Carob is a naturally sweet bean-like pod that grows alongside small flowers on trees throughout the world. Originally used as feed for livestock by the Greeks, its use and consumption expanded into Morocco, Spain and Italy. Its current use is more versatile, as it is typically processed into a cocoa-type flour that is used to flavour sweets. The pods may be ground and boiled in water to produce a thick syrup, and the seeds may be used as an additive to commercial bakery goods, ice cream, salad dressings, sauces, and other food products. Its use and consumption provide various health benefits:
Nutrition and Health Benefits of Eating Carob:
• Carob improves digestion and lowers cholesterol level in the blood.
• It is used for treating diarrhoea in children and adults alike.
• Since it does not contain caffeine, carob benefits people with high blood pressure.
• Regular use of carob helps in preventing lung cancer.
• The vitamin E content in carob helps in treating cough, flu, anemia and osteoclasis.
• The Gallic acid in carob helps in preventing and treating polio in children.
• Carob fights against osteoporosis, due to its richness in phosphorus and calcium.
• Carob pod husks are chewed by singers to clear the voice and throat.
• Carob tannins contain Gallic acid that works as an analgesic, anti-allergic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral and antiseptic.
• Carob forms an important commercial stabilizer and thickener in bakery goods, ice cream, jelly, salad dressings, cheese, bologna, sauces, salami, canned meats, fish, mustard and other food products.
• The carob powder is used as a substitute for cocoa powder or chocolate in cakes, cookies and candies.
• Hot beverages are made using carob powder, instead of coffee.
• For making cookies and muffins, carob chips are used in place of chocolate chips.