Hot “Chocolate” for the lactose intolerant

I lied.  This drink I concocted doesn’t remotely resemble chocolate, except maybe in color.  And I really do not like it when people try to tell me carob is anything like chocolate, because it ain’t even on the same planet.

However, I made this drink this weekend just to see what it would taste like, as I had a jar of carob powder eyeing me for months in my pantry.  I don’t even remember why I bought it., it was probably part of some cockamanie diet I was trying, so of course there it sat, unopened.

Finally I decided to give it a try, as I have been looking for dairy alternatives lately in an experiment to see if I am still a little lactose intolerant (I was as a child).  I heated a cup of unsweetened almond milk on the stove, added a heaping tablespoon of carob powder, a teaspoon of vanilla and a pinch of honey.  What I wound up with was a frothy and warm drink, very hearty too.

It’s not hot chocolate and doesn’t even taste like hot chocolate and I would even go so far as to say no child in their right mind would drink this.  However, I liked it!  I could see how you could tinker with it by adding grated nutmeg or other forms of sweeteners to get the formula right.

The only real advantage I can find about Carob over chocolate is that there is no caffeine.  I have no problem with caffeine, but some people do.  Really the problem with chocolate as the unhealthy “version” of carob is not in the cacao itself (except for the caffeine if you can’t have that), the problem is with all of the other cocoa butters, milks, sugars and fats that are mixed with it to make a candy bar. You could abuse carob the same way if you tried, but it’s just not typically found in that form, because, as I alluded to earlier, it’s not as good as chocolate (that’s my opinion).

So if you want to make a chocolate version of the hot drink I described making above, use unsweetened cocoa powder instead of carob powder and tinker with it to see what sweetener or added spices you like best!  Either way, you are starting from scratch and eliminating dairy, which was the main objective afterall.

Rosemary Maggiore is our Last Minute Lady. A single mom of two kids plus a full time job (she runs this website!) keep her busy and usually pushing things to the last minute. Somehow she manages to keep her cool and her sanity while she enjoys good food, wine, friends and most importantly, family.

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