Tuesday, March 14, 2017

carob chip chewy bars

When I was little my mom used to buy carob instead of chocolate for my brother and I as a "treat" and I can still remember the disappointment. Mom, this is NOT chocolate. But now, all these years later, I am rediscovering carob and appreciating its unique flavor. 

Carob is naturally sweeter than chocolate so usually has less added sugar, and is often found as a dairy free variety. It's caffeine and theobromine free, both stimulants that are naturally found in chocolate, and contains calcium, iron, and some antioxidants. Although nothing can ever replace chocolate, carob has a place of it's own, one of those places being homemade chewy bars.

carob chip chewy bars
  • 4 cups rolled oats (divided)
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup carob chips
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

In a food processor, coarsely grind 3 cups of the rolled oats with the pumpkin seeds. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the rolled oats and the carob chips. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, peanut butter, and maple syrup. Add this to the dry ingredients and fold together until completely incorporated.

Line a small cookie sheet with parchment paper and transfer the entire mixture onto the tray. Press it down until it reaches all the edges. To compact it place another piece of parchment on top and roll with a rolling pin or press firmly with your palms all the way to the edges. Freeze for about 30 minutes to set. Transfer the whole thing onto a cutting board and slice into bars or squares. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy!

Carob info credit: https://www.heathernicholds.com/nutrition/carob-vs-chocolate