Couscous is one of my favorite side dishes and this sweet and savory couscous recipe is one that I make regularly. Loaded with dried fruit and nuts, it is a healthy side dish for just about any entree.
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Is Couscous a Whole Food?
Is couscous processed? Well, yes and no. If you are following a whole food lifestyle, eating couscous may not fit your definition of whole food. Couscous is a wheat based product. It is not actually a whole food, however, it is pretty close. The way it is processed removes some of the wheat berry and some of the nutrition but it is better than plain flour. Consider it a really, really tiny pasta.
Is couscous a good or bad carb? It is really higher in carbohydrates than you probably want if you are watching your blood sugar. However, I consider it a fairly simple, natural, and easy to make side dish when I am in a hurry.
Is Couscous Served Hot or Cold?
I prefer serving this savory couscous recipe hot, however, there are people who prefer cold couscous recipes. Check out this quick and easy Moroccan couscous salad that’s great for a lunchbox or to serve with cold chicken.
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Is couscous healthy to eat?
Is couscous healthy? Well, if you are counting calories, it is lower in calories than rice per serving. One cup of prepared couscous has 176 calories, compared to 216 calories in brown rice. It also contains 2 grams of fiber per cup and 6 grams of protein. Of course, you don’t get the variety of nutrients from it that you would from rice.
There is more to couscous health benefits than calories and micro nutrients. Couscous is high in selenium which may help lower cancer risks and boost your immune system. It is also a good source of plant based protein.
More Healthy Grain Recipes
- Healthy Quinoa Salad Recipe with Spinach and Apricots
- Southwestern Pilaf Recipe with Creamy Taco Dressing
- Asian Quinoa Recipe with Broccoli and Tofu
How to Cook Couscous
How do you cook couscous? The basic idea is incredibly easy. For each cup of dry couscous you use, add 1½ cups of boiling liquid to it. Here is a very simple formula for cooking couscous:
- Boil liquid (water or stock). For each cup of dry couscous, use 1½ cups of liquid.
- Add salt if desired and a TBSP or so of oil or butter.
- Pour 1 cup couscous into the boiling liquid, stir once with a spoon, cover with a lid, and remove from heat. Let sit 5 minutes or so without peaking
- Fluff with a fork and eat!
If you want to cook it with dried fruit and nuts, simmer the add ins over medium low heat in butter or oil for a few minutes until they are fragrant. Then add the liquid, bring it to a boil, and add dry couscous. This sweet and savory couscous recipe uses golden raisins and almonds but you could vary those depending on taste. Walnuts and dried cranberries are a great treat for the fall!
How long is couscous good for?
Dried couscous should be stored in an air tight container in your pantry and is honestly good for a couple of years. (Yes, for dried grains I tend to ignore my one year in the pantry rule). Once cooked, it will keep at room temperature for a few hours or in the fridge for three days. If the couscous has been mixed with other ingredients they might shorten its fridge life. I find that this savory couscous lasts for several days without problems.
Can You Make Savory Couscous with Pearl Couscous?
What is pearl couscous? Basically, it is a much larger ‘ball’ of pasta than your tiny little traditional couscous it. Pearl couscous is also called Israeli couscous.The pasta granules are much larger – about the size of small pearls. It is also toasted, rather than dried, after the granules are formed. You simmer this on the stove more like rice to help it absorb the liquid better and it doesn’t cook quite as quickly as traditional couscous.
Sweet and Savory Couscous
This sweet and savory couscous with raisins and nuts is easy to make and FAST. Remember, the ratio of couscous to liquid is about 1 cup dried couscous to 1 1/2 cups liquid. Try adding different dried fruits and nuts to your couscous recipe for different flavors. If you want an even more savory couscous, add dried herbs while the stock is simmering.
1. Melt butter or add olive oil in pot over medium heat. 2. Add minced garlic, raisins, and nuts 3. Saute 2-3 minutes 4. Add chicken stock and bring to a gentle boil 5. Add couscous, remove from heat, cover, and let sit 5 minutes 6. Fluff with fork and serve Nutrition information is not always accurate
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 256Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 178mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 7g
1. Melt butter or add olive oil in pot over medium heat.
2. Add minced garlic, raisins, and nuts
3. Saute 2-3 minutes
4. Add chicken stock and bring to a gentle boil
5. Add couscous, remove from heat, cover, and let sit 5 minutes
6. Fluff with fork and serve
Nutrition information is not always accurate
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.