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March 6, 2013 • Posted by Christina Fong
Some people love it, and some people hate it, but before we go into whether or not carob is better than chocolate, let’s talk about what carob is exactly.
Much like lentils, carob is a legume that comes from tree pods typically found in Mediterranean countries but are also grown around the world. The pods are dried, roasted, and ground up to produce the powder used in many carob recipes. It is also sold in the form of chips or syrup. So why are we talking about it?
Carob has become an increasingly popular chocolate-substitute, especially for parents looking to wean their kids off chocolate itself. There are arguments for and against carob but when it comes down to it, carob is a healthier option for children because:
- It’s naturally sweet, unlike chocolate, which contains large amounts of sugar and other unhealthy additives to mask its naturally bitter taste.
- It doesn’t contain any caffeine or theobromine, which are the stimulants that contribute to high blood sugar levels and often give kids that “sugar high” parents try to avoid.
- It’s high in calcium. In fact, it contains about 3 times as much calcium as chocolate does. This is particularly important for growing kids in terms of proper bone and teeth development.
Arguments against carob typically come down to taste and texture. As wonderful a substitute carob is, it just isn’t chocolate and won’t fool any chocolate enthusiasts into believing it is chocolate. However, its naturally sweet taste and health advantages make it worth introducing into your children’s diet. Introduce it to them early enough and they won’t even know what they’re missing!