Carob comes from the pods of the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua). The pods contain the chocolate substitute, saccharine (NOT the same as the sweetener, Saccharin). Carob does not contain caffeine. Carob is nontoxic and is a highly alkaline powder rich in natural sugar and low in starch and fat. It is also said to be a bowel conditioner. Carob is rich in vitamins and minerals such as: vitamins A, B1 & B2, niacin, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.
Carob richly fills in for chocolate –
Mary Carroll, a consumer, says:
Several years ago I found out I was allergic to chocolate. Over half of the desserts on the menus of my favorite restaurants were chocolate-based, so I was suddenly out of the happy crowd who eats chocolate as a national pastime.
Friends, pitying my chocolateless state, introduced me to carob powder. A chocolate substitute it’ll never be; any chocoholic will tell you that. But carob has a wonderful flavor all its own.
Carob has been around a long time; John the Baptist was supposed to have lived on it in the desert. It’s ground from carob pods, and you can buy carob powder both raw and roasted in most health food stores. Minerals and B vitamins abound in carob, and I felt virtuous as I began experimenting with it in place of cocoa.
Carob, common name for a tree native to the Mediterranean. It grows to about 15 m (about 50 ft) high; has dark, evergreen, pinnate leaves; and red flowers. The fruit is an edible, brown pod, about 10 to 30 cm (about 4 to 12 in) long, that contains seeds and pulp.
Scientific classification: Carob belongs to the subfamily Caesalpinioideae, family Leguminosae, and is classified as Ceratonia siliqua.
The pods are the so-called “locusts” consumed by John the Baptist during his wilderness residency, hence the other common name of St John’s Bread. The prodigal son mentioned in Luke 15:16 “And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat.”
In the medical journal Nouv-Presse-Med, a French physicial related how a clinical case of chronic kidney failure was successfully reversed with carob gum. Aprox. 2 level tsp. of carob powder in cranberry juice or milk, taken four to five times daily should be of some use in stimulating inactive kidneys.
When traveling to foreign countries, always carry a can of carob powder with you. Carob pods are particularly rich in one class of tannins, which manifest strong anti-viral properties. Thus it would appear that carob powder might work just as well as some kinds of antibiotic drugs usually given to treat bacterial induced diarrhea.
Carob has less calories than either cocoa or sweet chocolate. It doesn’t interfer with calcium assimilation like chocolate or cocoa do but infact contains 3 times more calcium than cow’s milk!
Part used and where grown: Carob is originally from the Mediterranean region and the western part of Asia. Today it is grown mostly in Mediterranean countries.The pods are used. Carob pods come from evergreen trees; the gum from carob seeds is called locust bean gum.
In what conditions might carob be supportive?
• indigestion and heartburn
Historical or traditional use: Carob has long been eaten as food. John the Baptist is said to have eaten it, and thus it is sometimes called St. John’s bread. Carob pods have been used to treat diarrhea for centuries.
Active constituents: The main constituents of carob are large carbohydrates (sugars) and tannins. The sugars make carob gummy and able to act as a thickener to absorb water and help bind together watery stools. Tannins from carob, being water insoluble, do not bind proteins as some tannins do. Carob tannins do bind to (and thereby inactivate) toxins and inhibit growth of bacteria-both of which are beneficial when it comes to diarrhea. Dietary fiber and sugars may make food more viscous in the stomach and thus interfere with reflux of acid into the esophagus.
Are there any side effects or interactions? Carob is generally very safe, only rarely have allergic reactions been reported.
6. Carob Fudge
½ cup water
½ cup almond meal
½ cup date sugar
½ cup carob powder
Blend water and almond meal, then add date sugar and carob powder. A little more water may be added to blender to keep it moving until creamy. Frost cake or brownies.
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