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Volume 10 Issue 5
January/February 2005

Canine Water Therapy:
A Healthy Dog is a Happy Dog

Carob: First Rate Food!

Adventures with Chi – Life Energy
Sound-making and Drawing

Flower Essences
A Natural Way to Relieve Emotional Imbalances

Why Am I Here? . . . Discovering Your Purpose


Carob: First Rate Food!
by Paulette Millis
Paulette Millis

This food comes from the fleshy fruit pod of evergreen trees that reach heights of up to 50 feet. The carob tree, Certonia siliqua, also known as locust bean, locust pod, and St. John’s Bread, grows well where water is scarce. They are found mainly in the Mediterranean, but have also been planted for shade purposes in southern California. The prolific pods, (they are legumes), are reddish-brown, 4–8 inches long, leathery on the outside and succulent and sweet on the inside.

Carob powder is produced by grinding the pod after removal of the hard, brown seeds inside. This powder is the source of carob we usually see in whole food stores. It tastes somewhat like chocolate, is similar in many ways to cocoa, and health food enthusiasts and those who cannot eat chocolate use it as a substitute. I was introduced to it when my son became allergic to chocolate at age five, and continue to use it religiously instead of chocolate.

The seeds are the source of carob gum or locust bean gum, used as an additive by food processors in confections, frozen desserts, gelatin salads, party dips, salad dressings, and sauces as a stabilizer and thickening agent. It is used in baked goods to improve texture and extend shelf life and stabilize pie fillings and meringues; in dairy products to prevent separation of fats, solids, and water, and impart smoothness and richness with only traces of calories; in meat products as stabilizers and thickeners; and to give meatlike texture to vegetable protein analogs.

Carob per 100g portions:
protein 3.8 grams
  fat 0.2 grams  
  carbohydrates 90.6 grams  
  calcium 290 mg  
  phosphorus 81 mg  
  sodium 10 mg  
  potassium 800 mg  
Powder Cocoa per 100g portions:
  protein 16.8 grams  
  fat 23.7 grams  
  carbohydrates 45.4 grams  
  calcium 133 mg  
  phosphorus 648 mg  
  sodium 717 mg  
  potassium 651 mg  
  Chart from Food and Nutrition Encyclopedia Vol. 1  


Carob, a delicious, healthy food choice, is processed by drying, roasting, and grinding. Chocolate is processed with harsh alkalis and contains theobromine, both toxic to the liver. Chocolate is so bitter it is inedible without being heavily sweetened, while carob is 50% natural sugar. Chocolate has a heavy flavour, while carob is delicate. Carob is very low in fat (see table under nutrition) while cocoa is high in fat. Carob is free of caffeine and oxalic acids. When oxalic acid is used with calcium, as in chocolate milk, the calcium is rendered unusable.

Carob and cocoa contain tannin. Use both in moderation in children’s diets especially, as tannic acid reduces the absorption of protein through the intestinal wall.

Suggestions for Substitutions:
• use 1 1/2–2 parts by weight of carob for cocoa in beverages unless spices are used to enhance flavour.
• bland-flavoured carob goes well with cinnamon and peppermint.
• reduce the amount of sweetener when substituting carob for cocoa.

There are many foods available, particularly in whole food stores, that use carob. Try some of the carob flavoured drinks, such as Carob Rice Dream (milk and chocolate free!), carob confections such as granola bars, energy bars, carob bars (the carob nut mint cluster is my favourite!), puddings, pie fillings, teas, and especially the frozen carob treats made with Rice Dream Ice Cream—yummy! Read the ingredient list carefully and choose snacks that have food as a first ingredient, such as seeds, nuts, grains, dried fruit, etc., and beware of added sweeteners, sugar and it’s many aliases. Best choices would be without sweeteners.


Brewed teas of roasted carob powder are effective and without side effects in the treatment of acute-onset diarrhea according to Murray and Pizzorno in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. The beneficial effects are attributed to the high fiber content of carob and the polyphenol compounds. A study involving infants with acute diarrhea showed carob powder was particularly helpful with normalizations in defecation, body temperature, weight, and cessation of vomiting, with no side effects. (Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine p.435).
Carob contains 50% natural sugars, some protein, lots of fiber, less fat and calories than chocolate, and significant quantities of vitamin B, vitamin A, and minerals. It is an excellent source of calcium (see table pg. 8), having 3 times more calcium than milk!


It was very difficult to choose just four of my favourite recipes! There are many available for carob ice cream using your blender — try some. For yummy Carob Chip Muffins, see Volume 4 Issue 5 of WHOLifE, January/February 1999.

Peanut Butter Squares**
Try this great frozen dessert!

1/4 cup liquid honey
12 oz. soft tofu
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs

Blend all of the above and spread a flat layer in an 8” x 8” pan.

1/3 cup liquid honey
1/4 cup carob powder
2 tsp. vanilla

Stir together and pour on top of first layer. Marbilize the layers with a knife. Freeze and enjoy.

Carob Syrup*

2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup honey
6 tbsp. carob powder (sifted)
1 tbsp. arrowroot powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, combine the water with the honey and boil for 5 minutes or until syrupy. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, dissolve the carob powder, arrowroot powder and salt in a few tsp. of hot water; add to the syrup, and boil for another 5 minutes or until thickened. Let cool and then add vanilla. Refrigerate in a covered glass jar. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

You may use with milk, soymilk, Rice Dream or any combination of milks for a hot chocolate substitute.

Eatmore Bars*
Wonderful for snacks!

1/2 to 1 cup of peanut butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup of honey or to taste
1 cup carob chips (see note below)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups of oatflakes
1 cup chopped roasted peanuts
water, if needed

Boil the peanut butter and honey. Add carob chips and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients into the mixture and then press in a greased flat pan or cookie sheet. Once cool, cut into bars and serve.

Note: check labels for sugar and milk content of carob chips. No sugar, no milk chips make a dark bar, regular chips, with milk and sugar, make a lighter version.

Mahagany Cake

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or stone ground whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup butter
1 cup honey or maple syrup (use brown rice syrup if you are diabetic as it doesn’t tend to unbalance blood sugars)
2 eggs
1/2 cup sifted carob
1 cup hot water

Sift flour, soda, and salt. Stir vinegar into milk and save. Cream butter, add honey, beat in eggs one at a time, and blend in carob. Add sifted flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture until batter is smooth. Stir in hot water and vanilla. Bake in 350° F oven for 40–50 minutes in three 8” layer pans, or 8 x 12 pan for a sheet cake. Also can be made into cupcakes.

My daughter-in-law makes this cake for my grandson’s birthdays, and uses tofu puddings for icing. Yummy!

* taken from Nutrition, Cooking and Healing, P. Millis
** adapted from Freedom From Allergy Cookbook, R. Greenberg

References: The World Encyclopedia of Food; Food and Nutrition Encyclopedia; Whole Foods Encyclopedia - Rebecca Wood; Complete Book of Natural Foods - Fred Rohe; Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine - Michael Murray N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno N.D.

The above is information regarding nutritious foods and is not intended to replace any instruction from medical or health professionals.

Note: Due to an increased interest in the subject of carob by many WHOLifE readers, we decided to repeat Paulette Millis's Carob: First Rate Food! article in this issue. It was first published in WHOLifE: March/April 1999 (Volume 4, Issue 6).

Paulette Millis lives and works in Saskatoon as a counsellor and nutritional consultant. Her cookbook, Nutrition, Cooking and Healing, is available in health food stores, or by calling Paulette at (306) 244-8890, or visit www.geocities.com/paulettemillis.


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