Locust Bean, Locust Pods, St. John's Bread, Sugar Pods.
Africa, Asia, Southern Europe
Carob pulp from the pod (not the beans)
Carob is a small, drought-tolerant species of tree that flourishes in the arid climates of Africa, Asia and Southern Europe. The term “carob” refers to the fruit of the tree, which are flat, bean-like pods that harbour numerous tiny seeds.
Also called Locust Pods and Sweet Pods, these fruits are used as a healthy and delicious chocolate alternative.
Carob is rich in tannins that help to combat toxins in the digestive tract and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestines. Instead of dissolving in liquid, these tannins have a drying effect which help to dry out the stool, making it a useful treatment for diarrhoea.
These tasty pods are also rich in insoluble fibre, a type of fibre that is not broken down by the gut and absorbed into the bloodstream. It adds bulk to waste in the digestive system which helps to keep you regular whilst preventing constipation.
Healthy Weight Loss
Carob has been shown to control the secretion of the hormone ghrelin according to a study published in the "Journal of Nutrition" in 2006.
Also known as the hunger hormone, ghrelin is produced mainly in the gut but also in the brain, pancreas and small intestine. In the study, researchers analysed 20 healthy subjects aged 22 to 62 by feeding them Carob fibre before a meal. The fibre content in Carob was shown to decrease the production of ghrelin, which provided greater satiety in the subjects during a meal, which in turn prevented overeating.
Blood Sugar / Diabetes
Although Carob is naturally sweet, it doesn’t spike the blood sugar in the same way as chocolate. Whilst it does contain some sugar, Carob has a very low glycaemic index (GI), making it a great alternative to chocolate for diabetics.
In 2017, a study was published in the “Nutrition Journal” finding that the fibre content of Carob can help to control blood sugar. The researchers asked 50 adult participants of normal weight to consume a Carob snack before lunch. They collected blood samples from each subject at the beginning of the day, two hours after breakfast, just before the Carob snack, two hours and three hours after the carob snack, and just before and after lunch.
The results showed that the participants who ate the Carob had a lower glycaemic response to their lunch meals, as the carob snack had a stabilising effect on their blood sugar levels.
Organic Carob Powder
Makes a delicious, healthy alternative to hot chocolate. It can also be used as a substitute for chocolate in desserts and makes a wonderful addition to smoothies.
Organic Carob Syrup
Use in baking and food preparation as a healthy alternative sweetener.
In the ancient Middle East, the seeds of the kharrūb (Carob or locust bean pod) were used to measure the weight and worth of precious metals and stones. This eventually became known throughout Europe as a ‘karat’ and 24 Carob beans were the exact weight of a pure gold Roman solidus coin. This is how ‘24 karats’ became known to signify pure gold and has stuck as the contemporary classification for all precious metals and gemstones.
As a food the Carob tree has a long tradition within the Middle East as a means of subsisting on very little but the pod and beans.
References to John the Baptist in the New Testament parable of Mathew suggests that John the Baptist ate nothing but ‘locusts and honey’ (locust bean pod is another name for the Carob pod). Similar references in Mesopotamian literature point to the Carob pod being a source of food during times of famine.
Throughout history Carob has been enjoyed for its sweet taste and it is a fantastic chocolate replacement for those who are allergic to the theobromine in cacao.
8% protein and contains vitamins A, B, B2, B3 and D. Carbohydrates: sucrose (32-38%), glucose (5-6%), fructose (5-7%) and maltose. Amino acids: alanine, glycine, leucine, praline, and valine; tyrosine, phenylalanine; high in calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium and contains iron, manganese, barium, copper and nickel; high amount of tannins.