The Carob tree has been used for food and medicine by humans and animals in the Mediterranean countries for centuries. Records show that carob was intentionally introduced into the United States in 1854, and the first seedlings were apparently planted in California in 1873. Carob grows well anywhere that citrus is grown, and it prefers dry climates, sandy loams, medium loam and clay loam soils but can tolerate poorer soil conditions including rocky areas. Good drainage and full to semi-sun is also preferred if the species is to grow well.
Today, carob is widely used as a healthy chocolate substitute in baking products, cereals, snack bars, dairy products, beverages and as a binder in foods and cosmetics. Unlike chocolate products, carob contains no caffeine or other psychoactive substances and is non-toxic to dogs. Having less calories than chocolate Carob can be used with success in weight loss formulas. Carob is very nutritious, containing antioxidants, protein, calcium and potassium. Consequently, carob flour is widely used in health foods for chocolate-like flavoring.
The pods are collected when brown, they are broken open and the hard seeds removed. The empty pods are then washed, dry roasted to inactivate enzymes that would break the product down and then milled like wheat to a very fine brown powder which is naturally sweet. This fine powder can be used the same as you would use cocoa and you will need less sugar.