Carob comes from the pod of a tree that grows along the Mediterranean Sea. The pod contains a sweet, edible pulp. Once dried and roasted, the pulp is ground into a powder which can further be processed into carob chips.
Carob is often used as a chocolate substitute for those avoiding dairy products or opting for a healthier alternative. Unlike chocolate, carob is naturally sweet, low in fat, high in fiber, has calcium, and contains no caffeine.
Carob is also rich in protein and contains phytonutrients that protect against cancer and cardiovascular problems.
Fiber in carob lowers cholesterol that is present in the bloodstream. The insoluble fiber present in carob and many other plant sources contain polyphenols, which lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.
Carob is high in antioxidants. One study showed that carob germ flour showed not only antioxidant but also cytotoxic activities. The flour has the capabilities to attack and target specific cervical cancer cells and thus help the body repair free radical damage.
Caron has a binding action within the intestinal tract. This helps absorb liquid and aids problems such as diarrhea. In addition, carob contains chemicals called tannins, which decrease the effectiveness of certain enzymes that aid in digestion.
Good source of:
B-complex vitamins, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese, iron
Purchasing storing, and enjoying:
Purchasing: Carob can be found in some grocery stores in the baking section and all health food stores.
Storing: Store carob is a dry cool place away from the sun. It can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to extend shelf life.
Powder: Replace cocoa powder for carob powder in recipes.
Chips: Carob chips are used to replace chocolate chips in baked goods.