I was in the mood for something sweet today.
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
- 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 teaspoon Himalayan rock salt
- 1/2 teaspoon 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)
- Combine cereals and sunflower seeds in a small bowl, set aside
- 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
- Once coconut oil is melted, add carob chips and melt
- Meanwhile, combine agave, salt, and vanilla extract
- Pour agave mixture into metal bowl and stir quickly until combined
- Combine cereal mixture with melted carob chips
- Press mixture into a 9×9 silicon mat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet
- 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)