What is the difference between carob and cacao?
Hello! I just found out that there is a Carob powder available to buy and substitute it for cacao or chocolate? Is carob healthier and better than cacao / chocolate? Does it taste the same as real cacao?
What is the carob powder made from ? Thank you!
Hi Peter! Carob powder, from the pod of the carob tree. Cocoa is made from pods of the theobroma cacao plant. Carob powder may be naturally sweeter than cocoa powder, but carob is not as flavorful as chocolate. Cacao is loaded with the methylxanthines caffeine and theobromine, while Carob is caffeine free, theobromine or other stimulants free, so better for kids or all those who cannot consume caffeine. Carob chocolate has lower calories and less fat than chocolate made with cocoa. Also, carob powder does not interfere with the body’s assimilation of calcium unlike cocoa and chocolate.
Carob is considered healthier than cocoa. What’s cool about carob though, is that it is naturally sweet, so you don’t need as much sugar in a recipe if you substitute carob for cacao. You can see it in health food stores or in the “healthy foods” aisle of the regular grocery store. Carob doesn’t contain stimulants.
But to me. carob doesn’t really taste like chocolate at all, but othe people say that it does taste like chocolate 🙂
If to compare plain cocoa powder, with plain carob powder, carob powder is lower in fat but significantly higher in carbohydrates and sugar. But you dont really eat plain powders, so all other ingredients can add up, so you need to count that too. Carob boasts about three times as much calcium as you’d get from cocoa. But cocoa contains more iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese. The polyphenols in carob are also powerful antioxidants, protecting your body from damage from free radicals and environmental toxins. Carob naturally contains polyphenols, which help with blood cholesterol levels in a way similar to dietary fiber.
If you decide to use carob in recipes, please note, that it carob powder and cocoa powder is not a one to one match. I would recommend to use less carob, probably about one fourth to one half the amount called for cacao.
Carob is not really a chocolate but does add to the flavour when used with cacao powder. Cacao powder on its own is bitter and needs additional sweeteners, but it is what creates the true chocolate flavour. Carob supplies the sweet the cocoa needs. 🙂