Chewy carob bars
( MAKES 10 )
Photo by Tamara West
Newsflash! Eight-year-old foodies are extremely adept at spotting the difference between carob and chocolate, a fact which led to some rather pointed discussions between myself and Mum many years ago. It wasn’t that long ago that I decided to give carob another go and to my surprise I really enjoyed it — now that I could see it as a unique flavour with no similarity to cocoa it had a charm all of its own. The inspiration for this snack bar comes from one I bought at a petrol station recently. It is my new take-with me solution when I need something convenient, healthy, tasty and satisfying. Wikipedia tells me that carob powder is made from the pods of the carob tree, native to the Mediterranean. The seeds are used to make locust bean gum, a commonly used food thickener.
- Toast almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds for 15 minutes in a 150C oven. Add coconut when there’s 5 minutes to go, to avoid it burning. Remove from oven and add puffed millet, carob powder and flaxseed oil.
- Heat the orange juice and salt in a pot. Bring to a boil and reduce liquid until it thickens and goes frothy — about 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat, add honey and stir to melt, then pour over dry ingredients and mix together well.
- Spread thickly in a tray lined with baking paper. Cover with baking paper and press down very firmly to compact, then uncover and slice.