What is Carob Extract?
I had never tried carob until I was joined by my super mentor Luciana Cipriani , aka the lady of the locust beans, for the European EWA program Empowering Women in Agrifood . Luciana is the mind behind Natura Humana and the Carruba Viva ® method.
Did you know that in Rosolini, in Sicily, there is a carob tree called " Carob of Favarotto" which is attributed to two thousand years of life?
Let's find out together some more information about this wonderful and mighty tree and its fruits.
Let's start with what carob is
The carob is an evergreen tree , very robust and long-lived , characterized by a thick crown and a height that can reach 15 metres. It presents a slow growth and a full productivity reached by the twentieth age. It is a tree capable of living in inhospitable environments, in arid and poor soils. It also has an important role in preventing desertification because its root system develops in the cracks of the rocks, obtaining the maximum possible nourishment.
Its mighty trunk then branches into a crown that often goes over 10 meters in diameter . The leaves, of an intense green colour, are oval or rounded in shape and are renewed every 15-18 months.
The fruit of the carob tree is the carob, a blackish legume with a fleshy and sugary pulp which, when ripe, looks like a flattened pod , about 15 cm long and 2 cm wide. Inside the pulp there are ten or fifteen small, very hard seeds in a row.
From 30 to 200 years old, this tree is still considered " young " and produces up to 30 quintals of fruit !
At twenty years old the plant has yet to reach its full formation. After the thirtieth year of life and up to two hundred years , the tree is still considered young and produces up to thirty quintals of fruit . Over the years, after the 1400s, it assumed gigantic proportions, continuing to bear fruit.
What is Carruba Viva®?
Carruba Viva® is the carob-based plant extract, a nutraceutical , produced by Natura Humana and obtained from a slow manufacturing process that preserves all the nutrients of this delicious fruit alive . The process is patent pending.
For the production, carobs from southern Italy are carefully selected, grown by small local producers.
During each processing stage, the raw material is treated with extreme care, preserving it from thermal stress which would alter its organoleptic qualities. The extract remains raw, it is not pasteurized or subjected to high temperatures.
For this reason very rigorous procedures are adopted for cleaning, conservation and storage of the raw material. From a slow artisanal manufacturing process a sweet, dark and dense molasses is obtained, with a particularly intense smell of carob.
Carruba Viva ® is therefore a completely natural product without the addition of chemical additives. Respect the environment and human health. Each processing stage is carefully analyzed and the wholesomeness of their products is guaranteed by compliance with HAACP procedures.
Why did we choose Mu Mu carob extract ?
Because it is a superfood, 100% natural, obtained from the ancient carob legume.
Mu Mu is a new, completely natural food that won us over with its sweetness and strong character!
- With no added sugar
- Only 02% fat
- Carob is a completely gluten-free fruit, safe for coeliacs and for those showing symptoms of gluten sensitivity .
- Rich in fiber and antioxidants
- Source of folic acid
How to use Mu Mu, pure carob extract?
It is ideal for sweetening coffee, tea and herbal teas , to spread on bread and to use in your sweet and savory preparations . I use it in my coffee, bread and porridge in the morning. Can't wait to try it on vegan crepes and to glaze onions !
How was carob used in the past?
In the past, carob was used not only in food but also as a medicine and as food for farm animals .
In Sicily, in the mid-nineteenth century, an alcohol distillation business was also started from carob beans , later replaced by sugar beet .
Still in Sicily, the sap of the green carob was finally used to repair ceramic dishes, while the seeds , given their uniform weight of 0.2 g, were used as a unit of measurement to calculate the weight of precious metals and stones.
We will soon publish an in-depth post on the history of carob , because it deserves a separate article!