Hidden, why? because it is not profitable enough. It is cheap to harvest and wild carob trees are very tough and EASY to maintain. So there is an abundance of the carob fruit.
Now, why a superfood?
These days everything that is or sounds exotic it is called a superfood : cranberries, chia seeds, hippophaes, goji, even dried bananas and so on. But that is just a marketer’s attempt to attract more consumers and ultimately increase his sales.
The real superfoods are most of the time every day foods in a superior quality and in their natural state of being.
Take carob for an example : it is a meal by itself. It provides an outstanding quantity of calcium (more concentrated than milk), fiber, potassium and more.
Are you looking to increase your energy levels ?
Or for a sweet substitute of cacao with no fat (cacao is around 40% saturated fat) ?
Or you are seeking for alternatives to expensive (mostly because of international shipping) agave syrup, or any other sweetener
Maybe you want a better substitute to put in your warm cup of milk, because cacao binds on calcium and you do not absorb it. Keep in mind, that milk is best enjoyed alone because it is rich and can keep busy your digestion (see here why you should drink milk and what milk is best for you )
You can even make beautiful cookies with seed butter (sesame butter, almond butter, etc) and carob flour, WITHOUT using any sweetener. Carob is very sweet and has a chocolate flavor.
But my favorite product from carob it is the carob syrup, or as they call it carob honey.
It is thick, rich and smooth. Perfect for the airy types of people (vata dosha dominance as per ayurveda) .
If you cannot find good honey, and good totally unprocessed raw honey from bees that are not being fed with sugar is almost non existent nowadays, then carob syrup or molasses is the way to go. Sometimes I drink it by the bottle and it goes down so fast…
You can soak carob syrup, whole oat flakes, and goat milk overnight and enjoy a warm freshly cooked breakfast in the morning.
Anyways, I will write in an upcoming post some recipes with carob which I use and are tasty, nourishing and supportive.
How carob syrup is made :
You just take the dried pods and boil them in a bronze pot for around 4 hours. After that you strain them and what is left is the carob syrup. Simple ? Yes Fast ? No.
Carob can be eaten in a lot of ways, as all proper superfoods. You can eat carob:
A. As a dried fruit, discard the seeds (in the soil, to let it run its cycle again) and just munch on it. It is tasty and sweet.
B. As a syrup.
C. You can boil the dried fruit with meat in a stew or soup. Recipe is coming into a post soon.
D. You can make cakes from carob flour, or cookies and even bread (raisins, cinnamon tea and lemon peel into the bread just flashed my mind)
Carob VS Cacao
The most important reason of what to choose is your location. You should always, not just with carob, try and select foods as close to your region and its conditions as possible. For example, if you live in America cacao is a native plant of south America so it is more reasonable to choose it. For the same reason eating coconuts too often is not something recommended, generally you want to eat food that is related with the land your ancestors lived.
Another thing to consider is fat. Carob is very low on fat, but cacao can have as much as 40% of its fat saturated.
Also, carob is very beneficial for the bones and your body structure, and does not contain caffeine.
Carob in ancient times
Carob was used as a food in ancient Hellas, and Egypt and especially during times of drought because it can be stored dried for a long period of time and it is generally a tough tree.
A fact about carob and carat : Carob is called ceration in ancient Hellas, and because its seeds are the same weight in every fruit it was used as weight measure to determine the weight of gold, metal and other materials. The term carat it comes from the word ceration that passed in latin.
What about you, do you know any good carob recipes to share with us? or what is your opinion about carob and how they compare it with cacao and chocolate ?