The Holy Month of Ramadan is just around the corner. Normally during that time, stores in Beirut ( Middle-Eastern ones in the US and Canada) fill-up with traditional juices, such as tamarind, jellab, amardeen (apricot), all known to be hearty and nutritious.
There were a couple of carob trees in the orchard and Salah (gentleman farmer) started telling me how in his native Egypt folks drink carob juice. Not only does it taste good (like drinking cold chocolate), but it has subtantial health benefits: full of fiber, protein, antioxidants, plus it keeps one from getting thirsty or hungry, in short, it is the perfect drink to sustain you for the long hours of fasting.
In Lebanon, making carob molasses is traditional; I had not seen carob juice anywhere. I had to try to make some juice out of the big basket of carob pods that we picked (well, mostly Salah) that day.
Making juice is easy.
If you do not have access to the carob pods, an even easier alternative is to dilute a tablespoon of carob molasses (debs el-kharroub) which is sold in all Middle-Eastern stores and online, add a teaspoon of brown sugar and drink it in the morning. Delicious! (The taste of chocolate, minus the caffeine!)
INGREDIENTS: one quart
- 1 lb carob pods, washed and air-dried on a towel
- 2 cups of brown or raw sugar
- 8 cups of water
1. Place the carob pods in a large soup pot. Add the water and simmer gently until the pods are malleable, about 45 minutes.
2.Remove them from the pot, break them up and put them back in the pot with the sugar. Bring back to a simmer and let them bubble gently for another 45 minutes. Strain and cool. Place in the fridge and serve cold. Add more water to the juice if it is too sweet to your taste.
NOTE: If you can, go ahead and break-up the carob pods first; I was unable to, I guess I need to beef-up my finger muscles.