Spice of the Month: Carob

Spice of the Month: Carob

By Laura Coffee, Marketing & Owner Services Manager, Co-op Owner

Carob is a unique plant that, even though it is not at all related to chocolate, is used very similarly in many yummy dessert recipes. Because it lacks caffeine those who are more sensitive to its effects can enjoy carob treats when chocolate is too strong of a stimulant. The flavor, while similar, is unique and has many things to offer without being used as a simple ‘replacement’ for cocoa. If you’d like to learn more about carob click here for this month’s video. Or visit the CRDL website to sign up for future installments of this series. Now on to the recipes!

Carob Oatmeal Cookies

Finished Cookies


  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans
  • 1/2 cup carob chips (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp carob powder
  • 1 Tbsp nut, seed, or neutral tasting oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350F. Use a non-stick cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. Mash the bananas, black beans, oil, carob powder, and vanilla until very well combined. I just did this in a bowl with a manual potato masher, but you can use a food processor if you want a very smooth blend. Fold in the oats and carob chips (if using). The oats are essential to the texture and the recipe won’t work without them, but you can use certified gluten-free oats for a Celiac-friendly recipe. Make 12 equal balls from the mixture and place them on the cookie sheet, flattening slightly with your hand. These cookies won’t spread as they cook, so the shape they are when you put them in the oven is what they will look like when they come out. Once the cookies are shaped pop them in the oven for 11 minutes. As with chocolate cookies, they will be dark, so you can’t judge doneness by color. If the center looks dry and feels firm when pressed your cookies are done baking. Allow them to cool completely on the baking sheet, then snack!

Carob Sweet Potato Brownies

Finished Brownies


  • 1 cup cooked sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter*
  • 1/4 cup carob powder
  • 1/4 cup carob chips (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup or honey

This ‘4-ingredient flourless brownie’ recipe is a staple of the internet. Everyone makes it essentially the same way, but they almost always use cocoa powder and almond butter. We’re going to swap those ingredients out here. Start by preheating your oven to 350F. Get a loaf pan and either grease it or line it with parchment paper. (Personally, I really prefer the parchment paper. Once the brownies are done you can just lift them right out of the pan in one piece, making them much easier to cut and enjoy.) Now combine the sweet potato, maple syrup, and peanut butter. I used a potato masher for this, but you can use a fork, your fingers, or a food processor, it doesn’t really matter so long as everything is really mashed up smoothly. Then stir in the carob powder and carob chips (if using). This ‘batter’ will be very thick, more like a dough. Press it evenly into the bottom of your loaf pan and bake for about 20 minutes. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean and the top will appear dry. Allow to cool completely and enjoy. Makes about 6 servings.

*You can use any nut or seed butter you like in this recipe, but I find that using peanut butter yields a finished product that reminds me more of a classic brownie than other nut butters do.

Sweet Potato Hash

Finished Hash


  • 12oz bag riced sweet potatoes*
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1 Tbsp carob powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt

This sweet and savory side dish brings out the bitter side of carob, similar to the effect of using cocoa as a rub when roasting meat or vegetables. Preheat your oven to 425F. In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix until seasonings are well distributed. Place the mixture in a lightly greased cake pan and roast for 18 minutes, stirring once. For a chewier hash leave the dish uncovered. For a more tender finish bake covered in foil or with an oven-safe lid. Serve hot.

*If you choose to chop your own sweet potatoes from fresh you may want to omit the sugar. I’m not sure why, but frozen sweet potatoes seem to be less sweet than fresh, even after roasting. You can always put it in at the end after tasting the finished dish.

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