As a fairly uncommon herb, carob might not be included in one’s collection of herbs, spices, and botanicals — but it definitely should be. Carob is a highly useful ingredient when it comes to adding a naturally sweet flavor to food that also has a multitude of health benefits. Medicinal benefits of carob date back over 4,000 years with the ancient Greeks who determined the herb to be effective in soothing a sore throat.
Today, carob is used for several purposes and provides an even greater number of health advantages from digestive support to weight loss.
What is Carob?
This herb comes from the carob tree, mostly found in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Carob trees are a type of flowering evergreen belonging to the legume family, Fabaceae. They contain edible pods filled with a sweet pulp that is extracted, dried, roasted, and finally made into a powder or other substance type for use in cooking and baking. The herb is most commonly used as a healthy substitute for chocolate as carob’s naturally sweet pulp has no added sugar and is high in fiber.
Health Benefits of Carob
Carob is a very unique ingredient that many people are not familiar with, let alone understand its full benefits. One of carob’s greatest advantages is what it can do for a person’s digestive health. Other benefits of carob include:
Less Digestive Health Complications
Gut health may be affected by several factors, diet being a major contender. Incorporating carob into one’s diet can help with digestive issues such as bacterial growths that lead to illness and much more.
Unlike other plant tannins that prevent proper digestion, carob contains tannins that have a drying effect on the digestive tract to manage harmful toxins in the body. These tannins are especially effective in treating diarrhea and preventing upset stomachs. As a considerable source of fiber, carob also helps regulate bowel function and can be used to solidify soft or loose stool.
Supports Healthy Weight Loss
With carob’s sweet flavor and its reputation as a good chocolate alternative, many people seeking to lose weight will incorporate the herb into their diet as a substitute for candies, desserts, and other treats. Carob helps satisfy a person’s hunger for something sweet without making them feel guilty for indulging in their craving since the herb has no sugar and is low in fat.
For those that struggle with high cholesterol and are looking for a natural supplement to add to their diet to help with this, carob is a top choice. Carob contains polyphenols which is a type of antioxidant that helps lower cholesterol levels and may reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Also, as an herb that is naturally high in fiber and contains no caffeine, carob is ideal for people with high blood pressure.
Great Source of Vitamins and Minerals
While many people add vitamins and minerals into their diet via supplements, it’s just as easy to receive the same benefits through foods like carob chips or carob powder. Carob contains the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B-2
- Vitamin B-3
- Vitamin B-6
Uses for Carob
You may be wondering “what is carob powder good for?” and you’re not alone. Most people use carob powder to add flavoring to sweet desserts such as cookies or muffins as well as other dishes or drinks like milkshakes. Carob is a gluten-free, vegan ingredient that health enthusiasts and those suffering from digestive problems commonly use as a substitute for chocolate or in other sweet dishes.
Carob is a great alternative that many people use in place of cocoa. Some of our customers use carob as an additive to their cereal, coffee, and baking mixes. Because of carob’s naturally sweet flavor and no added sugars, it’s a healthier option than cocoa, especially for those cutting down on their sugar intake. Carob is also a more cost-efficient option compared to cocoa as its pricing is more consistent. Cocoa prices tend to fluctuate and run higher than carob.
To substitute traditional cocoa or chocolate for carob, it’s best to use a 1:1 ratio. Simply apply the same measurement that the recipe calls for but switch out the product for carob powder or carob chips.
Carob may also be used in various cosmetic products as an adhesive or binder, fragrance, or texture enhancement.
Manufacturing and Production of Carob with American Botanicals
American Botanicals differs from other wholesale herb suppliers and spice distributors because we believe in harvesting from nature to promote sustainability and wellness to ensure product quality for generations to come. From gathering to packaging, all our products follow the American Herbal Products Association guidelines through the entire supply chain. At American Botanicals, we do not just focus on getting our product, we emphasize how we get our product.
Our carob is now packaged with 100% recyclable cardboard as we maintain our commitment to the environment and communities that may be impacted by our harvesting. Reach out to American Botanicals today to get carob in bulk.