I had wondered why some vegan recipes call for carob powder and not cocoa powder. I thought is cocoa powder not vegan and if so why? I looked at some web sites to find this answer. From the information I read here is what it appears to be. Carob powder is used as a substitute for cocoa if someone has a chocolate allergy or needs less caffeine. The carob is caffeine free. Here is an excerpt on what carob powder is:
"Carob powder is made from the toasted, then ground, pods of the Carob tree. Carob is used as a substitute for chocolate although totally different substance."
another source on carob powder is :
Here is an excerpt on cocoa powder:
"Cocoa Powder: A product of the cacao bean. The cacao beans are removed from large pods that grow on the trunk of the tree then they are fermented and dried. The beans are sent to chocolate factories where they are roasted, the outer hulls removed, and the inner nibs ground to produce chocolate liquor. Most of the cocoa butter is extracted from the chocolate liquor, leaving a dry paste, which is further dried and processed to become unsweetened cocoa powder. The cocoa is called Dutch-processed if it is treated with alkali to produce a dark, mellow-flavored powder. (VEGAN!)"
Another source on cocoa and being vegan or not:
The above source mentions how certain products like breakfast chocolate drinks may contain some milk product in them but that pure cocoa powder is vegan and does not contain any milk or animal product in it. I hope that this information helps for anyone who may have thought of this question also. I will just look on the back of the products as I have been doing and utilize this information.. It seems from reading the information on line that carob powder does not taste the same as cocoa powder. So, being that I have no allergy to chocolate and have no problem with caffeine, I would rather the cocoa powder. As far as hot chocolate I think the packets in the store have milk in them so I could just make it from a non dairy source of cocoa powder or hot cocoa mix. You could find these products in the health or organic store. Unfortunately, because of the way foods can be processed you will see on the back of some products may contain traces of milk, nuts, etc. The products may be processed on the same equipment as products with milk, eggs, nuts, etc. I learned from an online resource that the manufacturing of products on sole equipment for just vegans would be difficult because there are not enough vegans for a company to invest money in that purpose. So, hence we see the statement I mentioned on the back of products. It will be a personal decision whether you choose to have the product or not.
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