The carob (Latin name Ceratonia siliqua) is a Mediterranean evergreen native to Syria and Palestine. Today it is grown all over the world. There are croissants everywhere. Travelers and colonizers carried it and planted it along the way. The carob is easily grown. It does not require much attention. It bears plenty of fruit. The carob survived. It is further expanded with lemon, fig, olive.
Legend has it that St. John the Baptist fed carob in the desert. The horn is known in German as Johannisbrot (John’s Bread).
When the carob matures it has the form of a brown pods. Carob seeds always have 0.18 grams. In ancient times it was used as a measure for weighing gold (better known as carat). The carob really has value as gold.
Why you need to consume carob
You can use croissant in sweet and savory dishes. It is an excellent diuretic, has a beneficial effect on digestion and reduces appetite. It lowers cholesterol, protects against toxins, helps to boost immunity and prevent allergies, abounds in carbohydrates, riboflavin, potassium and calcium.
In smaller quantities it contains vitamins B and E, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and selenium. It contains tannins and gallic acid, which has antiseptic, antibacterial, antioxidant and antiviral properties. It is rich in polyphenols that protect the heart and blood vessels.
The carob is unfairly neglected. Still, in locations where growing enthusiasts gather the carob fruits. They are used to make classic brandy, grind carob and produce carob flour.
You can use it in cakes, biscuits, breads, hot drinks, brandies, compotes, spreads, salads, pastries. It is used in cakes instead of cocoa powder. Because of its sweetness, it is used instead of a portion of sugar.
The carob goes well with apples, raisins, figs, nuts and almonds. It is often used as a filling for dough and strudel. Some say it’s like chocolate or at least a healthy and interesting alternative to chocolate desserts.
The carob legume can be ground raw and toasted. The seeds are great for thickening. They are used for making creams and puddings.
The Italians used the seeds to make crowns. The Israelis have a festival dedicated to carob. In Croatia it is mostly found on the island of Solta (near Split).
If you ever come across beautiful carob trees, do not bypass them. Pick up those valuable, healthy pods. Bite them instead of the usual sweets!
Avocado and carob mousse
Ingredients, for one larger or two medium containers:
• 1 ripe avocado
• 3-4 tablespoons of carob flour
• 1 tablespoon of honey, agave or maple syrup (you can use stevia)
• 2 tablespoons of almond or other milk
• Spices as desired
Cut the avocado. Remove the stone. Spoon the contents with a spoon. Put the avocado and sweetener you choose in the blender. Mix briefly. Add sifted carob and almond milk. You can add some spice or extract – vanilla, orange, ginger, cinnamon. Optionally add a tablespoon of some liqueur.
Decorate as desired. Refrigerate in the refrigerator. Serve.