Carob powder is used as a cocoa substitute. It comes from the pods of a tree that grows in the tropics or sub-tropics. The pod contains a sweet, edible pulp. Once the pulp is dried and roasted, it can be ground into a powder called carob flour (but more commonly referred to as "carob powder"). It is similar to cocoa powder in color and can be substituted with a one-to-one ratio in recipes.
Carob powder is unique with its own special flavor and texture, and if you've never tried carob before, you are in for a real treat. It is sweet, mild and packed with pectin, a type of soluble fiber. Traditionally, carob powder is used to soothe an upset stomach.
Unlike cocoa, carob is naturally sweet, low in fat, high in fiber, has calcium, and, most importantly, free of caffeine. And because chocolate is linked to migraines and caffeine-sensitivity for some people, Carob is a very suitable and healthy alternative.
By June Ka Lim, macrobiotic chef and counsellor