Flash in the Pan: Rich and Creamy Chai Carob Latte

[Sometimes, you just want a dish that’s “no fuss.”  I’ve decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so simple to make that no recipe is required. Here’s today’s “Flash in the Pan.” (For other FitP recipes, see “Categories” at right).]

Do you remember when milk came in glass bottles (the first time)?  We had a milk delivery man (yikes–I swear, I really was born in the 20th century) who would drop off the bottles at the door every morning, then zoom away in his milk truck (and didn’t even ask for payment until the end of the week!).

Until I was 11, I thought milk came from trucks.

In those days, the bottles were stoppered with cardboard plugs that looked like inverted baby soothers–the part resembling the nipple was the handle, and you could push the cardboard disk below it back into the top of the bottle to close it.  In first grade, our math teacher had us save the stoppers over the course of a month to use as props for addition and subtraction exercises.  We each brought in about 50 stoppers–that’s how much milk we drank in those days (no wonder I have a reaction to it now!).

Well, this post isn’t about archaic cardboard milk stoppers, but the milk itself.  My mom always ordered four bottles of chocolate milk the day before one of our birthday parties, because it was more expensive and too rich for every day.  In fact, most moms would thin out the ultra-thick, ultra-rich chocolate milk with some two percent–but not in our house.  We drank it straight–if “drank” is the right word.  It was so rich it could coat a spoon, and you had to slurp it, slowly.  My sisters and I loved it.

This carob chai latte reminded me of that chocolate milk.  The inclusion of cashews and carob chips renders the liquid thick, glossy, and luxurious–just like that chocolate milk of yore, it coated a spoon.  The consistency was very much like old-fashioned hot chocolate, frothy on top, with aromatic cinnamon, ginger and cardamom to warm it even more.  If you’re not a fan of chai flavors, simply omit the spices for a comforting mug of hot, milky carob.  Sipping this by the fire, I could almost see the milk truck in the distance.

[And don’t forget: you can still enter the Simply Bar giveaway until Tuesday, December 14th–and every entry adds to my donation to Second Harvest!]

Never miss a recipe–or a comment from The Girls! Click here to subscribe to RickiHeller.com via email. You’ll get recipes as soon as they’re posted, plus cookbook updates and news about upcoming events! (“We love subscribers, Mum. . . almost as much as we love treats!”

I’m linking this recipe to Amy’s weekly event, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays (even though it will feel entirely indulgent!).  Check out the other entries, too!

Last Year at this Time: It’s the Berries: Stevia-Sweetned, Gluten Free Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Two Years Ago: Flash in the Pan: Blended Hot Cereal (for ACD, omit banana and use pear; omit maple syrup and use stevia; gluten free)

Three Years Ago: Mostly Raw Chocolate Truffles (not ACD friendly; gluten free)

[Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links. If you buy using these links, at no cost to you, I will earn a small commission from the sale.]



  1. I’ve heard such great things about carob. I really need to get some and then obviously make this divine looking creation 🙂

  2. ohh man that sounds awesome. Definitly need to make this soon. Maybe when the geekling is napping.
    I used to drink a ridiculous amount of milk… i would get headaches if i didn’t have it. Though i lived up north where you had to either order your groceries to be delivered by the greyhound, or wait 2 weeks and drive the 2 hours to store. lol.

  3. Well, I hope you won’t be upset if I make this with chocolate chips instead of carob, but I might not be able to resist. I have to say, Ricki, this seems like a MUCH better use of the soup-making-ability of the Vitamix. Much better. 🙂

  4. Oh my – this sounds lovely. I have not yet had any such finding vegan unsweetened carob chips. May I ask what brand you buy?

    • I get them from a wholesaler I used when I had my bakery. . . they come in a huge 2 kg bag with no label. They assured me they were vegan. . . hmmmm!! Will ask again. I don’t have a reaction to them like I do when I unwittingly eat milk, so I assumed they were okay. Now I’m curious.

  5. Holy stromboli, this looks out-of-control delicious! Thank you!



    P.S. added you to my blogroll! 🙂

  6. Vitamix has a soup making ability? Intriguing. My blender seems so inadequate right now. 😉
    This looks very nice… though I will be joining the chocolate rather than carob crowd. Most solid carob here contains milk solids, I am not sure that I have seen a vegan one.

  7. Carob chips do always seem to be made from palm oil and soya flour here – I wish I could find some made with cocoa butter…

    I sounds amazingly creamy and delicious though, I might just try it with carob powder and throw in a few chunks of cacao for the hit (!).

    My blender is definitely not up to soup making – does yours blend everything really fine? I’m always a little nervous about anything that might denature food and heating by friction falls into that category – unless it has an element in it? Intrigued, for sure!

    x x x

    • I think mine do have palm oil (not sure about the soya)–a sacrifice I’m willing to live with in order to enjoy them on occasion. 🙂 I bet cacao would work beautifully, too, though I find that cocoa/cacao when sweetened only with stevia can be a bit bitter.

      The VitaMix really does seem to blend everything perfectly fine. Again, I’m not going to stress about the denatured proteins in an occasional beverage when I’m likely eating acrylamide in all my baked goods and my hubby gets his heterocyclic amines from meat (not to mention pollution I’m breathing daily, BPAs I’m likely ingesting without knowing it, carcinogens in other foods, electromagnetic pollution in the air. . . I just do the best I can and try not to be driven mad by focusing on every single possiblity–hey, it was hard enough to get me on an airplane last month!) 😉

    • Naomi, have you tried this with carob powder? If so, how much did you use. I find that most carob chips contain soy lecithin and I am trying to avoid that ingredient, but I would love to try this recipe.

  8. We got our milk directly from a dairy for a lot of my childhood. But the chocolate milk that we got for treats was not nearly as rich as yours – but I love the idea of cashews to thicken your latte rather than the cream!

  9. It’s snowing here in Chicagoland and this will be perfect to sip on! Thanks Ricki!

  10. This sounds like such a treat! Goodness, how naughty-but-nice.
    We had a milk man most of my childhood. The milk came from the dairy about 1mi from town, and it was the same delivery man from the time my father was a teen until I was a teen. His name was Ozzy. True story.

    • It’s so great that you knew his name and were friends! Our milkman ended up taking our first dog (a boxer named Princess) when I was three because my younger sister was born and my parents were nervous with the dog around her. I think that was the last we heard of him. 😉

  11. I absolutely agree with you on adding cashews to other non-dairy milk to make it more rich. We discovered that last winter during our blizzard by accident. It was a very happy accident.

    Sadly I also remember the milk delivery man. We used to have a metal box on the front porch where he would leave the milk. We are showing our respective ages with this one. LOL


  12. Such fun and luscious photos and memories! I can’t resist anything in a snowman mug and that latte looks divine. I still love chocolate milk although setting the dairy consideration aside, most store-bought stuff is not that great these days. We had hot cocoa made with almond milk, Dagoba, and nutmeg at our meeting Friday night and it was sooo good. I’m betting this is even better, Ricki–thanks!


  13. This looks great, Ricki! With the advent of winter, I started infusing my milk with the coco chai rooibos from David’s Tea, but this looks like a great homemade alternative. 🙂

    • The tea sounds like such a great idea. . . I used to drink Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice with soymilk for a very similar idea. This is more like hot chocolate than tea with milk. . . still delish, though. 🙂

  14. LOVE how you thickened it with cashews!

  15. No fair. It’s 12:45 AM and you’re tempting me with this when i should be going to bed:).


  16. I’ve been on the search for unsweetened carob chips that have no barley and no milk – as I can’t have either. I might have to just use unsweetened carob powder. I can get that without all the funny ingredients.

  17. oh WOW. perfect for a cold day like this one.

  18. this sounds awesome! and makes me wish i hadn’t snacked away my carob chips 🙂

  19. Some shops over here still sell milk in glass bottles. But they don’t sell soymilk in glass bottles. I remember those milk delivery guys from Hollywood movies and there’s a memory somewhere in my brain that tells me a milk truck would drive up our street, too. But that must have been ages ago. Now I wish a truck would deliver my soymilk and maybe some chai carob latte.

  20. I haven’t been able to find gluten free carob chips either.They seem to always be sweetened with barley malt.

    • I buy the unsweetened ones, so I don’t have to contend with that. The company told me they contain carob, palm kernel oil, and soy lecithin–that’s it.

  21. MMMMmmmm Now that look very good.

  22. Okay, yum, yum, and more yum! I often make carob bevies instead of cocoa because I love it that much.

    There was probably still a milkman when I was a kid, but my mom was too busy buying Swanson’s dinners and Spaghettios to think about fresh foods. Not that I’m bitter or anything 🙂

  23. I keep looking for carob in the extended natural food section of my supermarket, but to no avail; it’s all organic/fair trade chocolate. Carob is so cool, especially since (for me) it’s a legume. A nice, comfy cup of spicy comfort you have here, Ricki.

    Haven’t had carob in ages and ages, and though I am later than the time of home deliveries, I have a feeling that milk, in general, was of better overall quality than the cranked-out stuff many of us get from mass-production farms these days.

  24. Hi Ricki!

    This looks really tasty, but my particular ACD regimen forbids cashews for now. Could I substitute something else for them?

    Thank you so much for making all of these lovely recipes available- You’ve been a lifesaver to my sanity on this diet 🙂

    • Hi Jocelyn,
      I’m guessing that hazelnuts or macadamias would work as well, though of course they’d also impart some of their distinct flavor (I find cashews really mild so they can be used with almost anything). But since it’s such a small amount, it should work just fine. 🙂 And thanks so much for your kind comment. Good luck with the diet! (PS, just curious–which version are you following?).

  25. Yum! Chocolate has been giving me fits, but our crazy weather has had me craving hot chocolate. This is definitely worthy of a try 🙂

    Question: I don’t have carob chips, but I do have carob powder. Do you think that would work? It might take away from the creaminess, but I’m willing to try. Also, I see in the post above someone asked about subbing out the cashews (I’m not a huge fan of raw cashew in things), and your suggestions, but I wonder if almonds would work. Hum…I don’t have any hazelnuts or macadamias. Oh…I have pine nuts. I’m guessing a fattier nut is required. Pecans? I don’t like walnuts either. LOL

    • I think carob powder would work well. . . I might add a teaspoon of coconut oil, though, for creaminess. You could certainly use almonds if you have a high-powered blender (VitaMix or Blendtec) but I think it would be too grainy with a conventional blender. . . never tried it, just my guess. 🙂 And yes, I used cashews because they’re fattier. I think perhaps sesame seeds might do as well if you like the taste!

  26. Thank you for this recipe! It is so nice to have a warm drink recipe using carob. These are the chips I use. I get them at Whole Foods. http://www.sunspire.com/unsweetened-carob-chips


  1. […] means yippy skippy, as my good friend Ellen (same name as me!) says. Ricki, author of the wonderful this drink and she used carob, not chocolate. She calls it Rich and Creamy Chai Carob Latte. Since there […]

  2. […] Here’s the list of all the ingredients I used. You can follow the directions that Ricki provides in her recipe. […]

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.