No Bake Chewy Carob Squares

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on January 9, 2011

I was in the mood for something sweet today.

We’ve been living on soup, casseroles, soup, and more casseroles this week. As much as I love these warming foods this time of year, I was dying for a chewy dessert and a tall glass of almond milk.

Thankfully after two tries, and a pair of very sticky hands later, my wish was granted.

You all know how much I love cacao spread, cacao cups, and cacao macaroons. But I wanted to try something new, and was looking for a caffeine free alternative [just in case I wanted to indulge in an afternoon nap]. Keeping these requirements in mind, I quickly landed on carob.

Cacao vs. Carob

  • Both are grown in tropical pods, but carob is naturally sweeter and has a stronger bitter taste to it
  • Both have equal amounts of fats and calories
  • Cacao is a super-food with much more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals than carob
  • Carob is caffeine free
  • Carob is more alkalizing to the body

Essentially, cacao is a super-food and will contain a lot more health benefiting nutrients than carob. Having said that however, carob is less acidic, so it really boils down to what your health goals are. For me, it’s about variety so, I say… bring on the alkalizing treat!

No Bake Chewy Carob Squares

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (look for the extra virgin, cold pressed oil. It should smell like coconut)
  • 1 cup unsweetened carob chips (if you can only find the sweetened variety, try removing the agave from the recipe)
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Enjoy Life Crunchy Rice (Nature’s Path Crispy Rice cereal would work too)
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup Natures Path Rice Puffs (puffed wheat would work too, but it would not be gluten-free)

Directions

  1. Combine cereals and sunflower seeds in a small bowl, set aside
  2. Boil water in a large soup pot. Once boiled, place a metal bowl over the top of the pot (make shift double boiler). Place coconut oil in the metal bowl to melt
  3. Once coconut oil is melted, add carob chips and melt
  4. Meanwhile, combine agave, salt, and vanilla extract
  5. Pour agave mixture into metal bowl and stir quickly until combined
  6. Combine cereal mixture with melted carob chips
  7. Press mixture into a 9×9 silicon mat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet
  8. Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to harden up

Optional: make into bite sized balls instead of bars. They’re a bit easier to eat, and in a smaller portion.

Makes 16-20 bars (depending on how generous you are)

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Trish

These sound great. Love how they’re no bake. I can imagine the sweet flavor and crunch. Yum!

Reply

Cakewhiz

Those pictures are so pretty and this recipe looks so easy. Btw, where can i get carob chips fom? I don’t remember ever seeing them in the baking aisle of grocery stores….

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Leanne

You can find carob at health food stores. It’s usually in the bulk section or in the baking section. It’s pretty well priced (the unsweetened is MUCH cheaper so I chose to make the recipe with unsweetened and add agave).

Good luck!

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Jag

As someone who loves any and everything chocolate… this is my favourite recipe you’ve come up with! 1. I feel like I’m biting into a delicious chocolate treat. 2. It tastes great, and 3. It’s healthy!

Can’t wait to make this recipe at home.

Reply

Cajun Chef Ryan

Leanne,
This is a unique ingredient list for a healthy recipe. The carob, which I am ashamed to say, have not had in a very long time, and the agave nectar is such a wonderful sweeting and natural healthy addition, the Himalayan rock salt has my attention, researching that one soon. Bet these are a great energy booster on my next outdoor hiking adventure!

Bon appetit!
CCR
=:~)

Reply

Leanne

Thanks Ryan! Himalayan rock salt is my favourite of the salts with what I’ve found to contain the highest amount of alkaline promoting nutrients. Sea salt is good too (if you can find the gray coloured good stuff). Great for the thyroid! It really depends on what you’re after too. Good luck with the research!

I made these again 2 days ago and rolled them into balls instead of squares. They were delicious and would be perfect for hiking!

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Jean Pierson

This sound wonderful! We can’t wait to give them a try.
(You have a beautiful website.)

Reply

Leanne

Thanks Jean!

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Christina

These look very tasty!

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Lisa @ Sugar Free Low Carb Recipes

Carob is something that I haven’t had in a while. Looks like a great snack.

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Stephanie

Hi, Leanne! I’m a big fan of your recipes and I wanted to ask what brand of unsweetened carob chips you get? I live in BC and the only kinds I can find has some kind of milk powder, or hydrogenated palm oil. I’ve done some research and I read that palm oil doesn’t require hydrogenation? I am aware hydrogenated oil is essentially trans fat, so I don’t know if I want to buy it or not. Any suggestions?

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

What perfect timing you have :) I just found a fantastic brand of gluten-free/vegan carob chips a couple of weeks ago, from chatfields: http://www.chatfieldsbrand.com/ you can order their products directly from the site. I’m posting a review of the chips this week (but I don’t want to wait until then to tell you that they’re AWESOME!)

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Tammy

Hi, I have been making these for the last couple of months using the sweetened carob chips with no added agave and they have been amazing! My 6 & 8 year old love them and I add additional nuts for extra protein.
However, having to be cognizant of my 6 year olds sugar intake (she has sensitivities to cane sugars and it’s derivatives) I have been trying to make the bars as per the recipe using agave…they have been a disaster! Each time I add the agave, salt and vanilla to the melted carob and oil it separates leaving me oil and coagulated carob!! :( I have tried it 3 times with the same results then tried Maple Syrup with the same result! Is there a trick to adding the sweetener that I am not aware of?? I stir it quickly and remove from the heat, I’ve left it on the heat…HELP please! This is such a fantastic recipe when it works!!

Reply

Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Tammy – I love the idea of using nuts and also great to know it works without the agave. I attended a chocolate making course a couple of months ago and in it, they talked about chocolate doing the same thing when the agave/sweetener is added in. I believe they said it can happen when water is added by accident, or the sweetener is added too quickly. Try removing the bowl from the pot (be mindful not to get any water in the mix) then slowly add the agave and whisk the entire time. It should combine, you just have to keep whisking and be sure not to add it too quickly. You could also try decreasing the coconut oil to 1/3 cup. Sorry it’s not working out for you and hope these adjustments give you the right result!

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Tammy

Thank you for responding so quickly Leanne, I will definitely try that as this is a treat my whole family enjoys!
I love your website, it’s been a great source of information and many great recipes since we have switched to wheat free, dairy free and sugar (cane) free! It’s amazing how many things contain these ingredients!!

Reply

Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Anytime, Tammy! Would love to know if adding the sweetener slowly helps iron out the kinks. Glad my blog has helped you and your family :)

Reply

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