Name Variations Edit
- St. John's bread
- honey locust
- locust bean
- carob chips
About Carob Edit
Wikipedia Article About Carob on Wikipedia
The Carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) is an evergreen, leguminous shrub or tree native to the Mediterranean region, cultivated for its edible seed pods. A legume, carob is related to beans, peas, peanuts, mesquite, tamarind, kudzu and honey locust. Also known as St John's Bread, the flesh of the pods tastes somewhat similar to sweetened cocoa, but carob contains no caffeine or other psychoactive substances and is often used as a hypoallergenic, drug-free substitute. Mixed with saturated fats like butter fat or palm oil, it is often used to make a sweet confection, considered chocolate-like by some, that is usually referred to simply as "carob." Carob soothes the digestive tract and helps with diarrhoea. The main ingredients of carob are large carbohydrates. These make carob gummy so it acts as a thickener to absorb water and bind loose stools.
Carob, dried or roasted and having a slightly sweet taste, in powder or chip form, is used as an ingredient in cakes and cookies. Carob is sometimes used as a substitute for chocolate. The seeds, also known as locust beans, are used as animal feed. They are also the source of locust bean gum, a thickening agent used in numerous processed foods. In Egypt, carobs are consumed as a snack. Crushed pods are used to make a refreshing drink. Compotes and liqueurs are made from carob in Turkey, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Sicily. Carob has proven effective in relieving diarrhea in infants. In Libya, a syrup extracted from carob named rub is used as a complement to an Asida meal. In Peru carob syrup is used in a popular mixed drink, la algarrobina.
Carob has also been used as a non-toxic alternative to chocolate in dog treats, as the theobromine in chocolate is toxic to all dogs.