Updated: Dec 24, 2020
I have had very strong memories of the flavor and aroma of carob since when I was a kid. There was one large carob tree near the playground that I would always play in, and ripe, dried bean-shaped pods would fall from the tree onto the ground. I picked them up, broke them, and chewed on the shell like a snack.
The Carob tree is native to the Mediterranean region and Middle-Eastern countries, It grows wild and has been cultivated and used as a sweetener for 4000 years.
The carob is low in fat and high in natural fibers. It’s a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, and polyphenol antioxidants.
The carob tree pods are mildly sweet and often roasted and ground into a brown fine powder (called carob powder or carob flour) that is used in baking and sweets.
Whole carob pods are cooked with water until reduced, and then the pulp is strained until the result is dark brown syrup. This molasses is an extremely nutritious product and can be used as a natural sweetener.
Carob has a very unique flavor, different from honey or molasses, and it tastes nothing like chocolate. If you grew up in the US in the seventies, when carob was commonly promoted as a chocolate substitute as part of a health movement, you probably still dislike the carob for failing to replace the flavor of chocolate.
We blend carob into our sesame butters and add it to our date rolls. In both products, the carob doesn’t try to be anything else but what it is naturally – a deep, earthy, and innate sweet.