Step aside raw cacao – the superstar of the natural health world – there’s a new kid on the block. Carob, if you haven’t already heard of it, is the current contender for superfood status, due to its impressive nutrient profile and lack of stimulants.

From the same plant family as the pea, the fruit pods of the carob tree are dark brown and deliciously sweet. Originally from Greece, carob now grows all over the world and its popularity is growing steadily thanks to its similarity in taste and texture to chocolate, but without the downside of stimulating caffeine and theobromine (found in all cocoa/cacao based products).

Carob Pods GrowingCarob is packed with vitamins and minerals, containing three times more calcium than milk (weight for weight), plus zinc, potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, and vitamins E & K, as well as natural antioxidants in the form of polyphenols.

Carob is also an alkaline food that’s rich in unique dietary fibres, such as Pinitol, a naturally occurring fibre that in research studies has been shown to help keep blood sugar stable.

For many of us, just the thought of chocolate releases the pleasure chemical dopamine in the brain – the same part of the brain (the reward centre) that is activated by gambling and cocaine. Doesn’t sound too good, does it?

Chocolate is often used as a treat to express love or to placate and pacify children. And yet, lesser known to us, a standard 40-50g bar of dark or raw chocolate, shockingly contains the same amount of caffeine as a shot of espresso! Would you give your child an espresso? Most commercial chocolate bars are also chock full of refined sugar, negatively affecting blood sugar levels, which impacts behaviour and mood.

Supertreats bars openNot only super stimulating, chocolate (including raw cacao) has an energetic quality that is ‘heating’ according to traditional Chinese medicine, which can lead to imbalances. When out of balance, heat causes symptoms such as irritability, inflammatory conditions and anger amongst other things.

If you venture to try a Supertreats bar, the added treat is a delicious creamy texture just like chocolate but without refined white cane sugar or caffeine sabotaging blood sugar levels and playing havoc with your insulin, concentration and moods.

Instead of refined sugar, Supertreats bars are gently sweetened with low-GI coconut blossom nectar and are organic, ethical and sustainable.

Supertreats carob bars are 40 gms of deliciousness; they taste so good that the desire for chocolate quickly dissipates as these carob treats satisfy in much the same way – offering your child and family a healthier alternative to commercial chocolate bars that stimulate and encourage addiction.

Charlotte PalmerCharlotte Palmer is a qualified teacher, experienced health industry food consultant, published writer, researcher, coach & public speaker, specialising in health education, nutritional education & healthy lifestyle coaching.