I used to go to a park with carob trees. The trees are hardy in some regions and do not require fertilizer or much care in order to produce. The beans would fall onto the ground and some of the pet dogs would love to chew on them. THe pods are naturally sweet and edible and smell good. My dog never had a problem until one day, when I guess he was hungry, and he ate like 45 of these really big pods all at once. These pods are hard like sticks and he ended up barfing them all back up undigested. I think that was too much hard material at once for his stomach to handle. But younger pods can be eaten as a vegetable and have been done so traditionally.
The seeds themselves are hard and if not chewed, will pass through the gut undigested. It is my opinion that the plant intends for the pods to be eaten and seeds to be spread because that is how carb trees are often planted, ie by animals and bats eating the pods and carrying the seeds to new places. That would make an argument for the pods being more paleo. However, technically, this plant is of the pea family.
Pods were traditionally ground up and and used as flavoring and as animal feed and they are naturally tasty. The seeds inside take more complex processing and are used to make carob gum which is a thickener. IMO, carob gum is not paleo. The plant did not mean for its seeds to be destroyed and the processing of them is heavier.
Looks like carob flour from the pod has some OK levels of some nutrients, like potassium, riboflavin, vit B6, calcium, copper, and manganese so it has some nutrition. I have not been able to find any info on the phytic acid levels of the pods. I am sure the seeds have it but not sure about the pods. However, if the pods have been sweetened by the plant in order to tempt animals, it would not make snese to have high levels of antinutrients in the pod itself. So IMO, carob pod flour is probably fine in moderation, perhaps even safer than chocolate, but since it is typically mixed in with other ingredients, you will also need to look towards the health of the other ingredients as well.
Carobs are a legume but the edible part isn't the seeds, it's the pod itself. A good fresh carob can be quite fleshy and is filled with a delicious honey-like syrup (note: good carobs are hard to come by!). Obviously the intended spreading mechanism for the tree's seeds is via animals consuming the whole pods and pooping out the seeds, so it doesn't make sense that the pod itself would contain large amounts of antinutrients. I grew up on a mediterranean island where carob trees are very common and carob pods are eaten straight off the tree without the need for any processing, how much more paleo can you get? People in the middle east have been eating carobs for thousands of years and I can't imagine why cavemen would not have eaten this food when it was available. I've never had carob powder, but I eat whole carobs (minus the seeds) as a desert and they've never caused me any issues. Of course they do contain quite a lot of fibre and sugar so it wouldn't be wise to over-indulge. I treat them as a fruit and consume them in moderation.
I'm pretty sure that carob is a legume (bean), just like cacao (chocolate). As such, it likely has a high amount of phytic acid and is not considered "paleo." However, like chocolate, most "paleos" consider it okay in limited doses.
But is it paleo ? 7 Answers
Do we really know what Paleo people ate? 5 Answers