carob powder (Ceratonia siliqua)

  • The carob tree belongs to the pea family of plants (Leguminosae). It is from an ancient branch of this plant family. Most other members of this branch are extinct.
  • Like peas and beans, the carob bears its seeds in pods. They take a year to mature and then they are very hard and dry.
  • Carob powder is simply the ground up dry seeds from the carob tree.
  • Carob powder can be used instead some or all of the cacao powder (raw chocolate powder) in many raw food recipes. You may prefer not to use too much cacao.
  • The seeds are also known as locust beans. The tree is deep rooted and survives in drought. In times of famine, the seeds were still available, and maybe that has something to do with this name.
  • The carob seeds have a consistent weight, and so they were used in ancient times as weights.
  • The weight of a carob seed was known as a carat. In Roman times there was a pure gold coin that weighed exactly 24 seeds and so this was 24 carat gold. If such a coin was only three quarters its weight in gold then this would be an18 carat gold coin. This terminology is still used today. Not raw food I know, but interesting!
carob powder

carob powder

carob tree, Crete 2008

carob tree, Crete 2008