carob balls

by Jasmine Turner on September 2, 2011

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The idea to make carob balls was inspired from an exercise in a culture awareness class I recently took as part of the curriculum in my counseling/psychology program. Yes, I am studying to become a counselor. As you know food has a direct link to culture. The last assignment for the class was to make a recipe from your family of origin, which would be your mom dad and sister etc., and bring it to share with the other classmates.

carob balls

carob balls

So, I searched my memory and thought of tofu stir fries much like timely tasty tofu, and the traditional oatmeal with margarine we would always have for breakfast, because back in the ‘80’s everyone was using margarine on food instead of butter…even though now we find it has “trans-fats,” so all those years we thought we were doing ourselves a favor we probably should have been using real butter! Unfortunately I couldn’t really bring the tofu stir fry in for breakfast as it was a morning class and it would have needed to be heated.

I had an “aha” moment and recalled a dessert we would get when my dad wanted to give us a special treat, carob balls. Our parents made mostly health food items for us to eat and we weren’t really knowledgeable about chocolate goodies, so we always got the alternative, which happened to be carob. This was back in the day when people used to say, “Can you dig it?” so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone.

My dad said his recipe actually originated from trying to make frosting for a batch of brownies also made from carob. Carob comes from the ground up seed pod from the carob tree. It is commonly used as a substitute for chocolate (without the side effects)! Carob is very healthy and actually has nutritional value like protein etc. My dad learned about it as a boy because there was a carob tree on his block in N. Hollywood where he grew up. He used to gnaw on the pods and taste sweetness. He relearned about carob later when becoming health food conscience.

carob chips

carob chips

Anyway, the frosting he was trying to make was mixing up too thick and was much too dense to spread evenly on the brownies, so he and my mom just started eating it out of the bowl. Cooling it and rolling into balls was an afterthought to make the mix cleaner and easier to eat. Though now, I think of them as chocolate truffle alternatives. Overall, carob balls bring up recollections of a loving Dad making a treat for his family which kindles good spirits and connections channeled through a yummy family recipe.

carob balls

2 cups carob powder (found in bulk at most health food stores)
¾ cup softened butter or smart butter veggie margarine (now Trans fat free!)
½ cup honey, or as my dad says, a “glob” of honey!
Optional: raisins, carob chips (also available at health food stores), chopped walnuts, sunflower or sesame seeds, maybe even shredded coconut

Blend softened “butter” and carob powder in a mixing bowl. Blend in “glob” of honey. Mix until it’s like a thick frosting. Add optional ingredients(s) if using. Mix it all together and form into balls or cut into squares or lumps: whatever. Then put in refrigerator to cool or freezer to cool faster. These are best served cold, otherwise they might get messy. You can coat the ball with the shredded coconut or sunflower seeds for decoration! Enjoy compliments of my Padre!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Heavenly Housewife September 2, 2011 at 12:53 am

When I was a little girl, I went to private school. They wanted to teach us to eat healthy. Instead of chocolate they’d give us carob. I didn’t like it. I knew it wasn’t chocolate because it had some kind of aftertaste (no fooling this housewife!).
THe last time i had it I was about 5, so I’d be interested to try it now that i am older and the slightest bit wiser :D. I’ve never seen carob in the shops though. I need to check out the health food store.
I actually love this kind of raw healthy truffles, and this one is a new one for me. Great job!
Have a great weekend!
*kisses* HH
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Sheila September 2, 2011 at 7:01 am

Wow. I never heard of carob before I read this. I should look for this on a health store near my place. Hope they have it. I’d like to try it and taste how it differs from chocolate. Thanks for sharing this. I learned something new from you.
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Erica September 3, 2011 at 9:06 am

Carob is new for me, but those balls look delicious!
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Food Jaunts September 4, 2011 at 7:56 am

Hmm…I’ve never used/tasted carob before. This interests me and I might just have to try something like this.

And I’m sorry but I have to say it, “I love your balls! I bet they taste delicious!” *Snicker* Why do I have the maturity of a 10 year old sometimes lol.
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rita tower September 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm

wow, those are a healthy alternative to chocolate for sure! HH you totally rocked going to Paris for your birthday!

Anna September 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Carob is pretty delicious! I think the rolled in coconut suggestion is where it’s at, though! I’m a sucker for chocolate and coconut!
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Magic of Spice September 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I have always loved carob and these look fantastic! Sometimes mistakes make for the best recipes 🙂
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fattydumpling September 30, 2011 at 10:41 pm

You know, I’ve been wanting to make something like this. I first ate carob chips in a banana bread that a friend had made and it was delicious! When I eat them alone now though…for some reason, the taste remind me of…Mcdonalds. Maybe because carob tastes like pickles to me? Strange. But yes, I’m sure that these balls are way better then Mcdonalds ;]
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