Carob ~ Super Natural Foods
Discover the Wholesome Goodness
In recent years this has been known solely as a chocolate substitute, but this seductively sweet food has both the substance and the flavor to earn its own merit.
The history of this marvelous super food is as rich as its flavor.
Native to the rocky terrain of the Mediterranean, the pods have been used in food preparation for thousands of years.
From ancient Egyptians to Mohammed's army to Spanish conquistadors, this wonder food found its way into a variety of cultures to serve many purposes.
More recently we've discovered the reasons why it's so prized as a health food:
- This super food contains a wealth of
like copper, manganese, potassium, magnesium and selenium.
It's especially rich in calcium and iron.
It contains essential nutrients like vitamin-A, B2, B3, B6 and D.
The milled flour is an excellent source of natural dietary fiber, with two grams of fiber per tablespoon of flour.
It contains pectin, a beneficial fiber that aids the elimination of toxins.
In traditional medicine, this wonder food was often used to treat diarrhea.
It can still be used as a natural remedy for this purpose, with a dosage of 15 grams per day for children and at least 20 grams per day for adults.
Because of its pleasant taste, most children will take to it readily when mixed in warm cereal or applesauce.
It's definitely a nutritious food on its own, but it can't be denied, it's the only chocolate substitute that comes within a mile of impersonating our old friend cocoa.
Although the flavor is somewhat different than chocolate, it makes an ideal
substitute for several reasons:
- Chocolate contains stimulants like theobromine, which is highly toxic to many animals.
There's also a small amount of caffeine in chocolate, similar to the amount in decaffeinated coffee, but enough to bother caffeine-sensitive individuals.
Phenylethylamine in chocolate may be linked to increased migraine headaches.
Of course, this super food contains none of these substances.
- Processed chocolate and
products often contain high amounts of toxic lead according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Again, not so with this super food.
- Unlike carob, chocolate is often processed with alkali, which may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
Alkali processing also removes healthy components like flavonoids and antioxidants from chocolate, while increasing sodium content.
- Chocolate has a somewhat bitter flavor that is often masked with excess refined sugar and corn syrups.
This is naturally sweet and can be enjoyed with less added sweeteners.
- It contains twice as much calcium as chocolate, without any of the oxalic acid in chocolate which interferes with calcium absorption.
- It generally has no dairy additives, so it's acceptable for a vegan diet.
- It also gives the diner who's allergic to chocolate, the opportunity to savor some of those decadent desserts that traditionally contain chocolate such as brownies.
It can also be used in place of chocolate in a variety of baked goods.
It's taste may not hold exactly the same note as chocolate, but it still makes for a delicious dessert.
Carob can also be used to flavor yogurt, cereals and coffee.
Many traditional societies prepare a drink reminiscent of hot cocoa, with a depth of flavor that will please almost any palate.
Carob powder or flour is one of the best forms, since the chips and bars often contain additives and other unwanted ingredients.
High quality carob can be simply decadent and rich in flavor.
The flour should be stored in a place that is dark, cool and dry where it can stay fresh for up to twelve months.
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