Previously I had little knowledge about couscous, other than the fact that it has such a funny name. One thing I love is researching the benefits of different foods in Mediterranean diets. So, couscous is today’s topic!
The Food with the Funny Name
What is couscous? Couscous is a food very similar to pasta and rice. It’s made of small grains of flour. A primary ingredient in couscous is semolina wheat, which is actually a grain used to make standard pasta in the United States.
There are many ways that couscous can be served: it can be seasoned with onion, garlic, olive oil, or can just be eaten plain. Couscous is commonly eaten in North Africa and Morocco. It can be served as a side dish or added to soups, combined with meats and vegetables, or even eaten as a breakfast cereal!
It is no surprise that there are many nutritional benefits to this grain. Couscous is low in calories and one cup of this grain contains only 176 calories. It is rich in fiber, which helps reduce the craving to eat more food and improves the body’s digestive health. Couscous is also rich in protein, as stated by livestrong.com, and provides the amino acids the body needs to repair and make new cells.
Other nutritional benefits in couscous include selenium, which protects healthy cells from metabolic toxins, and potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and control fluid balance. One thing I was astonished to find out is that couscous contains no cholesterol, so I would highly recommend trying this grain packed with nutrients!
About.com has a basic couscous recipe that I plan on trying soon. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare, cook, and serve:
- 1 1/2 cup couscous
- 2 3/4 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add salt and stir. Add couscous and remove from heat and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
- Couscous should be light and fluffy, not gummy. Be sure to allow the couscous to absorb the water.
- Prepare couscous with chicken broth instead of water. It really makes for a nice flavor.
Prepare this recipe and send us a review! Also, what is your opinion on couscous? Be sure to comment below!