I love preparing meals for my friends. It gives me the opportunity to combine all the things I love into one epic event. Namely music blasting, kitchen dance-partying, wine sipping, gossip sessioning & of course some SERIOUS snacking. But one thing I notice every time I make a meal for a crowd is that…well…I cook weird.
I know this because of how many times I have had the following conversation:
“Do you have any __________?”
“No, but I have ____________!”
[crickets. tumbleweeds. dead air.]
I forget that not everyone grew up on a hippie organic farm. Not everyone has a family history of diabetes. Not everyone has friends with gluten intolerances. Or a vegan big sis. So what seems pretty darn normal to me is actually SUPER DUPER obscure and downright weird to the rest of the universe!
So here’s a new feature I’m going to try on for size where I put a spotlight on some of the more “specialty” ingredients I use in my cooking.
On to today’s weird ingredient….
Weird Ingredient FAQ:
- What is it?
Carob is a tropical pod just like cocoa, so it comes in the exact same forms as chocolate! You can get it powdered for cooking and baking or in the form of carob chips which you would use just like chocolate.
- What does it taste like?
Sweet and toasty, just a little bit bitter…like a caramelized coffee & chocolate combo.
- Is it good for you?
Yup! High in fiber and calcium, lower in saturated fat than chocolate.
- Why am I such a fan? I love that unlike cocoa powder, you don’t need to add sugar to carob because its naturally sweet!
- Ways to use it: I love blending it in smoothies or substituting carob for chocolate in my favourite desserts to change things up a little! I also use carob powder on its own or mixed with cinnamon as a topping on yogurt, cereal or oats.
- 1/2 cup plain soy yogurt
- 1/4 cup cherries
- 1/2 banana, sliced
- 1 cup puffed wheat
- 1/4 cup millet flakes cereal
- handful of soynuts & pepitas
- sprinkle of shredded coconut
- 2 big tablespoons toasted carob powder
- a lil’ cinnamon