What’s the Difference Between Couscous and Quinoa?
Couscous and quinoa are both popular as a side dish or as a main entree, but what is the difference between them? Is one better than the other?
Both foods are seeds that can be prepared similarly to make a warm and hearty cereal. Couscous and quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) originate from grains eaten throughout Africa and South America for centuries. And both have been gaining popularity in North American cuisine over the past few decades. But there’s quite a bit of difference between these two amazing foods — including how they’re made, their nutritional content, and which type might best suit your taste buds.
Couscous and quinoa recipe:
I have been cooking up something new for dinner for a long time. I was planning to make black-eyed peas curry yesterday when the thought of trying out with lentils came to my mind. I found this idea over here.
The Couscous looked so yum, and it piqued my interest. The same recipe was found over here as well. So, I gave it a try last night itself with minor changes. (makes three servings)1/2 cup couscous1/4 cup quinoa (I used red quinoa)3 tbsp olive oil or ghee1 small onion chopped finely2 large cloves garlic chopped finely3 – 4 medium tomatoes diced finely1 red bell pepper deseeded and sliced thinly lengthwise1/2 tsp dried basil1/4 tsp dried oregano1/8 tsp black pepper powder1 tbsp chili flakes (optional)salt to taste (about 1.5 tsp)3 cups water few sprigs of parsley for garnish (optional)Soak the Couscous and red quinoa in separate bowls for 30 mins.
Drain excess water and keep it aside. Heat oil or ghee in a pan and saute the onion and garlic till golden brown. Add tomatoes, salt, black pepper powder, dried basil, oregano, and chili flakes (if using).
Cook covered on low heat until tomatoes turn mushy. Add corn kernels and cook for a few more mins. Mix everything along with currants, parsley, and Couscous. Serve hot! 1) Instead of red quinoa, I used standard white quinoa since we had that at home.2) I used the Italian herb mix instead of dried basil and oregano.3) I used raisins and dates (both chopped).
I was unsure if this dish would taste good with couscous/quinoa instead of rice, but it turned out to be really yum. By now, you must have guessed that despite my apprehensions, I tweaked the recipe a little bit and added some extra veggies in there – carrot and green bell pepper too.
Quinoa or Couscous for weight loss:
These are both healthy alternatives that you can use to replace your usual favorite. They are gluten-free and rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals necessary for any diet plan. If you are not sure about quinoa being non-vegetarian, then it’s good news as Couscous is a great vegan alternative to this too!
From your regular oats to flatbreads and rice stick noodles, replace these with quinoa or Couscous at least once a week, and you will see results on the weighing scale within no time.
couscous vs. quinoa calories:
Both foods are a great source of energy. Since they are healthy carbs, they do not aid weight loss despite being healthy.
Couscous vs. quinoa ingredients:
There is no difference in ingredients as both these foods are made up of the same ones. But, Couscous is more processed than quinoa and has lost most of its nutrients. Couscous can also be made with milk or even potato to make it tastier, while you can enjoy quinoa in any form without altering its taste much. However, for those who like Couscous better than quinoa, this food might boost their metabolism too!
Quinoa vs. couscous vitamins:
carbohydrates that provide us energy are known as ‘complex carbohydrates. But, nutrients and vitamins in these complex carbs might be absorbed to a lesser extent than those present in simple carbs. However, quinoa is a rich source of Vitamin B6 besides protein and fiber.
Both foods are also good sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron, along with other minerals that our body needs. Therefore, enjoy either of them as both will contribute to your daily diet plan!
Couscous vs. quinoa calories burned:
Since both these foods have a high glycemic index (GI), you can expect their metabolism-boosting capability to be high too. Quinoa has a GI score of 53, while Couscous has a GI score of 65 which means they both should help you lose weight.
However, these foods will work only when consumed with other healthy foods and not on their own. They are also low in fats, so they should keep you full for a longer duration without adding to your calorie intake too much, which can hamper your weight loss goals!
Couscous vs. quinoa carbohydrates:
Both Couscous and quinoa are high in carbohydrates as most of the calories we get from food come from this nutrient group. However, both can act like complex carbs, too, which is necessary for our body’s health.
But, again, there is no difference between them as far as carbohydrate content is concerned since Couscous has almost the same ingredients as quinoa except for the few varieties such as millet and sorghum. Couscous is also rich in fiber and can be a healthy carbohydrate food to include in your daily diet plan.
Quinoa vs. couscous macronutrients:
One of the main differences between quinoa and Couscous lies in their respective quantities of nutrients such as vitamin B6, biotin, folic acid, manganese, iron, and copper. Quinoa is much ahead of Couscous for the vitamins we need for our metabolism and energy production process.
Besides this, both foods are good sources of antioxidants like flavonoids which help fight free radicals that damage cells over time and cause early aging and chronic diseases! Therefore, enjoy either one (or both) as both are suitable for overall health.
Couscous vs. quinoa fat content
Both Couscous and quinoa are low in fat, so they should not cause weight gain even on consumption with unhealthy ingredients like deep-fried or cheeses! Both foods can be consumed with legumes to make them more nutritious and tasty.
Quinoa is also high in omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy fats that reduce cholesterol levels and protect our hearts from harmful diseases like strokes or even cancers. So what’s the difference between Couscous vs. quinoa, then? Well, there isn’t any except for their taste and ease of cooking (quinoa takes a little longer to cook than Couscous).