Carob muffins with apple & carrot. The recipe is refined-sugar free, super healthy and easy to make.
After I often heard of “carob powder” I finally had the chance to test this interesting ingredient myself.
Known as the “sweet alternative to cocoa powder”, carob powder is ideally for hot chocolate or for baking. Due to its natural sweetness, you can avoid using refined sugar or even other sugar alternatives. Together with apple, carrot, and banana, I made those super healthy muffins with no sugar added. So you can enjoy them without any egret. They provide a lot of nutrients and energy.
In addition, I was curious to learn more about carob. In my article I will share with you, how healthy carob is and whether the cacao alternative can be considered sustainable.
What is carob?
Carob powder is made from the dried fruits of the carob tree. To obtain carob, the ripe fruits are cleaned, broken open, and chopped up. After the removal of the stems and seeds, the pulp is dried, roasted, and finally grounded.
Carob contains hardly any sodium and fat, but it does contain a high proportion of fiber. Together with the natural sugar they contain, the fruit provides a lot of energy with a relatively low amount of calories. Due to its healthy and numerous nutrients, carob is often used as an alternative to chocolate. (Annika Reketat, 2019)
It is used similarly to cacao powder ingredients for drinks or baking. With its sweet, caramel-like taste, the carob resembles the taste of cocoa but is less bitter than it.
How sustainable is carob?
Chocolate, and thus cacao, is one of the most climate-damaging foods because growing cacao plants required a large amount of water. In contrast, carob is quite easy to grow even under difficult conditions. It needs much less water and it can grow even on sandy and salty soil. In addition to that, carob trees can even help to improve the quality of the soil. Furthermore, carob does not require as much pesticides as its not as sensitive as cacao. (Annika Reketat, 2019)
However, both ingredients are leaving a big CO2 footprint due to the long travel distances from their origin to our kitchens. But carob trees also grow in Europe, mainly Spain, Italy, Croatia or Cyprus. Therefore their travel distances is not as long as of cacao, which is often imported from South America, Africa or Asia. (Annika Reketat, 2019 and Kira Welling, 2018)
As you can see, carob scores better on many points. Nevertheless, it must considered that carob is not a regional product and leaves a CO2 footprint. Compared to cocoa, however, the emission due to travel distances is lower. So, from my point of view, Carob is the better choice.
This carob muffin recipe is:
- Sugar-free & Healthy
- With natural sweetness from carob and fruits
- Very easy to make
- Moist & super delicious
- Plant-based & dairy-free
Are you looking for more muffin recipes?
For the muffins:
- 1 medium apple (finely grated)
- 1 carrot (finely grated)
- 1 ripe banana (peeled and mashed)
- 1/2 cup dates (75g) (chopped into small pieces)
- 1 cup oat flour (90g)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup carob powder (20g)
- 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flax seeds & 4 tbsp water)
- 100 ml plant-based milk
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
For the topping:
- Coconut yogurt
- Fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC. If necessary, grease 6 cups on your muffin tin with butter or use a silicone form.
- Mix flax seeds with 2tbsp of warm water. Let sit for 2-3 min.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and carob powder. Blend well with a whisk. Add the grated apple, grated carrot, mashed banana, and chopped dates. Stir to combine.
- Now add milk and the flax eggs and mix well.
- Stir in the hemp seeds and stir to combine.
- Divide the batter evenly between the 6 muffin cups. Bake muffins for 30 minutes, or until the muffins are golden on top.
- Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool.
- Once cool, top them with some coconut yogurt and fresh blueberries.
Note: You can store the muffins covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Annika Reketat, 04.12.2019: Carob: Eine Alternative zu Kakao – https://utopia.de/ratgeber/carob-eine-alternative-zu-kakao/ (abgerufen am 12.10.2021)
- Kira Welling, 16.01.2018: Woher kommt der Kakao? Einfach erklärt – https://praxistipps.focus.de/woher-kommt-der-kakao-einfach-erklaert_98721 (abgerufen am 12.10.2021)