carob chips

What we’ll be eating in 2021, according to robots, carob set for a comeback


BOULDER, COLO. — Copaiba may be the next cannabidiol — without the regulatory baggage, said food trends forecaster Elizabeth Moskow. Derived from the resin of the Copaifera tree and featuring an earthy, woodsy flavor, copaiba is an essential oil that shares similar properties to C.B.D. It is seen as a remedy for inflammation, chronic pain and anxiety, and, as Ms. Moskow pointed out, “it’s completely legal.”

“We think we’ll see copaiba as a competitor to C.B.D. in food and beverage products,” Ms. Moskow told Food Business News.

Copaiba as an ingredient was among a list of food trend predictions compiled by Ms. Moskow in partnership with Spoonshot, a food innovation intelligence platform. Using artificial intelligence, Spoonshot analyzed billions of data points across scientific journals, niche food communities and social media to predict what consumers will eat in 2021 and beyond.

Several predictions cast a new light on established trends and concepts. For example, carob is set for a comeback, supported by current diet trends. Previously positioned as a substitute for chocolate, carob regains relevance as a plant-based source of hydroxyproline, an amino acid linked to collagen production that is typically found in animal products. It also is gluten-free, caffeine-free, low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, calcium, iron, antioxidants and protein, Ms. Moskow said.

“It’s a super sustainable crop that’s easy to grow, it grows in several regions, and it’s fairly easy to grow with a low amount of water,” she added. “They didn’t position carob right in the ‘70s. It’s not a chocolate replacer… When you’re comparing anything to chocolate, it’s going to fail.”

Expect to see carob paired with chocolate in snacks and sweet baked foods or carob powder as a booster in smoothies, Ms. Moskow said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Starbucks came out with a carob syrup,” she said. “It gives an earthy, yummy, naturally sweet flavor.”

The next coconut oil

Another food with renewed relevance is olive oil, as the healthfulness of today’s trending fats remains unclear.

“People are going crazy over full-fat butter and coconut oil, (but) the science is not strong enough to say if they’re healthy or unhealthy,” Ms. Moskow said. “It keeps going back and forth. ‘It’s a terrible ingredient.’ ‘No, it’s a miracle ingredient.’”

New research taps into the heart and brain health benefits of olive oil. Elenolide, a chemical component in olive oil, is linked to anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory properties. Tyrosol is a compound in olive oil that protects against neurodegenerative diseases, Ms. Moskow said.

“I think rather than call out full-fat butter and coconut oil, we’re going to start seeing infusions of olive oils on plates … and chips and snacks that use olive oil as the call-out rather than avocado and coconut oil,” she said.

Salt & Straw fish sauce caramel and palm sugar ice cream

The next sweet and salty

An emerging flavor combination poised to gain traction in the years ahead is sweet and umami. Already embraced in several dubious pairings — apple pie with cheddar cheese and the Chicago-style cheese and caramel popcorn mix, as examples — what Ms. Moskow dubbed “sexy-ugly flavor mash-ups” are appearing on more menus. An ice cream flavor at Salt & Straw, Portland, Ore., combines fish sauce caramel with palm sugar. A dessert served at Fat Rice in Chicago features a crispy rice treat infused with pork floss, nori and fish sauce caramel.

“If you’re looking for a flavor pow and interesting dining experience, it’s definitely a space chefs will start exploring a bit more,” Ms. Moskow said.

Chickpea crust pizza

The next cauliflower crust

Product developers continue to discover new possibilities for chickpeas. Already popping up in sweet and savory spreads, snacks and more, garbanzo beans are now breaking into the bakery segment. Flatbreads and pizza crusts formulated with chickpea flour will expand beyond Europe to American freezer cases and restaurant menus, Ms. Moskow said. Aquafaba, or chickpea soaking water, is used in vegan recipes for cookies and other baked foods.  The Little Bean in Portland, Ore., serves frozen dessert, waffle cones and cookies made with chickpeas.

“I think the next cauli crust may be chickpea crust,” Ms. Moskow said.

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Can dogs have chocolate? There’s nothing sweet about chocolate poisoning


There is only one answer to the question “Can dogs have chocolate?”


Milk chocolate. Baker’s chocolate. Semi-sweet chocolate. For our canine companions, there is nothing sweet about chocolate or chocolate poisoning. However, while dog owners may understand that chocolate and dogs don’t mix, our lovable dogs do not.

That’s how I found myself on the other end of the stethoscope, so to speak, as my sister’s dog was at the ER being treated for chocolate poisoning. By sharing this true story of Banjo and the bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, I hope to arm you with tips and resources you need in the case of chocolate poisoning.

Dog. Ate. Chocolate. Now what? 

It was the night after Thanksgiving, and I sat in the waiting room of the veterinary emergency and critical care center next to my sister who was consumed by mom guiltand worry. Her beloved dog Banjo was “in the back” after eating half a pound of chocolate chips. While home alone at grandma’s house, Banjo had gotten into chocolate chips.

Upon returning from a family outing, my sister’s husband found the first piece of evidence. He held up Exhibit A—an empty chocolate chip bag that looked as though it had been licked clean, which in fact it had. Luckily, we had this clue and I could read the label on the package.  Milk chocolate? White chocolate? Semi-sweet? The type of chocolate would help me determine the gravity of the situation and how I reacted to it.

Whether or not my sister noticed the shadow of concern that crossed my face, I could certainly see hers. As an informed dog mom, she knew the correct answer to the question “Can dogs have chocolate?” Banjo’s life depended on our quick action, her accurate estimate of the amount of chocolate he had eaten, and the type of chocolate he had consumed.

TIP #1: If you think your dog may have eaten chocolate, try to determine the type. This will help your vet assess the severity of the situation.  As a rule of thumb, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more toxic. Baker’s chocolate is the absolute worst, and semi-sweet chocolate (aka dark chocolate) is right up there with it.

Using a chocolate toxicity calculator to estimate the severity of the dog’s chocolate poisoning

In addition to knowing what kind of chocolate was consumed, we needed an estimate of how much chocolate Banjo had eaten. Keri estimated that the bag had been half full, which meant he could have eaten six to eight ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

At that point, I ran upstairs to my computer to triage Banjo. I needed to leave him briefly so that I could punch the data into a chocolate toxicity calculator. To get an accurate assessment, I entered three key pieces of data:

  • The dog’s weight (Banjo weighed 44 pounds.)
  • The type of chocolate consumed (He had eaten semi-sweet chocolate.)
  • How much chocolate the dog ate in ounces. (In Banjo’s case, we estimated that he had eaten six to eight ounces.)

Using the chocolate toxicity calculator, six ounces for Banjo yielded this message: “Tremors and seizures…ER treatment needed!”

I reran the calculations for eight ounces of ingestion. When I did that, the image of an animated dog that appears along with the written results of the toxicity level fell over on his back with all four feet in the air and the words “potential death” flashed on the screen.

We were hours away from both my own veterinary practice and Banjo’s regular veterinarian. We had to seek veterinary care nearby. And time mattered.

TIP #2: If a dog ingests chocolate, TIME MATTERS! Do not use a wait and see approach.
TIP #3: Before an accident happens, practice using a chocolate toxicity calculator. If you ever have to use it in a crisis, you’ll be able to do it quickly and confidently.

Banjo shows symptoms of chocolate poisoning

Just a few minutes had passed since we had walked in the door and Banjo had greeted us with a wagging tail. But as I read the words “potential death” on the toxicity calculator, my four-year-old said, “Mom…I stepped in something,” and I knew that couldn’t be good. I would expect both vomiting and diarrhea from a dog poisoned by chocolate, and Banjo had delivered.

There, on the carpet with my son’s foot planted in the center, was a dark brown liquefied mess. I wasn’t sure if it was diarrhea or vomit. Either way, it was in Banjo’s favor because his system had kicked out a lot of the toxin, less to be digested and absorbed. (Our home team clean-up crew later identified it—along with three more piles—as vomit.)

While I was running downstairs with news about the toxicity levels, my nephew announced, “Banjo’s hind legs are shaking.”

I had packed my stethoscope for our Thanksgiving road trip, so I quickly dug it out and listened to Banjo’s heart. I was listening for an elevated heart rate and an abnormal heart rhythm. His heart rate and rhythm were both normal. Two wins, I thought!

TIP #4: Signs of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, elevated heart rate, and an abnormal heart rhythm.
TIP #5: By knowing your dog’s normal vital signs, you will have a baseline of information in the case of accidental chocolate poisoning.

The report from Banjo’s visit to the ER

The best course of action for Banjo was to go to a 24-hour emergency veterinary facility where he would receive overnight monitoring and treatment. After examination, the ER vet reported that Banjo was exhibiting signs of central nervous system excitability and his heart rate had climbed to 250 beats per minute. (Granted, when dogs get excited—ie. arriving at the ER hospital— their heart rates go up. But 250 beats per minute is an extremely high heart rate for an adult, larger-breed dog.)

They had induced vomiting and the plan was to keep Banjo overnight on IV fluids, give him a sedative to help him relax and a medication to help lower his heart rate called propranolol.

After hearing all this, my sister said with wide eyes, “Oh, this sounds much worse than what we thought.”

I said, “Well, hang on a second. I think there’s a good prognosis with appropriate treatment,” and I looked at the vet for back up.

After the standard “no guarantees” opening disclaimer, she offered her reassurance and promised to call first thing in the morning with an update. And if there were any changes during his overnight stay, she would call immediately.

Sensing that the consult was over, I said to my sister, “Do you want to say goodbye to Banjo?” I looked at the vet, and I said, “Would that be okay?” She looked at me like, “Oh, lady, are you really a vet?” And here’s why: Banjo was settled. He was getting his treatments. Veterinarians know that a visit would cause a disruption to the patient.

But I think somewhere in the deep recesses of my subconscious I had this thought…

What if Banjo doesn’t make it?

I knew my sister would never forgive herself for not saying goodbye, so I had blurted out the suggestion. My sister calmly said, “Well, wouldn’t that get him all keyed up? I’m okay not saying goodbye. I think it’s better for him.”

Those words of unconditional love for her dog touched my heart.

The dog’s recovery from eating chocolate

Keri got a call early the next morning from the ER vet. Banjo was doing well enough to go home. Thankfully, his story had a happy ending. But not all do. Two of my veterinary colleagues had lost patients to chocolate toxicity. However, in both of those cases, there was a significant lag time between ingestion and veterinary treatment.

Banjo the dog ate chocolate
Banjo taking a nap after returning home from the ER.

What can you learn from Banjo’s experience?

black dog recovered after eating chocolate
Banjo is back on his feet!

Remember, if your dog ingests chocolate or any toxin, it’s always less dangerous for your dog if you take a “triage and treat early” approach. Our swift action may have saved Banjo’s life.

Finally, keep important phone numbers and information handy including:

  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: If your regular veterinarian is not open, you cannot go wrong calling the Animal Poison Control Center. There is a fee involved, but it’s the best money you can spend in an emergency.


(888) 426-4435

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aussie premium organic carob chips available in USA


Old generation conventional or organic carob grown in Europe, Middle East, and the Mediterranean is not grown for taste but for the seed. As a result, old generation carob has a bitter-burnt flavor compared to the sweet new generation carob grown in Australia by The Australian Carob Co. For this reason, consumers have been slow adopters of old generation carob products over the last century. Since 2015, new generation Australian sweet carob is rapidly selling in the U.S. and around the world as the premier carob for manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and consumers.  We know that you may have tried carob in the past, and you may remember tasting carob and being very disappointed. Nutritional experts and friends told you carob is “healthy for you,” but it often tasted like... well, nothing like chocolate. Aussie Carob Chips were created from the need to experience a delightfully rich, smooth, and luxurious confection that is certified organic, vegan, non-gmo, gluten-free, soy-free, caffeine, and theobromine free - tastes similar to chocolate, but not chocolate.  

CAROBOU now offers organic premium AUSSIE carob chips. Our certified organic AUSSIE carob chips can be used in a variety of your favorite foods or just eat our deliciously smooth melt in your mouth carob chips right out of the bag. Available in 6/10oz. bags, 25# bulk case. Not A Chip Off The Old Block. Made with organic coconut sugar. Similar to chocolate but not chocolate. Caffeine and theobromine free.

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