Carob, a wonderful alternative to chocolate is an edible pod that grows in the carob tree, (Ceratonia siliqua). The carob tree, also known as St John’s bread, is an evergreen flowering shrub that belongs to the pea family (Fabaceae). There is edible and sweet pulp inside the pod. When the pod becomes ripe, it is plucked and dried. Then the pulp is ground into fine powder. This powder is often used as an alternative to cocoa powder. Carob comes from the Mediterranean area which includes Northern Africa, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean islands. It is also known by other names like – Algarrobo, Locust Bean / Pods, Caroube, Carouge, Figuier d’Égypte, Garrofero or Sugar Pods.
Carob is not just a substitute for chocolate. It has a number of advantages over cocoa powder and is therefore often used to make what has come to be known as 'healthy chocolate'.
It is a good source of many nutrients that provide the body with immense health benefits when eaten regularly: vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3 and D), minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese and potassium), antioxidants, fibre and protein. Carob powder is three times richer in calcium than chocolate.
Unlike chocolate, Carob contains no caffeine or theobromine. Caffeine and theobromine found in chocolate are both well-known stimulants that can trigger restlessness, sleepless nights, irregular heartbeat and even withdrawal symptoms.
If there is one universal goal, it has got to be the struggle of becoming healthier. Everyone in the world, except a fair few people, want to adopt a healthier lifestyle for hundreds of reasons. The main aspect of a healthy life is food.