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properties, calories, benefits and contraindications

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properties, calories, benefits and contraindications

What is it and origins

Il cous cous It is a food based on grains of durum wheat semolina, rolled raw with water and salt, dried and ready for cooking. The origins seem very ancient and it seems that the Berbers, i.e. the autochthonous populations of northern Africa, used it even before the arrival of the Arabs.

Today it is one of the traditional dishes of the Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia), but widespread in many other areas, including Italy, where in the province of Trapani the now famous Cous cous Festthe festival dedicated to this delicious food.

Nutritional values

As can be seen from the Food composition tables elaborated by the Crea experts, a portion of cooked couscous (185 g) contains:

  • Water 101.0 g
  • Energy (kcal) 330
  • Protein 6.7 g
  • Lipids 2 g
  • Available carbohydrates 73.4 g
  • Amido 64.6g
  • Soluble sugars 2.4 g
  • Total fiber 5 g
  • Sodium 178mg
  • Potassium 155 mg
  • Calcium 19 mg
  • Magnesio 28 mg
  • Phosphorus 107mg
  • Ferro 0.9 mg
  • Rame 0.15 mg
  • Zinco 0.72 mg
  • Manganese 0.56 mg
  • Tiamina 0.17 mg
  • Riboflavin 0.11 mg
  • Niacin 2.33 mg
  • Vitamin E 0.24 mg


Couscous belongs to the III fundamental group of foods (cereals, potatoes and derivatives). It can therefore represent a valid pasta substitute. Like this one, it is mainly made up of starch and is an excellent source of carbohydrates, but it also provides good quantities of dietary fiberprecious for intestinal well-being.

It also contains vitamins such as niacin (vit PP), thiamine (vit B1), pyridoxine (vit B6) and riboflavin (vit B2) and mineral salts such as potassium, above all, phosphorus, but also magnesium and calcium.

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How to prepare

The food industry today distributes couscous in the precooked versionsignificantly reducing preparation times and eliminating the use of special tools such as the couscoussier or the basket steamedotherwise indispensable for the preparation of the original version of the food.

Couscous is a lot simple to cook, but for a good result of the recipe it is necessary to respect both the cooking times and the proportions with the necessary water indicated on the label. These, in fact, can vary from producer to producer and are not always valid for all the pre-cooked couscous on the market. In general, it is good to remember that if couscous is liked in its drier version, sauces should not be added, such as crema of tomatoas these may soften the granules and make it more like semolina.


Extremely versatile, couscous is a staple food that goes well with the most varied ingredients, from vegetables, whether raw or steamed, blanched or grilled – to grilled meat or fish.

Single dish of vegetable couscous

Prepare the couscous according to the instructions on the label, then let it cool in a bowl. In the meantime, wash, dry and cut the cherry tomatoes cherry, combine some gherkins cut into slices, artichokes in oil in slices, a yellow pepper reduced to cubes, a jar of corn drained and then rinsed, a tin of tuna fish plain and avocado cubes. Season with extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and fresh mint leaves.

Combine the ingredients with the couscous, drizzle with fresh squeezed lime juice and mix gently before serving.

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Sicilian fish couscous

In a pan, heat a whole clove of garlic in a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a chili pepper. Add some mussels and some clams already cleaned, brown for a few minutes and blend with white wine. As soon as the alcohol has evaporated, cover and cook until the shells are open. Shell them, put them aside, then filter and keep the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat a clove of garlic and a chilli pepper in the pan. Merge gods calamari cut into slices and sauté them over high heat for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the halved cherry tomatoes and the prawns. After 5 minutes, add the shelled molluscs and mix gently.

In the meantime, transfer the cooking liquid from the clams and mussels into a saucepan, then add enough water to reach the cooking liquid dose indicated on the label and bring to the boil.

Soak the couscous in the fish-flavored water and, as soon as it is ready, add it to the other ingredients. Flavor with fresh mint leaves and enjoy warm.


Il cous cous contiene glutentherefore does not lend itself to the diet of people suffering from celiac disease and wheat protein allergy. However, it has no contraindication for healthy subjects.

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