If you happen to’re among the many giant group of chocoholics unfold throughout the globe, you might 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, in the event 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 following smartest thing to fulfill 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 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 dwelling, you’re not more likely to discover pods within the produce part at your native grocery retailer.
In response to Mascha Davis, MPH, RDN, founding father of NomadistaNutrition.com and creator 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 substances as locust bean gum,” says Melissa Majumdar, MS, RD, senior bariatric dietitian for Brigham and Ladies’s Heart 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 almost all of those claims aren’t validated by sufficient scientific analysis.
For each taste and dietary advantages, you’ll be able to 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 substances 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, 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?
Whilst 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 taste meals with out simply including empty energy.
In response to Majumdar and Davis, carob:
- Incorporates 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 detrimental uncomfortable side effects and has not been recognized to intrude with any medicines, Majumdar says.
Carob pods are typically acknowledged as secure (GRAS). “This implies when it’s consumed in quantities which might be naturally current in meals, it secure to devour for wholesome people,” she says.
The place Can I Purchase Carob Pods?
Within the U.S., carob pods could also be robust to seek out. “Powders are available in lots of shops, so I might advocate selecting pre-made powders,” Davis says.
You will discover carob powder in well being meals shops and on-line.