LIVING WITHOUT CHOCOLATE
Shockingly, it has been much harder to write this than to actually do it;
I no longer eat chocolate.
As a former chocoholic that could easily eat a bar a day and often did just that, this is quite a turnaround. And I'm not talking about one of those tiny little "bars" of "chocolate" from Hershey's (yuck!) either, I'm talking 100g Green & Black's rich dark chocolate, maybe with some kind of decadent flavor like ginger and orange thrown in... Mmm..!
So why on earth would I give up something I enjoy so much?
This time, it's actually not because I can't eat it - my body physically processes it just fine. My brain on the other hand doesn't seem to like it at all. Since I gave birth to my daughter, it makes me feel something like this;
Extremely annoyed at absolutely nothing;
And flat out stark raving mad.
Sometimes, all at the same time! Not a pretty picture. Especially for the loved ones around me.
Honestly? I think I might still indulge occaisionally if I was the only one dealing with the consequences. Chocolate is one fine tasting food, and curling up on the couch with a movie and feeling sorry for myself every once in a while... well, sometimes you just feel that way anyway, so why not enjoy the chocolate? But when you put other people into the picture - a daughter I need to be patient with, a husband I need to be emotionally there for, and so much more for both of them... it's just not worth it. Chocolate could be the elixir of the gods, but if it made me feel and act like this I would still turn it down.
The last piece of chocolate I had was in this Recipe; Black Bean Brownies. It was a test after eliminated it for a bit to see if I had been right about what it was doing to me. Sure enough, I had been, and my husband happily finished off the rest while hiding from the monstrosity that is me on chocolate.
These days, I am happily enjoying a little legume called carob in place of chocolate in my life. It is misleading to say it tastes like chocolate, rather it has a similar flavor palate - rich, dark, complex. It is a similar enough flavor that it can be made into carob chips and used in place of chocolate chips in recipes, or left as carob powder and used as a substitute in equal parts for cocoa powder.
My grandma also swore off chocolate many years ago, so my introduction to carob was at quite a young age. Someone who has never had carob before will probably find it like nothing they have ever tasted before, and might take a few tries to not be surprised by the flavor, as it really does look like chocolate. Nonetheless, it is a good flavor; I don't think I have ever met someone who has tried it and actually disliked it.
Have you ever tried carob? Interested? Here are some recipes to try;
Have you ever sworn off a food for the sake of others?