The carob is another of the great foods that seem to be being rediscovered by the general public in recent years. It is a very nutritious legume that can compete with cocoa and that, unlike cocoa, has a very low fat content of only 1%. Therefore, it is widely used to replace cocoa in a variety of dishes. In addition, it provides us with a variety of benefits when consuming it in different ways, as it has a very rich nutritional composition.
If you want to learn more about carob, its properties, benefits, how to consume it and contraindications , join us in this AgroCorrn article.
What is carob
The carob is the fruit of the carob tree , a species with the scientific name Ceratonia Siliqua . It is a tree up to 20 meters high, which has a longevity of up to 200 years. The tree is of Mediterranean origin, although it is currently much more widespread, and produces a well-known dark legume.
This legume produces pods, which are green at first and dry and flatten as they mature. Inside these pods are the carob seeds , which are those that are consumed in different ways.
Depending on which part is consumed, the carob has a large number of properties that have been discovered and studied over many years. These are the main properties of carob :
- The bark of the tree is astringent, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic.
- The pulp of the carob shares the astringent properties of the bark, and is also antidiarrheal and digestive. Its high pectin content also makes it bactericidal, antiviral , coagulant, anticancer and a good remedy against cholesterol.
- The pulp of the carob is also thinning and satiating.
- Locust bean gum has anti-regurgitation effect in babies.
What is carob for: benefits and uses
Given its extensive list of properties, it is easy to imagine that we can put many beneficial uses for this legume. What is carob used for? These are its main benefits of carob and its uses :
- One of the most obvious is how beneficial its consumption is for celiacs, since carob flour does not contain gluten.
- Diabetics can also take advantage of its consumption a lot, since its high fiber and protein content help to reduce the levels of sugar in the bloodstream after meals. However, as it also contains carbohydrates, it must be taken into account to adjust insulin doses as best as possible. If you are diabetic and want to consume carob, first consult your doctor about how to consider it in your diet in particular.
- Those who are in processes of weight loss will find that this legume allows the preparation of sweet products without large amounts of sugar, thus assuming a small whim that helps make the diet more bearable, all without incurring a high consumption of calories.
- Carob flour, which is made from the seed, is widely used in the food industry, especially in the production of ice cream and pastries, as it is an excellent thickener. In addition, carob as a substitute for chocolate is also a great option, lower in fat.
- The consumption of carob powder helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, especially those considered bad cholesterol, thanks to its high tannin content.
- The carob can also be used to treat diarrhea. It is useful in those diarrhea caused by viruses or bacteria, since when consumed, its bactericidal and virucidal effects are noticeable in our intestines, and it also contains fibers that help the recovery of intestinal transit.
- In addition, carob cream is a proven remedy against vomiting and regurgitation in babies. Its consumption helps the little ones to reduce the number of regurgitations, without affecting the digestive processes.
How to consume carob
How to take carob? Well, the carob can be consumed in different ways, here we detail some:
- The usual thing is that when we acquire it, it comes in the form of toasted powder or carob flour .
- It can be consumed simply by adding the flour to hot liquids , since it is soluble in these. This is useful for making sauces with it or even drinks. If we have to add it to a cold liquid, it is convenient to add just a little liquid and stir until it becomes a paste, then add the rest.
- Putting carob flour in a spice rack is a very good way to add it to hot milk as a natural substitute for cocoa .
- In confectionery, it can be used to make sweets and cakes . These will have a darker color than usual and an intense flavor. To accustom the palate, we can introduce it in small quantities that we will increase to taste.
- There is also the option of eating raw carob . This is considered a superfood and is especially appreciated by followers of raw or raw diets . To do this, we must look for whole or ground carob beans that have not been toasted.
How to make carob flour
To make carob flour you just need to follow these simple steps:
- Dry the carob beans in the sun for up to a week if you’ve picked them yourself. Afterward, be sure to properly wash and dry them.
- You can remove the tips of the seeds to check that they do not have worms or other parasites, which usually accumulate at the ends.
- Chop them up or, if you have enough space in the oven, put them whole without crowding them. The golden point is a bit to the taste of the consumer, so you will see how you like them more. You can also toast them in a pan.
- Once they have cooled, we go on to grind and sift them and, voila, you have your carob flour!
The main contraindications of carob are:
- Those allergic to nuts could find problems in its consumption, so it is better to avoid it.
- It is recommended that people with anemia avoid carob consumption.
As a possible side effect of this legume, it should be noted that due to the high amount of fibers it can cause flatulence when consumed in large quantities. In spite of everything, it is not a serious problem beyond the occasional annoyance.
If you liked discovering the properties of carob, its benefits and contraindications, we invite you to also learn about wheat germ: properties, benefits and contraindications and Maca: properties, what it is for, benefits and how to take it .
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