I love making wholesome, allergy-friendly substitutes for many store bought items, including Homemade Taco Seasoning, Easiest Coconut Milk, White Chocolate Chips, and Dairy and Sugar-Free Condensed Milk. One of the first recipes that I posted, and also one of my most popular, is my recipe for Homemade Chocolate Chips.
We make these fairly frequently in my home, but honestly, they almost never make it into cookies.
Once they're made my kids regularly ask for carob chips….and since they are made with wholesome ingredients, I typically say “yes.”
The reasons that I initially set out to make my own carob chips (we usually make them with carob so the kids (and I :-)) don't get overstimulated from too much chocolate), were several:
Basically, the reasons are the same as they are for all of my make your own processed substitutes like:
- Powdered Sugar Substitute
- Moroccan Vinaigrette (this dressing is really good. A new recipe should be coming soon!)
- Homemade Protein Bars
- Homemade Egg Replacer
1. Control over ingredients
A lot of folks are on special diets these days, so more and more of us need control over what goes into our mouths. Here's how this chocolate chip recipe can help:
– there's no dairy in these chips!
– you can make these sugar free. I use xylitol and stevia due to make a candida-diet friendly treat
– No trans fats in these chips (remember what those are? Partially or fully hydrogenated fat. Not good. Fake food.)
– No artificial vanilla
– No soy
2. Cost savings: – I almost fall over in the grocery store or health food store aisle when I see the price tags on “wholesome” chocolate chips or carob chips. One bag of allergen free chocolate chips that I saw the other day cost something like $4.59 for a 10 ounce bag….Whoa! That's $7.34 per pound!! Not on our budget!
3. Time Savings: Sort of.
Recently I've been having a kitchen-time epiphany of sorts.
I used to get really down about my messy kitchen (you might want to read my post about Surprising Help for Messy Moms) and how much time I spend in it. (Maybe someday some of my readers should come on over and see what my kitchen looks like when I'm trying to get a recipe “down.” Well, really it often looks like that.) But recently, I'm doing a little better about not getting down about the mess. A little.
Even if I spend a lot of time in the kitchen making whole foods, at least I'm not spending 1-3 hours in a grocery store with kids who bug me for stuff I don't want. (Really it's just my youngest who does most of that. He's a sucker for modern packaging.)
If you make your own everything (or lots of stuff….) you're saving time and money shopping. So you are probably going to buy less “impulse shopping” deals. Plus you get to save by not buying $3.79 / gallon gas, or whatever astronomical price it is in your neck of the woods.
4. Extra Bonus – Control over the Final Product: I personally like chips, but I really like chocolate chunks. You too? I figure it's a growing thing because now the stores are selling chocolate chunks. Well, guess what? It's a lot of work to make chocolate or carob chips, but with a knife and a cutting board, you can make chunks pretty easily.
The reasons I revised this recipe:
1. Better Taste. My kids would say now and then that the original Chocolate Chip recipe was good, but they really didn't like it as well as they could.
2. More “Cookie Friendly”. Like I said, the chips don't regularly make it into cookies, but when they have, mine have held together well. Like in my Chocolate Chunk Coconut Macadamia Cookies. (These are grain free, sugar free and great!!!)
A few readers have had trouble with this so I wanted to try another oil to see if they would do better.
And they did.
You can make these with cocoa butter. They taste great and hold together well in baking.
The smell of the cocoa butter while it was melting was a treat in and of itself and lends itself to a rich chocolatey flavor of the chips. My kids said that they were so good and tasted almost as, if not as good as, store bought chocolate chips. (My kids haven't had many of those, but I really consider that to be a compliment.)
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These Homemade Chocolate Chips (or carob chips) are dairy, soy, and sugar-free and great for baking, trail mixes, or eating right out of the bag!
- 6 2/3 ounces cocoa butter, palm shortening, or palm oil
- 1 cup cocoa or carob powder (cocoa is a better low-carb option)
- 1/4 cup sweetener, your choice. For a low glycemic option use 1/4 c xylitol or 1/3 c erythritol. Approx 2 T Homemade Truvia® would work well too.)
- 2 scoops stevia extract powder. This brand is my current favorite. Note: 1 scoop = 1/32 tsp. These spoons will help you measure exactly what you need.
- 1/2 tsp chocolate extract (optional but extra yummy.)
- 1/2 Tbsp granulated instant coffee or coffee substitute (optional, but extra nice - here's a link to a homemade version)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Melt oil over very low heat in a medium pan.
- Transfer oil to a medium bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix well. I have used my Bamix immersion blender with great success. You could also put the mixture in a blender, but it will be messier to deal with :-).
- Pour mixture into an 8x8 baking pan (other pans will work as well, but your chunks will be thinner or thicker, depending on the size you use.)
- Chill in fridge or freezer.
- Use a knife or spatula to break large pieces out of the pan. Chop on cutting board to desired size with a sharp knife.
1. Where to buy oils. I am looking for a good bulk source for cocoa butter that won't break the bank and will be fresh. I have some more work to do on this and will try to keep you updated. Most cocoa butter I found was $15/lb or more. This one works out to about $11 per pound and looks like a good source so I'd try that one for now.
2. I use carob often. If you use cocoa powder, you may need to add a little more sweetener to the recipe, depending on your taste since carob has an inherent sweetness to it.
3. Stevia extract seems really expensive, but it isn't! – what else would you consider paying more than $8 per ounce for??? Once you find you like it, you can purchase it in bulk. I purchase the 1-lb container and it lasts for a looooong time. You can find it for quite a bit less money on Iherb, one of my favorite places to shop.
Stevia is pretty hard to measure, but these stainless steel mini measuring spoons from Amazon are super duper handy. The 2nd smallest is the size of 1/32 of a teaspoon so you can easily measure your stevia powder.
4. Need to substitute for the stevia? Here is my handy dandy post on this fabulous sweetener.
5. You will have an easier time getting the chocolate / carob mixture out of the baking pan if you line it with parchment. I just choose not to do so because I'm
6. For a yummy variation, add some extract like in Mint Chocolate | Carob Chips.
How can you use these Homemade Chocolate Chips?
- Of course, in cookies and bars
- Eat them “as is” – like eating chocolate chips out of the bag
- Break into bigger pieces and use as a rough-shaped chocolate or carob bar
- Pour into candy molds like I did in my Healthy “Almost Reese's” Candy post and make candies any time of year. I purchased star-shaped silicone molds like these to use on the Fourth of July.
- Add into homemade ice cream like in Chocolate Almond Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream or Mint Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream. With temperatures the way they've been around here, I will definitely be bringing out the ice cream maker soon!
- After melting, drizzle on top of fruit or dip fruit or other things for a special treat. How about chocolate covered strawberries? bananas? nut clusters? Endless possibilities.
- Drizzle on cake – This would be fabulous on a cheesecake. Take a look at these fabulous Dairy-Free Cheesecake Tarts from my friend, Ricki at Diet Dessert N Dogs. Instead of apricot, drizzle melted chocolate or carob chips on top – Yum!
Coming soon — a recipe for White Chocolate Chips. And maybe–a few will make their way into some cookies!
Hope you love these as much as we do.
How will you use these Homemade Chocolate Chips?