Of the cereals presented in the grocery departments, the average consumer usually knows only rice, buckwheat and rolled oats. In rare cases - millet. And what about bulgur, couscous? Despite the fact that they have long gone beyond the borders of their homeland, those who first meet this product on the store counter still have questions: “what is couscous?”, “What kind of cereal?”, “How to cook it ? "," What is the use and harm of couscous? ". Is it worth trying such an exotic dish?
What are the benefits and harm of couscous?
Strictly speaking, couscous is not cereal, and not quite porridge: it is a kind of processing of semolina, which has gained immense popularity in southern countries. For the Maghreb, this is the same basic product as for Japan rice. At the same time, couscous was originally made from millet, and it should be said that it was a more useful chemical composition than today, when couscous is made from semolina, and much less often from other cereals.
- According to the technology of cooking, couscous is close to pasta: the selected grits are scattered on the surface, on which a layer of wheat flour is pre-created, sprayed with salted cold water, and grains are rolled with both hands. At the last stage, they are sifted through a large and small sieve, and what remains in it becomes a semi-finished product for further cooking.
Thus, according to the traditional technology, couscous is usually completely a product of wheat flour (semolina is its derivative), with certain modifications, in any case also contains part of wheat and other cereal. As a result, the benefits and harms of couscous are directly dependent on what kind of cereal was at its core.
- Calorie couscous from semolina with wheat flour is 95 kcal per 100 g of dry product. Of these, the main share (22 g) accounts for carbohydrates, a little (3.8 g) for proteins, and 2 g goes to fiber. Among other cereals, of course, it is not the most valuable, but there is a certain degree of benefit in couscous.
- The main positive quality of this product is the ease of its assimilation and the absence of any damage to the mucous membrane of the digestive tract. For this reason, couscous is often included in the diet of people with inflammations and mucosal lesions: gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, etc. It has an enveloping effect, but at the same time it is well saturated, without overloading the body.
- The chemical composition of couscous deserves attention copper, antioxidants, B vitamins, iron. This all explains the ability of the product to increase the proportion of hemoglobin in the blood, stimulate the synthesis of female sex hormones, tone up the body and the immune system. Frequent use of couscous can be the prevention of diseases of the joints, keep cholesterol in the normal range, improve mood and resistance to depression.
- The high glycemic index of couscous suggests that people with high sugar should be careful with it: the product stimulates a smooth rise in glucose, which, however, will be evaluated with hypoglycemia. However, negative consequences can be avoided here if rice flour is taken instead of wheat flour.
How to cook couscous?
The main reason for the high demand for couscous is the ease and speed of its preparation. Groats, which are presented on store shelves, usually do not require long boiling: they can be steamed in a few minutes, mixed with other ingredients, or simply filled with traditional chili, cumin, coriander and garlic sauce, and served. If we talk about more complex recipes, then most often combine couscous with vegetables or stew.
Couscous salads are the simplest thing that can be prepared on the basis of this porridge: the product is combined with any vegetables and fruits, makes any dish very nourishing, but not too heavy.
- Couscous - 200 g
- Asparagus - 170 g
- Pomegranate seeds - 2 tbsp.
- Bulgarian yellow pepper - 1 pc.
- Sesame oil - 1 tsp.
- Liquid honey - 1 tbsp.
- Pour the couscous into a glass bowl, pour in liquid honey and boiling water, leave under the lid for 10-15 minutes.
- Throw the frozen asparagus into a hot frying pan, pour cold water over it so that it completely covers the pods, stew on low heat for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and wait until the liquid has completely evaporated.
- Bulgarian pepper cut into small cubes, pour into a salad bowl. Send the finished asparagus and steamed couscous there, fill the salad with sesame oil, mix all the ingredients. After 3-5 minutes the last to introduce pomegranate grains, mix the ingredients again, serve the dish to the table.
Such a dish may well become a full-fledged dinner, but if you want something more satisfying, you should cook couscous with vegetables and tuna.
- Couscous - 180 g
- Cherry tomatoes - 7 pcs.
- Canned tuna - 200 g
- Olive oil - 1 tbsp.
- Green onions - bunch
- Red onion small - 1 pc.
- Salt - Pinch
- Cumin - 1 tsp.
- In a frying pan, heat the olive oil, pour the cumin seeds into it, crush them with a spoon or pestle, heat over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, under the lid. Add a pinch of salt, hold on the hotplate for another 1 min.
- Boil water in the kettle. Pour the couscous into a large glass bowl, distribute hot olive oil on top, pour boiling water over it so that it is 2-3 cm wide. Cover the bowl with a lid, leave for 7-10 minutes.
- Onion bulb cut into half rings, chop the green onions with a knife, chop the tomatoes into halves. Throw canned tuna into a colander to make a glass of water, then knead with a fork on a board or in any container.
- Steamed couscous to put in a large salad bowl, add onions, tomatoes, tuna fish, mix all gently with a fork. If necessary, the salad can be seasoned with olive oil or lemon juice.
As for the overall assessment of couscous from the point of view of nutrition, as porridge it is absolutely "empty." Low energy value, of course, makes the product attractive in the eyes of those who follow the daily calorie, but the effect on sugar becomes a kind of warning: the abuse of couscous can reduce all slimming efforts to "no." Is the product beneficial for the body? Perhaps, but more attention should be given to buckwheat and oatmeal, as more valuable in terms of health.