Caffeine-free Hot Carob

13 Jul

For every Encierro in San Fermín, the Encierro is not the beginning of the day but more really the culmination of a night of partying.  Well, the almost culmination because before going to bed after the Encierro you must have breakfast.

Some people consider breakfast a spiked “zumo de naranja” or orange juice… as we can see with our Pamplona friends here.  But for most Spaniards a sandwich or “bocadillo” or Churros con Chocolate are more fitting breakfast choices.

But a word of caution…  if you order a Hot Chocolate or “Chocolate Caliente” in Spain you will get something closer to a  hot chocolate pudding in a glass.  If you want to drink something closer to what a hot chocolate is in America, you need to ask for a ColaCao with hot milk.  ColaCao is the Spanish/European equivalent to Quik.   But it’s important for you to know the difference so your expectations are met.

I am self-procalimed chocoholic, but I‘ve had to steer away from chocolate because of its caffeine content.  That’s basically the reason why the vegetarianism I practice avoids chocolate.  So when we had our churros the other day, my taste buds were craving something “chocolaty” to dunk the churros in… and the vegetarian alternative is Hot Carob.     

Carob, available in both bar and powder form, makes a very delicious caffeine-free alternative to hot chocolate.  And because carob is a bit bitter it resembles the bitter bar chocolate used to make hot chocolate from scratch.  Here’s how…



¾ cup of evaporated milk – about ½ a container
¾ cup of water
1 tbs carob powder
2 tbs agave nectar


  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add the evaporated milk, water and agave nectar.  Whisk in the carob powder to avoid any lumps from forming.
  2. Heat up the mixture enough without bringing it to a boil.  I like to keep whisking for a little while to prevent the carob powder to scorch at the bottom of the pan.
  3. Take away from heat and cover to maintain hot for a while.


Serve hot with a side of churros…

The evaporated milk gives it a creamier consistency as if you used regular milk, but you can certainly substitute the evaporated milk and water for equal parts of just milk.

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