The average chocolate bar contains anywhere between 8 and 30 grams of sugar, depending on the size of the bar and its additional flavours. As a marker though, did you know that a 45g Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bar contains 25g sugar (or just over 6 teaspoons)? That fact on its own is quite overwhelming to me, but when you also know that the recommended daily intake of added sugar is 30g, it gives even more perspective.
And so we welcome to the sugar-free party…carob. For anyone unfamiliar with carob, it grows in a pod which contains a naturally sweet and edible pulp. This pulp is dried and roasted and often ground into a powder that looks a lot like cocoa powder, but can be found in other forms too.
There is no denying that carob is no real substitute for chocolate, and it can be an acquired taste, particularly if you are used to very sweet foods. However, carob has many health benefits alongside its ability to imitate chocolate! Carob contains as much Vitamin B1 as a strawberry, as much niacin as lentils or peas, and more Vitamin A than asparagus. It also contains Vitamin B2, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and the trace minerals iron, manganese, chromium, copper, and nickel. It contains approximately 8% protein and is a good source of fiber. Compared to chocolate, carob is three times richer in calcium, has one third fewer calories and seventeen times less fat.
Are you impressed? You should be! And used the right way, baking with carob could make passing on chocolate a little bit easier in future. This recipe isn’t going to be everyones taste, but I think they’re scrummy!
200g unsalted butter
Zest of 1 large orange
Juice of 1/2 orange
1tsp vanilla extract
2tsp orange extract
2tbsp nut butter (Almond or Indulgent Nut Butter)
100g plain flour
50g Choc Orange Cocoa Powder or Cacao Powder or any other sugar-free cocoa powder you prefer
1tsp baking powder
100g Carob chips
- Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line a 24 x 20cm brownie tin with baking parchment.
- Put the butter in a non-stick saucepan and very gently melt over a low heat. Allow to cool while you complete the next step.
- Whisk the eggs , zest, juice, extracts and nut butter together until combined.
- Gently stir into the cooled butter.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa into the mixture and stir until completely combined.
- Add the carob chips and stir.
- Pour into the lined tin and bake for 15 mins if you prefer gooey brownies, and 20 mins for more cakey brownies.
- Cool in the tin, then cut into squares and serve.