Hot carob is a great alternative to hot chocolate. Fortified hot carob is even better, as it reminds me of chocolate malt beverages. Especially if you can’t take chocolate or cocoa, like me. My most recent encounter with chocolate was quite a disaster, so I’m rather leery about reintroducing it for some time. Pulse rate of over 90 beats per minute? That’s worse than any thyroid storm I’d ever had!
Memories of Milo
When I was growing up in Singapore, Milo was the default hot beverage for breakfast, or whenever my family felt like something warm, sweet, and comforting (my parents gravitated toward coffee though). I never drank cold milk on its own especially since it gave me stomach cramps (I only trained myself to tolerate the taste of milk and take sips of it in my pre-AIP mid-20s). So on the occasions when we had cereal, we had it with hot Milo poured over. The concept of cold milk and crunchy cereal was a foreign one to my family ;).
Milo is a chocolatey fortified malt beverage, and is very popular in South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand (based on personal observation). Other similar products include Nesquik and Ovaltine. Milo’s so popular that it’s not just ‘coffee or tea?’ but ‘coffee, tea, or Milo?’ at major institutions in Singapore such as hospitals!
The advertised ‘tonic food drink’ comes (came?) in large metal green cans and we would scoop a small spoonful of the granular mix, stir it up with a mug of hot water, a dot of condensed milk and a splash of room temperature water to cool it slightly (sometimes under the watchful eye of my mother to make sure we didn’t put too much Milo – I felt like a rebel if I put a heaping tablespoon when she wasn’t watching…).
During important sports events at school the Milo truck would show up dispensing rich and creamy cups of chilled Milo to the hoards of thirsty children. I remember preferring that version because they used a lot more Milo than we did back home. And it was chilled!
As people became more well travelled and more Singaporeans visited Australia, many realised that they preferred the taste of Australian Milo to Malaysian Milo (creamier and less sweet). The local supermarkets started labelling their products as ‘Australian import’ or ‘Australian recipe’ and such. Oh gosh, typing this and I have the little TV advertisement jingle in my head right now!
No matter how good it tasted, Milo is totally not Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)-compliant, given the ingredients list:
Malaysian version: Malt extract (contains barley), Skimmed Milk Powder (cow’s milk), Maltodextrin, Sugar, Cocoa, Palm Oil, Minerals, Vitamins. Contains Permitted Flavouring (Vanillin).
Australian version: Malt Extract (Contains Barley), Milk Solids, Sugar, Cocoa, Mineral Salts (341II, 504I, 500II), Vitamins [Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A), Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)], Mineral [Ferric Pyrophosphate (Iron)], Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin)
So there’s gluten, dairy, corn or rice (maltodextrin), sugar, and cocoa in there. Not going there anytime now…
A gluten-free, nutritious, home-made alternative
In order to appease my inner child, I decided to come up with something similar, something AIP. Hence this fortified hot carob recipe, which is totally AIP-friendly and doesn’t contain stimulants!
Just note that I wouldn’t advise drinking this cold, unless if you like pudding ;). There’s some gelling power in there! Of course, if you prefer, you can replace the bone broth with water but it will be a little less rich.
I make my neutral-tasting bone broth weekly in a similar fashion to this method, using my Instant Pot (I let it pressure cook for 90 minutes) and store them in glass mason jars in the refrigerator to be consumed or cooked with throughout the week. This fortified hot carob is dedicated to all you chocolate malt beverage-loving AIP-ers, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!
Where to purchase certain ingredients online (affiliate links):
- 2 tablespoons carob powder
- 1 teaspoon gelatin
- 1¾ cups bone broth
- 1 tablespoon chicory
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (optional)
- Place the carob powder and gelatin in a blender or food processor
- Combine the bone broth and chicory in a small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer very lightly for 5 minutes
- Remove from heat and stir in the coconut sugar, if using
- Strain and pour the infusion into the blender or food processor
- Add the coconut oil, cover and blend until frothy, for about a minute
- Stir to dissolve any clumps and blend for another minute
- Pour into a mug and serve immediately
Use mildly seasoned bone broth for best results. The bone broth that I make for this drink consists of only bones, a splash of apple cider vinegar and a bay leaf.