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Learn About the Health Benefits that Israeli Couscous Could Provide
In order to understand what Israeli couscous is, it is important to know what Couscous is. If we look it up in our history books, we will see that Couscous is a very traditional dish from North Africa cuisine, usually based on durum wheat semolina, although there are variations based on barley or green wheat.
There are a few types of Couscous and Israeli Couscous, also known as Ptitim, Pearl Couscous or Ben-Gurion’s rice, is one the most famous ones and its use as a replacement for rice in Israel since the early 1950s.
Any chef in the world knows what Israeli Couscous is and what can be made with it. But Israeli Couscous is much more than just Couscous, the main difference is that instead of being dried, as conventional couscous is, Ptitim, as they know it in Hebrew, is toasted. Because of this, it has a whole different personality and it can be used to make soups or salads, as well as being the perfect side dish for any type of meat or vegetarian main dishes.
Much like Orzo and Risotto, Israeli Couscous has become an international cuisine star. It is available in many stores and international gourmet restaurants; the best chefs often compete with each other to create new and original recipes with this wonderful rice-shaped pasta.
Israeli Couscous nutritional profile
If Ptitim’s versatility is not good enough for you, here we are going to tell you about the great health benefits that come from Israeli Couscous nutrition. As stated before, Israeli Couscous perfectly fits with vegetables and salads, not only because of its shape and flavor but also its healthy and natural properties. Actually, it has gained a great deal of popularity among vegetarians and vegans thanks to its nutritional value.
- Its contents on carbohydrates, especially starch, and vitamin B1, make it a good source of energy, i.e.: a food ideal for athletes and for those who need an extra boost of energy.
- It also helps digestion, therefore preventing constipation. It even favors lowering cholesterol levels.
- Its low sodium content makes it a good staple food for people who suffer from hypertension.
- Since it is rich in complex carbohydrates, which slowly pass into the blood, it is a useful food in the diet of people with diabetes.
- Thanks to its content of linoleic and oleic fatty acids it is an ideal food to take care of the cardiovascular system.
- The purine content is nil, so people with high levels of uric acid can consume it without any problems.
- And last but not least, it provides riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), pantothenic acid, and folate. These nutrients help maintain red blood cells health, prevent some birth defects, and support the correct function of the heart, immune system, and nervous system.
As you can see there are many good reasons for you to add this marvelous food to your diet. That’s why we brought you a really easy-to-prepare and quite healthy Israeli Couscous recipe for you to try at home.
Israeli Couscous Tabbouleh
- 1 cup of Israeli Couscous.
- 2 cups of low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth.
- 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced.
- ½ Cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped.
- ½ cup of freshly chopped Italian parsley.
- 2 tbsp. of finely chopped red onions.
- 2 tbsp. of freshly chopped mint.
- 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil.
- Salt and black pepper (better if freshly ground).
2 to 3 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice.
- Cook couscous in a pan over medium heat until lightly toasted (no more than 1 to 2 minutes).
- Bring the broth to a boil and add the toasted couscous.
- Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, onion, and mint in a bowl. Stir in the couscous until it is thoroughly combined.
- Combine the oil and two tablespoons of lemon juice in a bowl (or pour it in a jar and shake well).
- Drizzle a little amount of dressing over the couscous, stirring gently.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and a few extra drops of lemon juice if preferred.