- Food and Cooking
Carob Brownies Recipe for Vegans
Nutritional Comparison of Dark Chocolate, Carob, and Cocoa
While it would appear that cocoa is the superior food, both cocoa and its altered form, dark chocolate, contain significant amounts of caffeine. Carob has none.
Also, while carob is high in sugar, less sweetener is needed in recipes due to its natural sweetness; whereas, cocoa and dark chocolate would require more to mask their bitterness.
Carob lacks the protein concentration of cocoa, but provides high energy. Protein can be compensated by eating other foods high in this nutrient. Comparisons for cocoa and carob are similar with respect to potassium, fiber, copper, and manganese. However, cocoa delivers significant amounts of zinc, iron, and magnesium; whereas, carob is high in riboflavin and calcium.
A Word About Caffeine
Caffeine, even moderate amounts, can cause headaches, nausea, and anxiety. One tablespoon of dark chocolate contains six grams (6 mg) of caffeine, and the same amount of cocoa has 8.4 mg. One tablespoon is equivalent to about a half ounce. One cup of coffee is eight fluid ounces (8 fl oz) and ha 64 mg caffeine.
In time, caffeine takes its toll and can become addictive. More than not, a person suffering that afternoon headache relies on a cup of coffee to get rid of the headache! Caffeine causes the heart rate to increase, which temporarily increases circulation, but adversely affects the health of the heart and nerves.
Keep this in mind when you go to nibble that extra piece of chocolate or use chocolate or cocoa in a recipe.
A Closer Look at Carob
Carob (Ceratonia siliqua) is a nice chocolate substitute and is native to the Mediterranean area and grows in Southern California.
According to ehow.com, carob contains vitamins A, B1-3, B6 and D. Carob's mineral content, besides those mentioned above, includes some iron. Fiber-rich (2g/T) and low in sodium, carob helps eliminate toxins in the body through its pectin content.
During WWII, the German forces robbed the Greeks of their food crops. Without food, hundreds of thousands of Greek citizens died from starvation. Those that lived were able to do so through the consumption of carob pods, which grew naturally in their area.
The carob brownie recipe is relatively easy to make, just follow the directions below.
- 3/4 cup unbleached flour
- 2 Tablespoons flax seed meal
- 2 Tablespoons wheat germ
- 1 teaspoon baking powder, non-aluminum
- 1/2 cup carob powder
- 1 cup nautral raw, unsalted nuts, chopped
- 2/3 cup maple or agave syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, (optional)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- Substitute for 2 eggs:
- 2 Tablespoons tofu, firm or extra firm
- 1/4 cup pure water
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Mix first 6 ingredients together. Set aside.
- Put remaining ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Place in clean mixing bowl.
- Slowly pour dry ingredients into blended mixture while stirring. Stir well.
- Now place entire recipe into 8- or 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish or pan.
- Bake in oven at 350-degrees until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool, then cut into pieces.
|Serving size: 1|
|Calories from Fat||117|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 13 g||20%|
|Saturated fat 1 g||5%|
|Unsaturated fat 5 g|
|Carbohydrates 16 g||5%|
|Sugar 9 g|
|Fiber 6 g||24%|
|Protein 3 g||6%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 68 mg||3%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
The nutritional values were figured using firm tofu, walnuts, and agave syrup. Fractions over a half gram were rounded up to the nearest whole gram.
Resources and Credits
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/10638/2 (Nutritional Value of Dark Chocolate)
Ibid. /facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4234/2 (Nutritional Value of Carob)
Ibid. /facts/sweets/5471/2 (Nutritional Value of Unsweetened Cocoa)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carob (Interesting Facts About Carob)