Couscous is not just healthy and tasty, but it’s incredibly easy to prepare. Its many nutritional benefits and ease of preparation make it an essential part of the dieting plan of every person who is interested in eating healthily. At Martino we have made it a priority to develop products that are rich in nutritional value while taking into consideration the changing consumer habits and tastes. Our range of happy couscous products is created for those who want the best: steaming, first quality grain, unique organoleptic and nutritional qualities for this 100% Italian taste product.
Couscous is traditionally steamed and fluffed to separate the granules. But continuous boiling and stirring can reduce quick-cooking couscous to a sticky, starchy mush. Like pasta, couscous does not have much of a flavour itself. Thus couscous dishes are made with flavoured stocks, herbs, and spices, with vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, and/or meat added or used as a topping.
Happy Couscous Cooking Tips and Preparation
Most packaged couscous is considered the instant variety and will cook very quickly off the stove by absorbing a boiling liquid. This is the case as well with the couscous we have developed after a century of upholding traditional couscous-making practices and introducing modernization at Martino’s.
However, authentic couscous (roughly-ground hard durum wheat) will require significantly more time and a good steaming vessel called a couscoussiére.
To make sure you always get the best results when you’re cooking with one of Martino’s products, we offer a few simple tips for preparation:
- Be sure to identify which type of couscous you have purchased (instant or traditional) to properly plan cooking time.
- Couscous may also be cooked like rice. Heat butter, add couscous and stir to coat, add stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to lowest setting, cover and cook (no peeking!) until liquid is absorbed. Fluff to separate.
- If you lack a steamer, a heat-proof colander inside a stockpot will work fine. Line the colander with cheesecloth if the holes are too big.
- When using the long traditional method of steaming couscous, covering the pot is not recommended as the condensation can drip onto the grains and make the couscous mushy.
- As well as a carbohydrate-laden side dish, couscous may also be eaten as a porridge, in salads, or in desserts.
- To double or triple the volume of instant couscous, avoid the hot water method given on the box and take the time to slowly steam it.
- Cooked couscous should be eaten within a couple of days. It may be frozen up to three months.
- 1 cup dry couscous = 2-1/2 cups cooked or 2,6 with Martino’s new preparation method.
Couscous has a mild taste and picks up the flavours you cook it with, so there’s no limit to what you can do with it
Go sweet and savoury by mixing in cranberries, raisins, apples or pomegranate seeds. Or cook some in a broth or stock for a flavourful boost and mix in carrots and peas. Adding some roasted nuts can really turn a basic couscous recipe into a gourmet meal.
One cup of cooked couscous contains 176 calories, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fibre and 6 grams of protein with no sugar or fat. It also contains two-third the daily recommended selenium dose for adults. If you’re looking for more fibre, choose the durum wheat couscous variety; it has about five to six grams of fiber per serving and is available in many markets. In addition to corn, chickpea or rice couscous, Martino carries durum wheat couscous as well – ideal for a healthy and light full meal.
The Martino Kids range is specially designed for small fussy eaters who like their happy couscous as light as can be. Simply sauté chopped onions and garlic with a touch of olive oil until the onions are golden brown. Then add uncooked couscous and let it brown for a few minutes. Add salt, pepper and chopped parsley and stir to combine. Add in some water, cover the pot and in 10 minutes it’s ready to eat. We guarantee your little ones will enjoy it as a versatile side. You can also use Martino’s Kids couscous in place of orzo in any recipe.
If you choose to cook any of Martino’s couscous products plain with no salt or additional butter or oil
it is a low fat (almost fat-free) source of carbohydrates. A single one-cup serving provides about 36 grams of carbohydrate or about 34 net carbs. You’ll also get a small boost of protein with the nutty-flavoured side dish and a few grams of fibre to boost your sense of satisfaction after eating.
To help you make better and healthier decisions about your wellbeing and eating habits, all Martino products specify if the nutrition data provided on the side of the packaging is for the cooked or dry food. Usually, the information on the label is for cooked couscous. If not, you can usually tell by the serving size. A single serving of cooked couscous is one cup. If you see a serving size listed as one-third cup then the data provided is probably for the dry product (which expands to one cup during preparation).
Healthy and well-balanced meal? Choose Martino!
If you want to make couscous a part of a healthy well-balanced meal, we suggest serving it as the base for other nutritious foods. Some traditional couscous dishes are served with creamy, high-fat sauces. But you can cut the sauce and focus on fresh ingredients for a lower fat meal. Try preparing a roast chicken with couscous or couscous with roasted red peppers, Feta, and Mint.
You don’t need a recipe to prepare a happy couscous meal. Simply boil the grain in water or stock as directed on the package label. Depending on the amount you cook, it will take just a few minutes to fluff up and cook. Then throw in fresh herbs, top with your choice of roasted vegetables or simply spoon it next to a piece of lean grilled fish or poultry for a healthy, satisfying meal.
- As a side dish, plan on 1/2 to 3/4 cup cooked couscous per person