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ANARIE Posts: 13,179
12/3/09 1:39 P

The calorie, fat, and sugar counts for Sunspire malt-sweetened carob chips and Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chips are identical! I was surprised; I assumed carob would have less fat or sugar or both. Since carob doesn't have the same antioxidant values (and tastes absolutely nasty IMHO), definitely go for the real deal.

I just wanted to make one comment on cocoa powder. If you want the antioxidants, use the regular kind, NOT Dutch processed. Dutching improves how cocoa interacts with leavening in baked goods by making it less acidic, but it removes some of the antioxidants. It's a bit confusing because dutched cocoa is darker, which is a sign of more antioxidants in prepared chocolate. The good news is that regular cocoa powder is usually a bit less expensive than Dutch process. Plain old Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder will do the trick.

By the way, if you're a total chocolate freak, try drinking it straight. Take a tablespoon of cocoa powder and dissolve it in a small amount of water, then add a cup of water, a dash of cinnamon, a drop of vanilla, and (if you're brave) a tiny pinch of ground chile or cayenne pepper. That's it: no milk or sweetener. It's the way it was first used, and it preserves all the antioxidants. It's an acquired taste, kind of like coffee or tea, but I like it a lot.

Oh, and nutritionally you can't beat it; 1g protein, 2g fiber, and a non-trivial amount of iron, all for 20 cals or less.

12/3/09 12:36 P

Dark chocolate is quite healthy for you, as long as it's above 75% and from a quality product. (I disagree about oraganic, since no one monitors who puts that lable on, or what they do to "be" organic.).

Look for something that does not taste waxy when you eat it. It's packed full of anti oxidants and other weird lovely stuff!

Nibs are also wonderful, and i use them in cookies, or added to nut and oatmeal healthy bars.

Sweetener for chocolate should not be artificial. it interacts with the natural properties of chocolate, and can make in bind. (that is, if you are cooking with it... If you are drinking it in hot coco, or adding it to coffee or something, go for it!)

"raw cacao" as cocoa nibs can be purchased at any whole foods type store, but even easier is UNSWEETENED ground cocao (dutched process), which can be found at any store. I like Ghirdelli. Great in chocolate milk, hot chocolate, and baking.

hope that helps. Chocolate is a passion of mine, if you can't tell. ;-)

CARADAWN Posts: 1,955
12/3/09 8:58 A

Thanks! I love dark chocolate and was wondering what kind of sweetener would you add to raw cacao? Also, can you find it at your local grocer or is it something you need to buy at Whole Foods? Thanks again for the great info.

RUNNICRUN SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,791)
Posts: 100
12/3/09 8:44 A

I found this article and thought you might be interested:

I personal prefer raw cacao powder or nibs to processed chocolate. In it's raw form cacao has not been processed or chemically enhanced. You can add your own sweetener to it as needed but if you like dark chocolate you'll love raw cacao.

I think the main reason anyone would really want to use carob instead of chocolate would be if you have allergies related to chocolate products.

In either case I recommend trying to find organic products because in order to be certified organic they must be very limited in the processing and chemical additives.

I hope that helps :)

CARADAWN Posts: 1,955
12/3/09 8:21 A

I was wondering what the nutritional difference is between carob chips and chocolate chips? Are carob chips better for you? Can they be substituted for chocolate chips in baking recipes? Any other information on carob chips you would like to supply would be greatly appreciated!

Happy Thursday
Cara emoticon

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