Carob Flour

Cooking with carob flour

Carob Nutritional Profile


Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate

Protein: Moderate

Fat: Low

Saturated fat: Low

Cholesterol: None

Carbohydrates: High

Fiber: High

Sodium: Low

Major vitamin contribution: Niacin

Major mineral contribution: Calcium

About the Nutrients in This Food


Carob flour, which is milled from the dried pod of a Mediterranean evergreen tree, Ceratonia siliqua, looks like cocoa but has a starchy, beanlike flavor. It can be mixed with sweeteners to make a cocoa like powder or combined with fats and sweeteners to produce a candy that looks like and has the same rich mouth feel as milk chocolate but tastes more like honey.


Ounce for ounce, carob, which is also known as locust bean gum, has more fiber and calcium but fewer calories than cocoa. Its carbohydrates include the sugars sucrose, D-mannose, and D-galactose. (D-galactose is a simple sugar that links up with other sugars to form the complex indigestible sugars raffinose and stachyose.) Carob also contains gums and pectins, the indigestible food fibers commonly found in seeds.


The Most Nutritious Way to Serve Carob


As a substitute for cocoa or chocolate for people who are sensitive to chocolate.


Diets That May Restrict or Exclude Carob


Low-carbohydrate diet


Buying Carob Flour


Look for: Tightly sealed containers that will protect the flour from moisture and insects.


Storing Carob Flour


Store carob flour in a cool, dark place in a container that protects it from air, moisture, and insects. Keep carob candy cool and dry.


Preparing Food using Carob Flour


Measure out carob flour by filling a cup or tablespoon and leveling it off with a knife. To substitute carob for regular flour, use 1/4 cup carob flour plus 3/4 cup regular flour for each cup ordinary flour. To substitute for chocolate, use 3 tablespoons of carob flour plus 2 tablespoons of water for each ounce of unsweetened chocolate. Carob flour is sweeter than unsweetened chocolate.


What Happens When You Cook with Carob Flour


Unlike cocoa powder, carob flour contains virtually no fat. It will burn, not melt, if you heat it in a saucepan. When the flour is heated with water, its starch granules absorb moisture and rupture, releasing a gum that can be used as a stabilizer, thickener, or binder in processed foods and cosmetics. In cake batters, it performs just like other flours.


Medical Uses and/or Benefits of Carob Flour


Adsorbent and demulcent. Medically, carob flour has been used as a soothing skin powder.


As a chocolate substitute. People who are sensitive to chocolate can usually use carob instead. Like cocoa beans, carob is free of cholesterol. Unlike cocoa, which contains the central nervous-system stimulant caffeine and the muscle stimulant Theo bromine, carob does not contain any stimulating methylxanthines.

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