In case you’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 bushes primarily within the Mediterranean.
This candy and nutty deal with not solely echoes chocolate in style (an actual win, for those who 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 smartest thing to meet 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’ll discover a row of seeds surrounded by a number of sticky pulp.
Whereas carob is commonly deemed a fruit, it technically belongs to the legume household.
You would possibly discover roasted carob in syrups, molasses, drinks, candies, and baked items.
However if you wish to add carob to meals at house, you’re not more likely to discover pods within the produce part at your native grocery retailer.
In line with Mascha Davis, MPH, RDN, founding father of NomadistaNutrition.com and writer of Eat Your Nutritional vitamins, the pods are normally floor right into a powder (additionally known as carob flour) since they aren’t notably simple to arrange.
The seed of the carob pod is used as a meals thickener or stabilizer and isn’t historically eaten by itself.
“You will discover it within the components as locust bean gum,” says Melissa Majumdar, MS, RD, senior bariatric dietitian for Brigham and Ladies’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 quite a lot of well being advantages, Majumdar says, however she explains that almost all of those claims should not validated by sufficient scientific analysis.
For each taste and dietary advantages, you possibly can 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 Diet of Carob?
Since carob is commonly in comparison with chocolate, let’s break down how these two components stack up in opposition to each other nutritionally.
Davis explains that whereas carob has some notable pluses, it isn’t essentially more healthy than chocolate. She says carob powder:
- Is increased in sugar however decrease in fats than cocoa powder
- Is caffeine-free, in contrast to cocoa powder
- Is reported in some research to comprise mood-boosting compounds that cocoa powder doesn’t
What Are the Well being Advantages of Carob?
When you’d must eat a complete lot of carob powder to satisfy sure nutrient wants, carob could be a more healthy solution to sweeten and taste meals with out simply including empty energy.
In line with Majumdar and Davis, carob:
- Comprises fiber
- Is a supply of polyphenols
- Is a supply of potassium and calcium
Does Carob Have Any Aspect Results?
As of proper now, you’re free to complement your shakes, smoothies, and oatmeal with carob as you please.
It doesn’t seem to have any unfavorable unintended effects and has not been recognized to intervene with any medicines, Majumdar says.
Carob pods are usually acknowledged as protected (GRAS). “This implies when it’s consumed in quantities which are naturally current in meals, it protected to eat for wholesome people,” she says.
The place Can I Purchase Carob Pods?
Within the U.S., carob pods could also be powerful to search out. “Powders are available in lots of shops, so I’d suggest selecting pre-made powders,” Davis says.
You will discover carob powder in well being meals shops and on-line.