Carob, or St. John’s Bread, as it is commonly known, comes from the carob tree, an evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean region and the western part of Asia. The carob tree belongs to the legume family and produces large (4-12 inch long) bean-like pods. The carob pods are roasted and ground into carob powder.
Where to buy good carob
Is carob a healthy food?
Nutritionally, carob is a good source of fiber, calcium, and some B vitamins. On the contrary, chocolate decreases the absorption of calcium.
Carob has a naturally sweet taste compared to chocolate which requires a large amount of sugar to mask its bitter taste. Carob is also much lower in fat than chocolate.
Carob has none of the allergy-producing antibodies of chocolate nor does carob contain caffeine or theobromine as does chocolate. This nutritious alternative to chocolate is free from the cellular toxins methylxanthines. Methylxanthines are found in chocolate, coffee, tea, and colas and can have many serious ill effects. They have the ability to alter the protoplasm of cells and to attach or concentrate in cells for an unknown period of time. Many diseases and conditions are made worse by methylxanthines. These include heart disease, cancer, allergies, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal disturbances, and osteoporosis.
Different varieties of carob
Carob powder comes raw or roasted. I recommend roasted. (Raw carob is difficult for the body to digest, just as are other raw legumes.)
Carob can also be purchased in others forms, such as carob chips and carob bars, but most of these have added sugars and oils.
How do you use carob?
Carob powder can be used to replace cocoa in many recipes.
Tip: When replacing chocolate with carob powder in a recipe, use 3 tablespoons of carob powder plus 1 tablespoon of water for every ounce of unsweetened chocolate.
Recipes that use carob
How to store carob
Carob powder should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.