Saturday, January 22, 2011

Carob Weekend: SunSpire Vegan Carob Chips

As I write for this blog day in and day out, I occasionally consider what my life would be like if I couldn’t eat chocolate.

I’d need a new blog subject. Obviously.

But since my brother was allergic to chocolate for a couple of years when he was a child, I feel a little closer to this particular allergy. I remember my mom used to bake things with this stuff called “carob,” which I recall being, well, gross.

I was, like, eight years old, so my tastes may not have been all that refined. Give me a break.

Recently, Heather over at Heater Eats Almond Butter had to temporarily give up chocolate, and has been exploring carob. Evidently, 22 years of carob processing has brought us pretty far and she has been thrilled with her carob experiences. Intrigued, I decided to declare this to be Carob Weekend Sponsored by HEAB, and today, I bring you a review of SunSpire Vegan Carob Chips.

Now what I like about this package is that there’s no claim that this is chocolate. Or really a chocolate substitute. It’s just carob. And what does carob taste like these days?

The most notable difference between carob and chocolate is the texture, which is quite gritty and doesn’t melt in the least. These chips need to be chewed. The taste is also quite different; I found it fruity, quite sweet, and a bit acidic. I noted a bit of a banana undertone, and generally enjoyed the taste even though it differs appreciably from that of chocolate. Given the texture, I think carob is best reserved for baking, and doesn’t really have the same effect as chocolate when eaten straight.

Nothing wrong with a few baked goods, though.

Have you tried carob? What did you think?

19 comments:

  1. Yay - carob weekend. I love it! Glad to hear that carob has improved over the last 2 decades. :)

    The Sunspire vegan chips are good, but I think I prefer the non-vegan ones. Their carob chips that contain a little dairy taste better to me and melt better as well, but I buy them both.

    Really missing chocolate these past couple of days, and so your carob posts could not come at a more perfect time. Thank you!!! Can't wait to see what recipes you make. :)

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  2. I love these vegan sunspire chips. :( Why the :( ? Because we have NOTHING like this in Australia. Our carob is just compound crap found covering things like rice cakes. I bought a packet of these vegan chips back with me from teh states and loved their fruity, molasses-y flavour. I haven't tried the dairy ones, but I would if I could!

    *sobs*

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  3. I just found your blog from your HLB interview. I live near D.C. and love chocolate too.

    You might like these posts of mine:

    http://got2run4me.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/chocolate-that-wont-wreck-your-resolutions/

    http://got2run4me.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/dark-chocolate-taste-test/

    I like the salted caramels from Artisan Chocolates in Clarendon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I only remember kind of gross carob from the bulk food store trail mix bins--not a really great memory! Maybe time to give it another try?

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  5. I put carob powder in oatmeal, it's decadent with some hazelnut butter and raspberry jam drizzled on top.

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  6. Carob is my absolute favorite!!! I love carob powder in my oats; I love carob muffins, which in fact, I just posted the recipe for. You can check it out here: http://katshealthcorner.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/carob-walnut-muffins/

    I HEART CAROB!!!!

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  7. @Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) Ah, I only found the vegan kind. I may have to try the non-vegan ones. Thanks for the inspiration to try carob again.

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  8. @Hannah The clear answer here, Hannah, is to visit us here more often. And stockpile food.

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  9. @ELC Give it another try - this stuff seemed pretty good. It's probably like any food; you need to find the good stuff to enjoy it.

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  10. @findingmyholisticself That does sound delicious - and I am not even an oatmeal person.

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  11. @katshealthcorner Very cool recipe - I do think that carob works well in baked goods. I'm just not sold on eating it straight. Well, not that often...

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  12. I love carob straight in homemade trail mix or baked goods. Yes it has a different flavor from chocolate but I don't feel guilty after I eat it! My favorite is Vegan Zuccini Bread with Carob Chips. MMMMMMMMM!!!

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