Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Carob Chip Muffins

Ok, don't think "ugh, carob" and link away!!

Carob needs some lovin'! I always say, "don't look at carob as a substitute for chocolate, just appreciate it for what it is". I enjoy carob for its own sweet, unique flavor, and I don't try and disguise it as chocolate, even though the powder and chips can be used in recipes in place of cocoa powder and chocolate chips.

These Carob Chip Muffins from Vive (I'm still using my 'cutesie' muffin liners from Valentine's Day cupcakes) are a delight, and they are wheat-free. They are a more treat-like muffin with a sweet, flavorful combination of nutty barley flour, carob chips, unsweetened coconut, orange zest, and nutmeg.

I make these muffins a little larger, so I get about eight, however, you can make them smaller to yield a dozen (just adjust baking time). Now... GO BAKE!!! :)


Harmonia said...

I have been pondering this recipe, too! I don't have Coconut - any substitute? jw. The pic looks great!


Tomorrow is Midweek Munchies. I have a few new items for me and could use your help with them after I post tomorrow. It will be a shorter list because I am still pretty well stocked.

Any Wheat Germ suggestions?

I got two new recipes for hummus...I hope to make at least one of them tonight.

I need to buy Chickpeas! Ek! The Hummus I have a recipe for calls for Red Kidney Beans.

Also, any ideas for Black Eye Peas?

Ms. Mercedes said...

looks yummy Dreena. I've yet to purchase and cook with anything carob, but this is (as usual) inspiring. I really enjoy your blog and love that you post so regularly. You're on my "heavy rotation" list =) Like others have said, it's fabulous to see pictures of the food from your books (esp. Vive, the one I own and love = ).
So, I wait with bated breath for your next post, tee hee. =)

Nancy said...

Dreena these look great. I like what you said about just appreciating the carob for what it is. Eric Tucker (the chef at Millenium in SF) said something like that in his cookbook - that rather than think of their meat-free "sausages" as pretend meat just think of them as "highly flavorful and texturally appealing additions to a dish." :-) We're having burritos tonight and the house smells great - hopefully I'll blog them later.

Maddy said...


Dreena said...

Hi Harmonia, if you don't have unsweetened coconut, you can use a little extra flour in place. There is only 1/4 cup of coconut in there, so maybe use an extra 2 TB of flour instead. Knowing how much you love coconut milk, you might want to pick up some shredded unsweetened coconut on your next shop to use in some recipes - sometimes they are paired together - you'd love that! I don't use wheat germ a lot, but it is often used in muffin recipes or sprinkled onto hot cereals. As for Black Eyed Peas, I'd put them in soups or in a burrito or chili! How was that red kidney bean hummus? I have been dabbling with one myself, but it's not quite as flexible as chickpea hummus.

You're very kind, Ms. Mercedes... thank you! I may be posting more and more photos of my new recipes soon, just so I can get to work on my next book, but hopefully that will still be interesting and inspiring to you and others! :)

Yeah, Nancy, I think we often look to a lot of foods as replacements or substitutes instead of appreciating what they are just in their own right and enjoying recipes using those foods as a new taste or texture to add to our meal. That way we aren't disappointed or turned off from something (hopefully)!

Thanks Madelyn!! :)

Harmonia said...

Dreena, thanks as always for the tips! I SHOULD get some coconut...I DO LOVE IT...just always forget to buy it. I just posted. The Hummus was...interesting...good, but different...but different is good, eh? You are so correct about the Black beans not being as easy to work with as Chickpeas! Plus, I ran out of lime juice! There was another Black Bean Hummus I liked even better...I think it was from the McDougall's.

Here's a strange question...do you know of any vegan cookbooks that don't have vegan in the name? The reason I ask is I was thinking about getting one for my sister and bil and they aren't even veg but are lactose intolerant and they enjoy veggies but don't want to go veg.

I will have to try Black Eye Peas in burritos...sounds good and you know how I LOVE Mexican!

I wrote down to ask the herb lady if she could get Almond Powder and now I don't know why...did I see it in one of your recipes?

Well, I went on quite a rant there...sorry!

I just can't get enough of your blog!!!

sarchan said...

those look so good!

Ryan said...

Good point on carob, Dreena... I posted something similar a while back on the Veg Blog -- too many people think of carob as the gross substitute for chocolate.

For me, though, it brings back fond childhood memories of when my mom would buy me a treat from the health food store... I often opted for a carob bar of some sort.

Emily said...

Harmonia, what about Uncheese Cookbook?

EatPeacePlease said...

I like how you started off explaining how chocolate and carob are different, and so many people link them as the same, even though they can kind of be used interchangably. These look great and I must say that carob covered almonds are a weakness of mine. Good thing I'm not baking (yet) as these could cause some trouble! Looks great, as always.

Harmonia said...

Thanks, Emily! I should even buy that one for myself! :)

Dreena said...

Harmonia, hmmm, re cookbooks without vegan in the name - nothing obvious comes to mind right away except the Millenium cookbook, and though I love this book for its interesting recipes and content, the recipes are not practical, everyday kind of cooking. Perhaps you should give them one that you like and explain that vegan eating isn't difficult or unattainable, and that if they are looking for dairy-free recipes, vegan cookbooks are their best bet!!! Another option is perhaps a subscription for them to something like Vegetarian Times or VegNews...??? Oh, about the almond powder - nope, not my recipe, I haven't used that before!

Thanks Sarchan!

Hi Ryan, I agree... wow, how cool that you have a fond childhood memory of getting a carob treat. I don't think many of us tried carob until maybe in our 20's or later. So many foods that my kids are now eating, I never tasted until my late 20's - I hope those are fond memories for them as well!

Oh, great suggestion, Emily - didn't even think of that!

Hi Leslie... yum, carob covered almonds. I don't think I've seen those. Sound great, though - we love the dark chocolate almonds but that would be a nice treat change!

Anonymous said...

This relates to a previous post, actually. I made the brownies from Vive Le Vegan, but they came out rather soggy and batter-y (if that is a word). I cooked them for the max time--should I have kept going? I was afraid they would become this burned mass of inpenetrable chocolate. Perhaps I was just too antsy . . . .

Harmonia said...

Thanks for the cookbook recipe suggestions for my sissy. I might actually combine your idea in with scrapbooking! Make a Scrapbook for them! What do you think?

Also, I answered your question more in comments on my blog.

Carob Covered Almonds...yum...how would I melt my carob chips to cover the almonds? Hummm....sorry another clueless blonde wanna be vegan cook question that probably doesn't make sense or is so simply easy I should be embarassed for asking. LOL

Thanks again for everything! You're truly an angel!

Dreena said...

Hi anonymous! The brownies shouldn't have been soggy - so sad! They *are* "fudgy", so the centre of the brownies in the pan usually is a little gooey, but not soggy. When you made the mixture, it should have come together almost in a ball (but not too flour-y), and then you press it into the pan. Sometimes with flour, the density varies - though it is usually the tendency with white flour for it to be heavier and more dough-y than if you used a spelt or barley flour (which sometimes you need to add a touch more flour). With any flour, some batches are just better than others, even with cookies, because of measuring, density of flour, humidity, etc.

If you just made them, then refrigerate before cutting (this is always a good idea with brownies, since they 'set' more after refrigerating). Even if you have cut into them at this point, pop them into the fridge. Brownies are always best the next day. So, try them tomorrow and see if they are just nice and moist and a bit 'gooey'. If they are really too loose, I'm sorry that batch did not work out very well.

If this is the case... all is not lost!! No, no!! Take the scraps and freeze them. Then, use them to top ice-creams or other desserts. Or soften some ice-cream and mix the crumbs in for your own brownie ice-cream concoction!! Yum! :)

Hope this helps and better brownie luck the next time!

Julie said...

I love carob...almost as much as dark chocolate!

These look yummy! :)