With the growing demand for vegan products, the food industry has adapted to offer increasingly diverse options to consumers. And Easter is no exception. The carob vegan Easter egg stuffed with almond milk brigadeiro is a great option for those who want to enjoy the commemorative date without giving up their ethical values. It’s a healthier choice that appeals to all palates.
What is Carob?
The carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua L.) belongs to the legume family and is native to the Mediterranean region where the fruit is considered as an important component of vegetation for economic and environmental reasons. The carob fruit is a long, curved pod 10 to 30 centimeters long, 1.5 to 3.5 centimeters wide, and about 1 cm thick. It consists of two main parts: pulp (90%) and seed (10%).
It is widely used as raw materials in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Recently, research by the Food and Agriculture Organization showed that the world production of carob is about 158,609 tons per year, produced from approximately 66,874 hectares, with 75.7%, 13% and 11.3% coming from Europe, Africa and Asia, respectively.
Functional polysaccharides of carob
Carob polysaccharides have been widely used not only in the food industry and pediatric applications, but also as an excellent source of phenolic components and fiber. Its implementation in the diet can prevent and treat various diseases such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia, irritable bowel syndrome and colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers. Studies have shown that colorectal cancer can be suppressed by regulating diet. Researchers believe that various phenolic compounds in fruits, vegetables and grains are very promising substances. The polyphenols and dietary fiber present in carob may have the potential to reduce the risk of cancer.
Unfortunately, the literature that directly proves the anticancer effect of carob is still limited. However, differences in cell number variation were investigated by different growth kinetics, and the results showed that carob extract strongly inhibited the proliferation (due to inhibition of DNA synthesis) of adenoma and adenocarcinoma cells.
Carob fiber can significantly control total cholesterol in the blood and reduce the level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. In addition, it can lower triglycerides, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. These effects are attributed to the presence of a large amount of insoluble dietary fiber (cellulose and hemicellulose) and/or polyphenols. Carob gum, as soluble dietary fiber, also has the ability to lower plasma cholesterol concentrations. In addition, carob gum can safely and effectively reduce hypercholesterolemia and blood lipids under normal conditions.
Carob gum is also commonly used in food and as an adjunct in the treatment of diabetes. Research has shown that carob gum can reduce blood glucose levels. In addition, carob gum can significantly inhibit the process of glycogenesis and increase the glycogen content of the liver. It suggests that the mechanism of blood glucose regulation may be related to the promotion of glucose absorption by the liver and peripheral tissues and inhibiting the hepatic glycogenesis pathway. Since it can reduce or delay the absorption of glucose in the intestinal tract. It can also increase satiety and reduce hunger, which may be one of the mechanisms for carob gum to regulate blood glucose.
Carob Easter Egg Recipe Stuffed with Vegan Brigadier
- 200g vegan chocolate carob bar
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Melt the vegan carob chocolate in a water bath or in the microwave.
- Add coconut oil to melted chocolate. Mix well until smooth.
- Pour the chocolate into molds for Easter eggs and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate is firm.
- Remove the molds from the refrigerator and fill with the filling.
Recheio – Brigadeiro Vegano
- 1 cup almond milk tea (or other vegetable milk)
- 1/2 cup demerara sugar
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- In a saucepan, place the vegetable milk, demerara sugar, cocoa powder, coconut oil and vanilla essence.
- Bring the pan to medium heat and stir non-stop until the brigadier begins to detach from the bottom of the pan. This can take about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove the brigadier from the fire and transfer to a plate greased with coconut oil.
- Refrigerate for about 30 minutes before filling the egg.
In conclusion, the vegan carob easter egg is an excellent option for those looking for a healthy and ethical alternative to traditional chocolate eggs. In addition to being free of ingredients of animal origin, carob is a rich source of nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and minerals. By choosing to consume vegan foods, we are contributing to a more sustainable and conscious lifestyle. Therefore, trying the vegan carob Easter egg is a tasty and responsible choice to celebrate Easter.
Watch the video on Science Play with Alessandra Luglio:
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– Zhu BJ, Zayed MZ, Zhu HX, Zhao J, Li SP. Functional polysaccharides of carob fruit: a review. Chin Med. 2019;14:40. Published 2019 Sep 30. doi:10.1186/s13020-019-0261-x