What is Carob? And Why is it so Special?

Ever seen chips that don’t contain chocolate but something that looks like it? Ever wondered if there is something that exists that is just like chocolate, but just a tad different? Then we would like to introduce you to carob! 

Carob comes from a pod that hangs on the evergreen tree. It is naturally sweet and has a nutty taste to it. It gets used in a powder consistency and often gets used as a substitute for chocolate, as the taste is somewhat similar. 

Carob is much more than just a substitute for chocolate. It contains many different health benefits, is known as a superfood, and is just as healthy if not healthier. Curious? Continue reading! 

What is Carob Exactly?

Carob is native to the Mediterranean, it is an evergreen tree that is part of the legume family, and also known by the name Locust beam or St John’s bean.  The tree produces pods. Once the pods have ripened, the pulp on the inside of the pods gets removed. To get the most out of the taste of the pods they are roasted before they get ground into a powder consistency.

It is specifically this powder that made the tree so popular worldwide. It has a naturally sweet flavor and gets used in different baking goods, especially in vegan dishes as a substitute for chocolate, and more. 

Carob Beans

Is Carob Healthier than Chocolate?

Both chocolate and carob are different and therefore consist of different health benefits.

Carob versus chocolate
– Naturally sweet versus naturally bitter
Carob has a sweeter taste of its own, therefore it is often used in the state that it is in. Chocolate naturally has a more bitter flavor. That is one of the reasons why sugar often gets added to most chocolate bars or chocolate consisting foods.

Calcium versus less calcium
-When you compare the two in the amount of calcium they have. Carob has about twice as much compared to cacao. Therefore, when you are in need of some extra calcium it’s better to eat some carob over chocolate.

Caffeine versus caffeine-free
– In western society, our daily intake of caffeine is pretty high. Drinking at least one coffee daily is nothing out of the ordinary. Some people and cultures believe that there is nothing wrong with consuming caffeine, other cultures believe that the consumption of caffeine is really not that healthy, and can cause different kinds of diseases.

If you are looking to take in some caffeine then we recommend eating some chocolate. If you are looking for a substitute for chocolate, and specifically rather than not eat caffeine then carob is the one to go for. Carob naturally does not contain caffeine, chocolate does. 

Fatty and good, or less fat and good?

– Carob contains less fat when you compare it to chocolate. That being said, does not mean that chocolate, therefore, is less healthy. We all need fat to be able to survive. It is all about balance where overconsumption or underconsumption of any kind is never recommended. 

What is the Difference Between Carob and Chocolate?

You might be wondering what the difference between chocolate and carob is. Above we already mentioned a few differences, and below we wrote some extra to give you a good idea.


  • Is native to a Mediterranean Evergreen tree 
  • Consists of pulp that comes from the inside of pods
  • Naturally sweet 
  • Does not contain caffeine 


– Is Native to a central and South American growing cacao tree

  • Seeds get extracted out of the fruit of a cacao 
  • Cacao beans are fermented, ground into a paste, and used as a chocolate
  • Naturally bitter (Therefore, sugar often gets added)
  • Contains caffeine

What Does Carob Taste Like?

Carob is often compared to chocolate. What people mention is that it is sweeter and less bitter in taste. People also mention that it has a toasty flavor to it. The powder is often used in baked goodies, desserts, or drinks. Eating it on its own is not really done, the powdered consistency is best when it gets mixed with other things. 

Curious about the taste? Why not try it yourself?! You can find Carob products online here

What are the Benefits of Carob?

Carob contains many different benefits which are why it became a superfood. Many scientists today are still studying this amazing tree and carob powder that it produces. Some benefits have been found along the way that we would like to mention below. 

Carob affects your cholesterol

Studies have shown that when eating carob regularly can affect your cholesterol. It is said that it lowers cholesterol levels inside the body.

Heart disease prevention

Like chocolate, carob can lower heart disease. This is also due to the above-mentioned fact that carob can lower your overall cholesterol.

Used for stomach pains

Carob naturally consists of something called tannins. The tannins help the digestive tract, by reducing toxins and eliminating unwanted bacteria.

Treat Diarrhea

Another benefit of tannins that is found in carob, is that it has a drying effect on the digestive tract. This can help with loose stool and diarrhea.

In indigenous cultures, carob is used to help treat stomach pains and diarrhea.

Vegan substitute and gluten-free

Carob is a great substitute when you are vegan and, or gluten-free. Chocolate often contains milk or some other form of a dairy product. Carob does not. This is one of the reasons why it is used in vegan pastries.

*Before using this product to help with disease it is always recommended to talk to your physician first. 

Some last Thoughts on Carob
Now that you have read about carob we are curious to hear what you think of the taste!
If you were ever to visit Portugal you will have a fair chance of getting to know the production process of this special tree. This is due to the fact that Portugal is the largest producer of Carob worldwide. If you want to try to grow your own carob, make sure to buy both a female and a male tree! 

Learn more about Carob research https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5133875/#:~:text=Recently%2C%20researchers%20have%20focused%20on,not%20contain%20caffeine%20and%20theobromine.

Frederik Lamote

Frederik is the founder of Koroway.com, a startup that is 3D printing Treehouses. While exploring treehouse locations around the world he got fascinated by the value and products trees produce.

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