Australia's New Organic Superfood: Carob


Around twenty years ago a South Australian farmer called Michael with a taste for carob selected the five sweetest trees from over two hundred varieties. He planted over 6,000 of these desert-dwelling trees and in the last few years, in perfect temperatures of around 40 degrees, they've began to produce carob pods.  That's how long these magical plants take to bear their life-giving fruit.

Known throughout history as a beauty enhancer and a stamina improver, also mentioned in the bible as eaten by St.John (not locusts as it was mis-translated - locust bean gum is made from the seeds), carob really is a true superfood.  In Turkey it's affectionately known as 'Turkish Viagra'.

Around twenty years ago an entreprenuer called Jonathan from England was exploring Turkey and kept coming across a traditional sweet dip made from the dark, sweet carob syrup and golden tahini.  Bringing the recipe home, he would make his own and always kept some at hand in the kitchen cupboard.

At around the same time Michael's trees began to fruit, Jonathan and his wife Katie's carob spreads business was formed.  Jonathan had previously gifted Katie a jar of his own early version of Savvy. One year in to their business, in 2014, the pair were contacted by Michael who had heard about the recipes.  Would they like to try his new crop; "the world's sweetest carob" in their spreads? They certainly did and so immediately switched from Turkish to the superior, single origin Australian carob, sustainably grown on Michael's organic family farm. Savvy Foods is now the sole European supplier for Michael's premium grade organic carob and are pround to relay the facts about the dedication and care he and his family have put in to making the crop so succesful (selling many thousands of dollars worth every month).  The fruit tastes so good, the husk is even available in raw 'nibble' pieces as a healthy snack.

Savvy Foods are eager to learn all there is to learn about carob and are writing a book about their story, assisted by an increasing range of fans including well known nutritionist Jenny Tschiesche (aka Lunch Box Doctor), to include lots of stories and recipes from around the globe. The company plan to travel to Australia this year to see their crop and eventually start their own organic carob farm, somewhere a bit nearer to the UK, where the conditions are also just right for carob.

The next time you taste carob, whether it's picked up off the ground under a wild tree in Turkey or Spain or from your health store in one form or another, remember the story now told and consider the many varieties and origins of this wonderful plant.

Carob is:

  • Not a chocolate substitute (but has a slight chocolatey flavour).
  • Naturally sweet.
  • Best eaten raw.
  • Low GI.
  • Available in many different strains.
  • High in fibre.
  • High in calcium.
  • Good for lowering cholesterol.
  • Rich in anti-diabetic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Beneficial in control of many health problems such as diabetes, heart diseases and colon cancer.

Available in nibs, powders and syrups from Savvy Foods right here on Yumbles!

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