For those who’re among the many massive group of chocoholics unfold throughout the globe, chances are you’ll be into carob — a finely floor powder that comes from carob pods grown on timber primarily within the Mediterranean.
This candy and nutty deal with not solely echoes chocolate in style (an actual win, in case you ask us), it additionally has some spectacular well being advantages together with its antioxidant potential and grams of fiber per serving.
Curious to be taught extra? Learn on to see if carob is the subsequent neatest thing to satisfy your candy cravings.
What Is a Carob Pod?
Carob is a purplish-brown pod that grows on the Mediterranean ceratonia siliqua, or carob, tree.
Contained in the leathery pods — which vaguely resemble overripe, shriveled bananas — you may discover a row of seeds surrounded by plenty of sticky pulp.
Whereas carob is commonly deemed a fruit, it technically belongs to the legume household.
You may discover roasted carob in syrups, molasses, drinks, candies, and baked items.
However if you wish to add carob to meals at house, you are not more likely to discover pods within the produce part at your native grocery retailer.
In keeping with Mascha Davis, MPH, RDN, founding father of NomadistaNutrition.com and writer of Eat Your Nutritional vitamins, the pods are often floor right into a powder (additionally known as carob flour) since they are not notably simple to organize.
The seed of the carob pod is used as a meals thickener or stabilizer and isn’t historically eaten by itself.
“Yow will discover it within the elements as locust bean gum,” says Melissa Majumdar, MS, RD, senior bariatric dietitian for Brigham and Girls’s Middle for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgical procedure.
As talked about earlier, carob’s taste has been likened to chocolate. “Nevertheless, it does have a candy and nutty style that distinguishes it from cocoa,” Majumdar says.
What Is Carob Used For?
Carob pods have been used historically for a wide range of well being advantages, Majumdar says, however she explains that the majority of those claims will not be validated by sufficient scientific analysis.
For each taste and dietary advantages, you may add carob powder to recipes that decision for cocoa powder.
“Think about using it in yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, or baked items like muffins or granola,” Majumdar says.
What Is the Vitamin of Carob?
Since carob is commonly in comparison with chocolate, let’s break down how these two elements stack up in opposition to each other nutritionally.
Davis explains that whereas carob has some notable pluses, it is not essentially more healthy than chocolate. She says carob powder:
- Is larger in sugar however decrease in fats than cocoa powder
- Is caffeine-free, not like cocoa powder
- Is reported in some research to include mood-boosting compounds that cocoa powder doesn’t
What Are the Well being Advantages of Carob?
When you’d should eat a complete lot of carob powder to satisfy sure nutrient wants, carob is usually a more healthy strategy to sweeten and flavored meals with out simply including empty energy.
In keeping with Majumdar and Davis, carob:
- Accommodates fiber
- Is a supply of polyphenols
- Is a supply of potassium and calcium
Does Carob Have Any Aspect Results?
As of proper now, you are free to complement your shakes, smoothies, and oatmeal with carob as you please.
It doesn’t seem to have any adverse unintended effects and has not been recognized to intrude with any drugs, Majumdar says.
Carob pods are typically acknowledged as secure (GRAS). “This implies when it’s consumed in quantities which can be naturally current in meals, it secure to devour for wholesome people,” she says.
The place Can I Purchase Carob Pods?
Within the US, carob pods could also be robust to seek out. “Powders are available in lots of shops, so I’d suggest selecting pre-made powders,” Davis says.
Yow will discover carob powder in well being meals shops and on-line.