Carob tree

The tree is up to 10-15 m high with a wide crown, evergreen pinnate dense leaves and small flowers collected in a brush. Cultivated for a long time in Spain. Locust beans (Czaregrad pod, sweet horn) about 10-30 cm long, 2-4 cm wide and 0.5-1 cm thick, brown, indehiscent. In addition to seeds, they contain a juicy, sweet flesh (about 50% of sugar). Fruits are used for food (as a treat or as a surrogate of cocoa, which is called a carob).

Evergreen carob is widespread in the Mediterranean countries. Carob is a family of legumes, scientifically called Ceratonia pod, it is also called John's Corn Tree.

The name "Ceratonia" is due to the Greek word "ceras", meaning "horn". Seeds of locust bean pods have the same mass, equal to approximately 0.2 grams. A carob seed was used as a gyro per carat in ancient Rome. During the reign of Emperor Constantine, there was a gold solidus coin weighing 24 such seeds. This may explain another modern meaning of the word "carat" as a measure of the purity (sample) of the gold alloy.

"John's Bread" carob is called according to the Gospel of Matthew, John the Baptist ate the fruit of carob and wild honey in the desert.
John's Bread carob is called according to the Gospel of Matthew, John the Baptist ate the fruit of carob and wild honey in the desert

1. History and places of growth of the carob

Carob (carob, Czaregrad pod, John's bread) is called an evergreen tree up to 10-15 m in height and its fruits resemble bean pods, but much longer - up to 30 cm. The homeland of the carob - the Mediterranean, on the territory of Russia and the CIS countries centers of growth of a carob.

The main supplier of the carob to this day remains in Spain. On the Mediterranean territory, the order is from 135,000 tons to 200,000 tons per year.

The carob tree is never parasitized by insects. No parasites are planted in the leaves or in the trunk of this plant. It is believed that it has an amazing purity and therefore many people revere it as a sacred tree.

2. Carob as a food product

From the earliest times carob fruits and flour from them were sweet delicacies for poor people and fodder for livestock. At present, the carob is also used as a food product for humans, and as a useful feeding for animals. In this case, the carob is considered a functional product - that is, having both nutritional and therapeutic value.

One of the most important and interesting properties of carob - a high antioxidant effect, the ability to restore liver cells and excellently cleanse the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, the carob reduces the production of the "hormone of hunger" ghrelin, which helps reduce appetite. And this, together with a high content of polysaccharides, which swell and fill the stomach, low in fat and has calming effect, makes the carob an indispensable product in dietary nutrition.

Carob is used as a healthy substitute for cocoa powder, since it does not contain harmful substances and compounds.

The locust bean seeds produce gum, which is widely used in the food industry in the group of thickeners, stabilizers and emulsifiers (food supplement E410). In raw food, a raw carob is also a great addition to any sweet dish.

Carob reduces hunger and contains fiber, which helps purify the digestive tract.

Carob is suitable and recommended for any kind of dietary food - in the menu suffering from gastrointestinal diseases, people with diabetes, overweight, to feed the elderly, children and pregnant women. Women use carob for improving the condition of hair and skin.