Couscous is a North African delicacy that has become popular in many areas across the globe due to its neutral flavor. Moreover, it’s also sold on the front shelves in many grocery stores because it makes the perfect side dish for any vegetable or protein. It tastes delicious when stuffed in peppers or served with salads.
It’s a versatile and processed grain that’s a type of pasta made of semolina flour or durum wheat balls. Three kinds of couscous are widely used by people: Moroccan, Israeli, and Lebanese.
Moroccan is the tiniest of them all and has a huge demand worldwide because of its small size and the fact that it takes less cooking time. Israeli couscous, on the other hand, is made up of coarsely ground or toasted wheat flour, which is larger and has a longer cooking time.
People think couscous is a great meal to add to your midweek menu because it’s easy to cook and store but is it a healthy food as well? Let’s find out!
Couscous and Nutrition
We’ve listed down the nutrition breakdown of 1/3rd cup of uncooked Moroccan couscous that will turn into 1 cup of couscous after cooking.
- 220 Calories
- 0g Fat
- 0g Saturated Fat
- 0g Unsaturated Fats
- 45g Carbohydrate
- 5mg Sodium
- 3g Fiber
- 7g Protein
- 0g Sugar
- 0g Added Sugars
- 2% DV Calcium
- 2% DV Potassium
Here are some of the nutrition and health benefits of couscous.
Rich In Selenium
One of the main nutrients present in couscous is selenium. 157 grams of couscous consists of 60% of the ideal selenium intake.
The importance of selenium lies in the fact that it contains powerful antioxidants that help in increasing the repair process of damaged cells and reducinginflammation.
Moreover, it’s important for thyroid gland function and hormone production. In addition to that, it lowers the risk of heart disease by preventing plaque build-up on arteries and veins.
Lowers the Risk of Cancer
Studies found that high selenium blood levels prevent cancers, whereas selenium deficiency increases the risk of prostate cancer.
The antioxidants present in selenium reduce inflammation which in turn boosts immunity by eliminating oxidative stress inside your body.
Since we’re talking about the easiest way of making couscous, we’ll learn how to cook Moroccan couscous because it has the smallest size and is made up of fine granules.
It requires less effort to cook Moroccan couscous because it’s already steamed and dried beforehand. So, you can prepare it instantly.
All you’ll need to cook couscous is 200ml hot water or broth, 200g couscous, and 1 tbsp of olive oil for serving four people.
Cooking time: 15 minutes.
- Boil water or broth: Pour 200ml of water or broth in a saucepan. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and salt to taste. Bring the liquid to a boil.
- Stir couscous in olive oil: This step is optional, so if you’re running out of time, skip it. However, it does wonders in enhancing the flavor. Heat 1 or 2 tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick pan and stir uncooked couscous in it with the help of a wooden spoon. Keep stirring until it turns golden brown.
- Add couscous to boiled water or broth: Add the golden fried couscous into the boiling broth or water and cover the lid. Take off the pan from the stove and leave the couscous to settle for 10 minutes so it can absorb the water completely. Afterward, you may fluff it up with a fork and add salt if needed.
- Add spices or herbs: This is an optional step and depends on your preference. You may add some herbs or spices to enhance the flavor of your couscous.
If you like your couscous plain, then enjoy it as it is but if you’re a spice lover, feel free to add any seasoning you like, a pinch of cumin powder, chopped parsley, and green onions. Besides that, chopped and fried garlic enhances the flavor to a great extent.
Tips to Cook the Perfect Couscous
1:1 Liquid to Couscous Ratio
If you’re planning to cook only 1 cup of couscous then you should take 1 cup of boiling water or broth. If you add more water than the couscous, it’s texture will be sticky.If you use less water, your couscous will turn out dry.
Always Use Broth If You Can
It’s said that you can use either water or broth but if you really want to make tasty couscous, cook it in a meat or vegetable broth.
Stir Your Couscous Before Putting It in Water
It can add nuttiness and great flavor to your meal.
Don’t Move the Pot After Putting in the Couscous
Once your add the couscous to the boiling water or broth, take it off the heat immediately and don’t move it until the whole liquid is absorbed. This will help keep the couscous nice and fluffy.
Add Extra Flavors
Spices or herbs infuse more flavor so you can either add those to your couscous or serve it as a side dish to Moroccan lamb stew or fried chicken and veggies.
Looking for more healthy food recipes? Head over to renowned healthy food blogCali Yum for tasty and easy food recipes! Besides that, we have a comprehensive range of gluten-free recipes like gluten-free Moroccan recipes, gluten-free potato tuna pie recipes, gluten-free Mediterranean recipes, and so many other options.
What’s stopping you to eat healthy? Check out the blog to find out about the health and nutrition benefits of meals such as Moroccan carrot salad, potato tuna pie, Zaalouk salad, etc.
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