Since Valentine’s Day is this week, chocolate is on my mind! I have always loved chocolate (who doesn’t?), but I don’t really like the sugar and additives that are in so many of the chocolates in the stores. Chocolate is supposed to actually be good for you-by itself- but can be ruined with the high amounts of sugar added.
My husband had gotten me some very good truffles around Christmas time that we noticed were made with coconut oil. These truffles had the best texture and melt in your mouth quality that I had experienced. While I haven’t tried (yet) to recreate those truffles, a recipe for Carob chips in Nourishing Traditions, made with coconut oil, caught my eye.
I replaced the carob powder with cocoa and we thought it was wonderful! I have used it for snacking on plain, added it to homemade granola for a rich breakfast, and converted it to use in a few desserts. But it wasn’t until last night that we tried the original recipe made with carob (I made it because my 18 month old daughter liked the chocolate variation, and I didn’t want her to have the caffeine). We were surprised that we rather liked it. It was not chocolate, that was for sure. But the carob did have a natural sweetness that was nice.
The last variation that I have done on this recipe is sweetening it with stevia instead of rapadura. I am on a strict health diet right now that doesn’t allow sugars, even natural ones. When made with stevia, it does have a slight aftertaste of stevia that may take getting used too. But it didn’t stop us from gobbling it down!
Original Carob Chips Recipe, from Nourishing Traditions
Makes 1 cup
3/4 cup carob powder
1/4 cup of rapadura
1 cup coconut oil (what grade of coconut oil you use will determine whether you have a coconut taste in your chocolate)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chocolate extract
Place all ingredients in a glass container and set in simmering water until melted. Mix together well. Spread mixture on a piece of buttered parchment paper and allow to cool in the refrigerator (I have done this in the freezer, as well). I like to use a loaf pan with the parchment paper in it to get a thicker chocolate. When hardened, remove parchment paper and cut into chips. Store chips in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Because the coconut oil does melts easily, do keep this in the refrigerator and beware that it melts quickly in warm hands!
Chocolate variation: Substitute a high fat cocoa powder for the carob powder. The chocolate extract is entirely optional. Since chocolate doesn’t have the natural sweetness of carob, this recipe will make a very bittersweet recipe (just like I like it!), so taste it and add more rapadura if you like your chocolate sweeter.
Stevia Option: Replace all rapadura with 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of stevia powder.