I know what you’re thinking.
Carob is not chocolate. And I totally agree. It’s not.
But it is something lovely and its worth goes beyond the infamous “alternative to chocolate” status.
Carob has healing properties, essential nutrients, and its colourful history makes for a fascinating topic.
We begin our story deep in the Mediterranean basin of Ancient times.
The Carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) has roots in ancient Egypt as its use; both fruit and wood, was etched into the Harris Papyrus from the Middle Kingdom approximately 4000 years ago.
Next, in Ancient Rome we meet a man by the name of John the Baptist. The Bible says he lived in the wilderness for many years surviving off locusts and honey. But did he really live off honey coated bugs? (Eww!) Carob pods are also known as locust beans and some historians believe John the Baptist may have eaten Carob beans rather than bugs. A much more palatable choice I’m told.
Closer to our time we read that tiny carob seeds and precious gemstones share a rich past. Seeds from a Carob tree were once used as a measurement of weight during the 15th century. It was believed they had very little variation in their size and weight and were trusted to give customers a fair price. The term carat possibly of Arabic origin is still used today in reference to the weighing of gold.
Once I began reading about these power packed little beans I was amazed by the untold wonders I found.
I have made an inforgraphic (my first 🙂 ) to show why Carob is such a wonderful addition to any healthy food program!
Sugar Cravings? Help is Here!
Many of us suffer from a sweet tooth urge, to indulge in quick sugar hits. And amazingly on top of all these benefits this legume has the potential to control our blood sugar balance.
Three characteristics of the Carob bean work in synergy to help support blood glucose control and help keep those kilos off!
- Soluble Fibre – This form of fibre works by slowing down the absorption of glucose into the blood stream. This creates a beneficial balance between blood glucose and our insulin response thereby preventing sugar highs and lows.
- Phytochemicals – Research work has begun to show that eating Carob can increase fatty acid oxidation- In short it means that it helps us to burn our fat stores for energy and may help people with weight management.
- Naturally Sweet – In contrast to the bitterness of Cocoa, Carob is naturally sweet and consequently requires little or no sugar. And everyone knows eating less refined sugar is good for you!
- Added Bonus! – Unlike Cocoa, Carob is caffeine free. Kicking the caffeine habit is a viable way of encouraging good balanced energy levels throughout the day which in turn helps to curb the 3pm slump and the consequential carb cravings.
What an impressive plant indeed!
And its versatility is as expansive as your imagination.
Here are a few quick links to some amazing carob recipes!