bought carob chips are not entirely sugar free. They do have a good amount of sugar in them. But the plus point is, their sugar content is much less than that of regular chocolate chips.
If you want completely sugar-free carob chips, you can make them on your own by using some good quality sugar-free carob powder.
Keep in mind that some packages may claim they are sugar free, but will still be sweet. This is due to them actually containing artificial sweeteners, which they’re not required to state as carbs or sugars.
This can mislead folks into thinking carob food items are completely sugar free, when in fact they are not.
Can I use carob to replace chocolate ?
yes, you can use carob to replace chocolate and it will work the same way. You can use the same amount of carob as you would chocolate, and the recipe will come out fine.
As we already mentioned, you can use carob for the recipe that calls for chocolate. You can use it in cakes, cookies, puddings, hot beverages and whatnot. However, don’t expect it to taste like chocolate.
It will taste a little different, and maybe better than chocolate. It has a delicious nutty and caramel-like taste. You may consider adding some actual nuts like hazelnuts or pecans to amp the flavor.
Although you can swap cocoa powder with carob powder and chocolate chips with carob chips, don’t swap them entirely when using for the first time. Swap the half ingredients to get a clear sense of the taste and flavor.
In fact, it may be better to taste a few carob chips on their own to see if you like them, and if you’d like them in your recipe at all.
Moreover, the cooking time and techniques of both chocolate and carob are different. Carob chips don’t melt that easily like the chocolate chips, so be very careful. You can easily find carob chips and powder at your local grocery stores. You can even get them online!
Read Also: Can You Eat Cooking Chocolate?
What are the best ways to eat carob ?
Because carob can be used to replace chocolate in various recipes, you can enjoy it in the form of desserts.
You can add it to your cold coffee, milkshake, or smoothie to get a rich, caramel-chocolate taste. You can even use it to make delicious carob bars. If you’re into baking, then try folding it into cake or cupcake batter.
Carob can also be used to make rich and flavorful carob peanut butter tart, carob chip cookies, carob fudge etc.
Basically, if you’re willing to enjoy carob, you can find a million ways to use it. The best part is, it is vegan friendly and has a natural sweetness to it, so it’s a great option for the people who are avoiding sugar.
Read Also:Does Carob Go Bad ?
Carob is a great replacement for the chocolate. Although it doesn’t taste similar to chocolate, it has a very unique and lovely flavor. You can use it in the same way you use cocoa powder and chocolate bars in cooking and baking.
By choosing carob over chocolate, you can get a naturally sweet ingredient that adds a delicious taste to your dishes.
That’s all about carob. If you haven’t tasted this beautiful food item yet, you’re clearly missing out some legit deliciousness.