While nothing duplicates chocolate, carob is a healthy alternative. It looks and tastes like a mild cocoa powder. For some people a carob treat enables them to bypass chocolate.
The carob pods, which come from a Mediterranean evergreen, are also known as St. John’s Bread because, apparently, they were a wilderness staple for John the Baptist. When carob’s fleshy pods and seeds are roasted and pulverized, they yield carob powder.
Unlike chocolate, carob is high in calcium and potassium and naturally sweet with 48 percent sugar. While chocolate contains stimulants and up to 60 percent fat, carob is stimulant-free and contains only one percent fat. Sweet, light and dry, with a slightly bitter aftertaste, this powder is a traditional remedy to soothe upset stomachs.
At your natural foods store you’ll find an array of brownies, power bars and pudding made with carob as well as carob chips. While the carob itself is a healthy ingredient, these snacks are only as healthful as are their other ingredients.
Chocolate is a common addiction, especially among American women. A complex food with over 400 compounds, chocolate contains stimulants that increase alertness and a sense of well-being. Lately, there’s been a lot written on the healthfulness of some of these compounds.
Indeed, chocolate would be considered a stimulant but, because it contains so much fat, it is officially classified as a food. However, acknowledging chocolate as a stimulant—and one you may have little control over—may provide additional understanding and resolve in overcoming it.
Getting off chocolate can be like getting off an addictive drug and, if you cut it out entirely, it takes a full two weeks to get out of your system. You may expect strong cravings, headaches, depression, fatigue and feelings of alienation. Other people find it more effective to reduce their chocolate consumption gradually.
May you be well nourished,