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TOPIC: Is Couscous healthy?

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June 18, 2009 6:24 AM
Hi everyone, I'm just wondering if couscous is really all that healthy. I made some for the first time last night adn I really liked it, so I would hate to continue to eat it when it's not all that great for you. It's higher in calories than brown rice, but it has some other nutrition from waht I can tell. Also, I bought the original plain kind, added no salt, but added my own flavor to it. What are your thoughts?
  226842
June 18, 2009 6:29 AM
smile Bumpin to see the answers...
June 18, 2009 6:35 AM
well in my opinion it's not necessarily bad...but not the greatest either. It's usually made from semolina (wheat) so it's not a whole grain. If you're looking for the size/taste/texture you might try Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wa) which is considered a superfood.
June 18, 2009 6:42 AM
Prevention Magazine says this:

Believe it or not, those tiny little grains of couscous aren't grains at all. They're a form of pasta that's usually made from refined wheat flour. However, you can find the whole wheat kind in natural food supermarkets.


Switching to whole wheat couscous means getting 7 g of fiber per serving, compared to just 2 g in regular couscous. Need another reason to choose whole grains? New research suggests that eating three daily servings of whole grains a day reduces stroke risk by 36 percent (Jour. of the Amer. Med. Assoc., Sept 27, 2000).


I like it too but my husband can't stand the consistancy.
June 18, 2009 6:44 AM
I agree that couscous is not the healthiest grain - I think of it as a white flour pasts noodle.

I use it for a starch at lunch or dinner for the kids when time is tight - once the water is boiled, you just throw it in, and it fluffs up almost instantly!

...although, that in itself tells me that is it fairly processed!
flowerforyou
June 18, 2009 7:09 AM
Aww man, those weren't the answers I was looking for sad It's hard to find tasty and healthy starches and carbs. I'll either try the whole wheat or the Quinoa stuff, so we'll see.
  226842
June 18, 2009 7:12 AM
QUOTE:

Aww man, those weren't the answers I was looking for sad It's hard to find tasty and healthy starches and carbs. I'll either try the whole wheat or the Quinoa stuff, so we'll see.


Oh no! I say eat it if you like it! My MIL is a vegetarian, and she uses it in a really great salad (with almonds, dried current,s chick peas, garlic, onions, cumin, etc).....

I recently saw a show on making semolina flour, and it certainly isn't as bad as bleached refined flour - it is just the inside kernel of the wheat, not the shell....
flowerforyou
June 18, 2009 7:14 AM
So how do you fix couscous or quinoa? I've never had either.
Edited by chrissyh On June 18, 2009 7:14 AM
June 18, 2009 7:17 AM
Well, maybe I'll eat it every so often the, because I thought it was really good!

Chrissy, I bought the far east brand and it only takes 5 minutes to cook. I added a bit of olive oil, no salt and Mrs. Dash table seasoning to it with green onions and sundried tomatoes. It was really good! I even gave it to my boyfriend and he loved it. tongue

I'm not sure how to make quinoa ohwell
  226842
June 18, 2009 7:18 AM
QUOTE:

So how do you fix couscous or quinoa? I've never had either.


Couscous is really really quick - you just drop it in boiling water, and let it sit until it absorbs the water (about 5 minutes) then fluff with a fork! I often flavour it with spices, or fresh herbs. It's great cold too, with chick peas, cumin, fresh lemon, tomatoes.... mmmm..... Jillian Michael's is a huge fan of this.

Quinoa takes quite a bit longer, like an unrefined rice, but you cook it like rice.

I think you will love both of these! Try them out and let us know what you think. Quinoa is one of the highest protein sources for a grain (did I say that right?), anyway, it is great, especially for vegetarians or vegans.

flowerforyou
June 18, 2009 7:34 AM
Definately try the Quinoa! I think it even tastes better than the couscous.
Some brands need to be rinsed first like wild rice. I use Ancient Harvest and it does not need to be rinsed. It cooks in 15 min. So while you're making a stir fry or other meal it will be ready in the time you are making that.

I use it in place of rice. I like to make a full cup (dry) and that's 4 servings. Then I make up some stir fry or chicken fajita. Put it into individual containers for quick lunches. I like to have my chicken fajita filling over the quinoa or salad. I like it even better than in a wrap.
Anything you'd eat with rice or couscous the quinoa would be a good substitute.
June 18, 2009 8:19 AM
My sister makes whole wheat couscous and uses chicken broth instead of water when cooking it. It's very tasty.

If you want something similar to couscous that is a little healthier, try eating kasha. It's bulgar wheat. My husband is Jewish and I never had this type of grain before eating with his family, and at first I didn't like it. However, it has grown on me and now I think it is very tasty and hearty, especially when cooked with chicken broth. You can find boxes of this in most grocery stores near the kosher foods.
June 18, 2009 8:45 AM
I'm thinking I"m just going to go to the natural food store when I want to buy these things because it will have a lot more options for me and I can see the different options they have.

Keiko, I like your idea of it in stir fry...I LOVE stir fry tongue
Jelefton, I want to use chicken broth, but I"m really trying to cut back on my sodium. IS the low sodium chicken broth still pretty low in sodium?
  226842
June 18, 2009 10:27 AM
Kasha is buckwheat, not bulgar. Sorry for the confusion!
It sounds strange to eat, but it is actually pretty tasty.

I don't know what the stats are for low-sodium chicken broth, but it might vary based on what brand you purchase. I would think it is okay, but check the label to be sure.
June 18, 2009 10:33 AM
Oh buckwheat pancakes are to die for! A lovely treat! Covered with berry coulis or real maple syrup - a lovely weekend item....
flowerforyou
June 18, 2009 10:34 AM
I am a big proponenet for Quinoa as a carb side to anything. i cook it with half water, half low sodium vegetable broth for the flavor. I eat it mixed with lean ground turkey (cooked) or added in a salad! I lived in Bolivia years ago, and believe it or not, i hated the stuff, but it really grew on me... especially after I left! I guess I had taken it for granted.

Now it is a staple!

Ileana
  12078
June 18, 2009 10:42 AM
Low sodium broth can still have quite a bit of sodium, read the labels. I make my own chicken broth, that way I can control the sodium content, and I can get all of the goodness of the marrow of the bones that you don't get with store bought stuff.

And, I would say quinoa was even tastier than couscous. I have found both whole wheat couscous and quinoa in the natural foods section of Kroger (grocery store). Quinoa can be pricier, but it's much more nutrient dense (and full of protein) than couscous, which is essentially pasta. Both are very good though.

I found that soaking Quinoa overnight or for a few hours before cooking allows it to cook faster and gives it a better texture.
  82350
March 5, 2012 3:01 AM
Actually, cous cous contains about half the calories per 100g cooked than rice. Fat and protein content are much of a muchness (1-3g).
March 5, 2012 5:18 AM
I think it's high in proteins. I bought a box this week-end and was quite surprised by the macros. Gotta check
September 3, 2013 1:39 PM
I was wondering the same thing?? I need foods that are filling, im loving the sweet potato, butternut squash, and root vegetables!!
September 3, 2013 1:43 PM
It's just pasta. If you consider pasta healthy, then it's healthy. If you consider pasta not heatlhy, then no.
September 3, 2013 1:50 PM
I eat it every week with chicken, mushrooms and feta and it never puts me over calories (standard dish comes in at 400 calls ish dependent on weight) I love the stuff!
September 3, 2013 1:50 PM
I would use quinoa instead. There are many recipes over the internet. Very nutritious.
  12478751
September 3, 2013 1:55 PM
I've heard that quinoa is better tasting than couscous but I havent tried it yet (going to soon). I would get the whole grain kind if you want to continue with couscous.. as well as whole grain pastas. White flour has really no nutritional value to it.
September 3, 2013 2:02 PM
QUOTE:

I'm thinking I"m just going to go to the natural food store when I want to buy these things because it will have a lot more options for me and I can see the different options they have.

Keiko, I like your idea of it in stir fry...I LOVE stir fry tongue
Jelefton, I want to use chicken broth, but I"m really trying to cut back on my sodium. IS the low sodium chicken broth still pretty low in sodium?


Do you cook much? I haven't bought stock - chicken, Veg or beef in YEARS. Google recipes and make it at home from the scraps that you cut away from meat an veg that you eat during the week. I freeze odd chicken parts in gallon zipper bags, and the ends of carrots, onions, celery, peppers, cabbage and use these big bags of "mess" to make stock every six months or so. I then freeze the stock in 2 cup containers and shazam...free stock. For beef stock, I ask the butcher at the grocery store to save a few days worth of bones for me and he sells them to me for 20 cents per pound...bagged and frozen. I can get about 10 store bought containers of stock from about 2.00 worth of bones and the throw away parts of vegetables...easy to do!
  3666532

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