A healthy alternative to chocolate - AmericaNowNews.com

A healthy alternative to chocolate

You already know that chocolate is addicting, but have you considered a chocolaty alternative that has fewer calories? Wellness Expert Peggy Hall takes a step back in time to bring a nostalgic favorite up-to-date.

"Back in my college days, carob was a lot more popular as a chocolate alternative," Peggy says.  "It was a common ingredient in trail mix and snack foods...and for good reason!"

Peggy explains that both carob and cacao (which is what chocolate is made of) come from a bean pod, but carob has zero fat, zero cholesterol, zero caffeine -- and most importantly, zero theobromine, the chemical in chocolate that is considered addicting.

Carob has three times the amount of calcium as chocolate and is high in protein, Vitamins A and B and is naturally sweeter than chocolate.

"Be careful though," Peggy cautions. "Carob is high in fiber and can have a laxative effective if consumed in large amounts. Otherwise, use carob just like you would cocoa powder, for hot chocolate or in your brownie recipes. You can also use carob chips in place of chocolate chips."

Other good news for carob is that is has about one-third fewer calories than chocolate. But it is somewhat of an acquired taste. Try experimenting with it in your smoothies and hot cocoa!

Super-Delicious Gluten-Free Carob Brownies

Makes 16 Brownies

INGREDIENTS:

    3/4 cup oat flour
    3/4 cup sugar
    5 tablespoons carob powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup carob chips

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together coconut oil, eggs and vanilla. In a large bowl, mix the oat flour with the sugar and salt. Then add the oil and egg mixture to the flour mixture until well blended. Add the carob chips and mix well. Pour into an 8x8 inch greased pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting...and enjoy!

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