Are Couscous And Quinoa Interchangeable? How Are They Different?
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If you've ever considered substituting quinoa for couscous, you’re not alone. They may not be similarly grained or may not be the same nutritionally, but they're the best substitute for each other. While quinoa is a seed, classified as a whole grain, couscous is actually a pasta! It's made with semolina flour from durum wheat, mixed with water. 

The small-grained couscous is of Moroccan origin, while the more popular pearl couscous is from Israel. They're both usable in preparations consisting of meat and veggies and they can both replace rice. Although, quinoa is widely deemed to be the healthier option. Quinoa is a complete protein and has all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot make on their own. 

Quinoa is also naturally gluten-free, unlike couscous. However, how are the two ingredients different from each other? Let's find out 

How Are Quinoa And Couscous Different?

The smaller the couscous, the fluffier it's supposed to be in texture whereas it becomes chewier when they expand. In contrast, quinoa has a slightly nutty flavour and crunchier texture. Both products absorb water or stock just like rice does, without the need to drain them. You may prepare both using chicken or vegetable broth to improve their taste. 

Quinoa contains a range of antioxidants that reduce inflammation and prevent cancer risk and it contains nearly 15% more protein than couscous, twice as much fibre, and twelve times more fat. Though quinoa is healthier, couscous is perhaps more convenient since it needs a shorter cooking time and can be ready in under 8 minutes. 

Quinoa, much like any grain, takes more time but actually cooks faster than rice and most grains, in under 15 minutes. Moreover, since couscous resembles pasta in taste, chances are it can replace pasta better than quinoa does. Quinoa on the other hand is a better replacement for rice since they're both naturally gluten-free and and are safe for people diagnosed with celiac disease. One cup of couscous contains 36 grams of carbs, 6 grams of protein and 0.3 grams of fat.

How Do They Differ In Preparation?

Moroccan couscous, often referred to as instant couscous is easier to cook with. If you plan to cook 1 cup of small-grained Moroccan couscous, you'll need 1 cup of boiling broth or water. Remember the less water you use the drier your couscous will be. Quinoa also needs water to attain the right level of fluffiness. The basic ratio is 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water. Simply combine the quinoa and water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes on low heat. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes to get fluffy quinoa.