Carob or ksylokerato in Greek (Ceratonia siliqua) belongs to the legume family and is a bean. The pods have a hard green shell, which becomes brown when ripe. Its meal is sweet and has many hard seeds. Traditionally, the best quality carob pods were roasted, stored in metallic containers and caramelized. Carobs are an ideal substitute for raisins and an ideal snack for children. Carobs produce flour and syrup. Carob syrup and petimezi were main food sweeteners as sugar was an expensive product. Carob flour was used to making tasty and nutritious biscuits and cakes. Carobs were called chocolate during the German occupation of Greece and older people still recall how tasty carobs were.


The carob is a good source of polyphenols, which have beneficial effects on health. Specifically, they inhibit or limit blood lipid oxidation, and increase the levels of good HDL cholesterol. The carob can also decrease the likelihood of blood clots and reduce significantly the oxidative damage of tissues, resulting in a lower incidence of cancer occurrence. Furthermore, carobs contain calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, silicon as well as vitamins A, B1, B2 and D. Due to their high content in fiber, they help proper bowel function. They are very digestible and do not cause allergies.

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