Carob Tea

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Keciboynuzu Cayi

Are you familiar with the unique plant, carob? It is mostly grown in Mediterranian regions. You know I used to live in Tarsus, a city of Mersin, which locates in Mediterranian region of Turkey. I remember the first time I met with carob as a child when I visited my grandparents. There was a big carob tree at the square of the village where my granparents lived. I couldn’t believe that it was a fruit. It was as tough as a stone when I touched. And I wasn’t sure how to eat it. Then I saw  some children from that village picking up carobs and eating it just like crisp biscuits. I took the first bite, it was so crusty, so it wasn’t so easy to eat it. But it was so sweet that I couldn’t help eating more. Children in that village would eat carob as a substitution for chocolate. Sounds more healthy, doesn’t it?

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We call it Keciboynuzu in Turkish. This is a compound word; Keci means goat and boynuz means horn. When we combine these words it means the horn of goat. This name is given to this fruit most probably because of its shape and hardness. It is also called Harnup in some regions.

As time passes, I’ve learnt that carob is a priceless fruit with its so many benefits. It is said that it contains more calcium than milk, so the women who hate milk could eat carob or drink its tea for their bone health. I learnt this tea from dad during their last visit. One day, he came with a bag of carobs and immediately entered the kitchen to make its tea. It was unbelievably great! We all drank it, but he said that he made this tea especially fro me and mom. You know women need more calcium than men.

While making this tea, he told that the seeds of carobs were used to measure the weights of things in ancient times. What is so special about its seeds is that their weigh doesn’t change in any conditions. With their constant weight, seeds were the only reliable thing to scale things.

When I made a quick search on it, I learnt that it is not only used in food industry but also in textile and paper industry. It includes a substance, which is so important for many produced  foods. That substance is gum. This carob gum gives the right consistency to foods like yogurt, cheese (especially cream cheese), ice cream, ketchup, sauces, tomato paste, mayonnaise, pastries, etc.  That’s why so many producers may use carob gum for these products. Have you ever thought that all these products indirectly contain carob?

I loved the tea dad made that day, it was so refreshing besides its healthy benefits. So I thought it’s worth sharing with you, if you have the chance of finding carob, you may try it. We drink it cold, but it’s also possible to drink it hot. It doesn’t have a specail recipe. Just wash them well, cut into pieces and wait them in hot water for about an hour or more.

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Dad prepared it cold and it was fascinating to see how it changes the color of the water gradually. It also spreads its sweetness into water, so we don’t need to add sugar to make it sweet.

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If you want to drink it cold, serve it with some ice in it. Do not forget to put one piece of carob in the glass while serving, it’s so soft now that you can esily eat it.

Carob Tea | giverecipe.com

If you prefer it hot, then boil it for about 15 minutes.



Comments

  1. says

    I’ve ever had carob before. This is the first I’ve heard of it actually. But from he way you described it, this sounds refreshing.

  2. says

    yum! I only ever had carob as a chocolate substitute too- and I’ve never seen it in the actual fruit form! Very interesting post… now I’ll have to set out to see if I can find carob here…

  3. OysterCulture says

    I never heard of using carob like this, its fascinating and now of course I cannot wait to try it. thanks for sharing! I am very intrigued

  4. says

    Zerrin,
    Thanks for this fascinating information. I’ve heard of carob treats, but do you think they use the whole carob or just the seeds?

  5. says

    Hugging the Coast- It’s a good substitute and this tea version may be a good substitute for coffee as it has no caffein. There is a turkish brand which produces carob coffee, just similar to turkish coffee.

    Jenn- It is an interesting fruit, it’s so tough, but when you cut it into pieces, you see a little brown sap in it and this makes it so sweet.

    Lauren- Using it as a substitute for chocolate is not that common here. If you find it there, please break it into pieces and soften it in hot water and taste.

    Diana- Generally its crust is ground and then carob coffee, carob powder and carob flour are produced in different process. Carob flour is also recommended to people of celiac disease as it is gluten free.

  6. says

    I love all your information about carob! I had no idea it’s used in so many products! This tea is lovely and looks refreshing on a hot summer’s day!

  7. says

    I remember my mother trying to get us to like carob instead of chocolate when she started to get into the whole organic way of eating. Of course, already being addicted to chocolate, we simply despised the flavor! Now as an adult, I find that carob really does have a wholesome good-for-you flavor. The only way I’ve ever eaten it is either in a candy bar or a carob powder drink. So interesting to see the pods!

  8. says

    Oh, and Zerrin…I made the thimble soup and it was DELICIOUS!! In fact, I didn’t even think to take a photo because I just wanted to sit down to eat more of it. I really was surprised for the lemon flavor…thanks again for sharing such wonderful recipes. I still make biberli quite often. ^-^

  9. says

    Faith- It was so refreshing and healthy.

    Rowena- Happy to hear that you loved it! you know this is the biggest reward for me; hearing that someone made my recipe and loved the dish and lets me know it. I’m sure your thimble soup was so tasty. I sometimes squeeze even more lemon into my bowl while eating, I love its flavor. If I were you, I would do the same, eating more of it :) As it’s the season of red bell pepper here these days, I make it often as well especially for breakfast. and I’m planning to dry some red bell peppers for winter. then I can make biberli in winter with the dried pepper as well.
    Thank you for sharing your result.

  10. Leesie says

    The picture made something go click in my brain…hmmm…I think I had some when I was a child. The memory of it is very faint though :( Will have to keep trying to remember!

    Thanks Zerrin for all this wonderful information. I’m blown away by the amount of knowledge you have on everything you make and post about. I am sure it’s passed down from generation to generation and it is so wonderful to keep Turkish culture alive and well.

    Anyway, I will have to look for this online – I know of one source I can check so I can try this healthy tea.

    :)

  11. says

    It’s great to learn that carob contains so much calcium! I had no idea. Your tea looks delicious. I’ll definitely try this if I can find some whole carob.

  12. says

    What a nice treat this carob tea is! I’ve never seen the pods available like that here. I’d love to taste them as is!

  13. says

    Fascinating. Like some of the other commenters, I’ve only had carob in products where it’s substituted for chocolate. I’ve never seen the pods but I’d love to try that tea sometime!

  14. says

    I loved the fact about carob seeds remaining so constant that it was the considered the most reliable measurement of weight! I wonder if carob in this form is available nearby? You have a wonderful way of introducing us to something new that gives me a great reason to go on a treasure hunt! 8-)

  15. Miri says

    sounds wonderful! I want to try it.

    2 questions –

    – about how many pods to how much water?
    – the seeds: should I take them out when cutting the carobs up?

    thanx :)

  16. says

    Miri- Glad to hear you love it.
    We used 5 or 6 pods for one liter water. If you use more pods for the same amount of water, it will be sweeter and more colored.
    No you don’t need to take the seeds out.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] som helsekost, stort sett under navnet "carob", som egentlig er det engelske navnet. Man kan lage te av kvistene, og man får også "sjokolade" som ikke inneholder kakao, men johannesbrød/carob [...]

  2. [...] helsekost, stort sett under navnet “carob”, som egentlig er det engelske navnet. Man kan lage te av kvistene, og man får også “sjokolade” som ikke inneholder kakao, men johannesbrød/carob [...]

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