Bulgur and couscous: is there a difference and what is the benefit?

Morning oatmeal has turned into a harbinger of Groundhog Day, rice is boring, and buckwheat is on edge? Whole grain bulgur and couscous to the rescue! If these names are still new to you, get to know them better and … let’s make this mess together!


Bulgur, as a collector-pedant, scrupulously collected all the B vitamins, except for the “animal” B12 (I didn’t really want to). Other useful trace elements of this whole grain product include zinc, sodium, iron, calcium, beta-carotene, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, as well as vitamins K and E (these little special agents ensure the beauty and silkiness of the skin, everything that grows on it, and are responsible for growing in principle).

Rice and buckwheat bulgur loses almost 1,5 times in calories (sad or happy – everyone decides for himself). But in boiled form, it is exactly the same ahead of buckwheat in terms of fiber content and is 11 (!) Times superior to rice.

According to Ayurveda, bulgur is especially useful in winter, during the off-season and during the windy season. Limiting this cereal in the diet is in the heat and those who suffer from gastritis. Bulgur is contraindicated for you if you are allergic to gluten (especially if you believe in it).

Couscous cannot boast of the same width of the vitamin B spectrum as bulgur, but for the guarantee of the absence of a carcinogen in it, it will give up an inch (groats are processed with steam).

In some cultures, couscous is traditionally prepared for solemn family events: this product symbolizes good luck. But even if you do not believe in magic, everyday rituals and signs “for good luck”, the properties of the magical “porridge-malashi” will make you do it. Couscous contains the amino acid tryptophan: it is it that helps the body produce serotonin, relieves depression, normalizes sleep, increases vitality and concentration, and eliminates permanent fatigue. In general, eat a spoonful!

So is there a difference?

Both bulgur and couscous are made from wheat, so these whole grains are often confused. Couscous is obtained from its durum varieties, from semolina, sprinkled with water, after which the formed particles undergo heat treatment. Then the cereal is dried. The technology is somewhat reminiscent of the production of pasta.

Bulgur in manufacturing resembles a semi-finished product. Wheat grains are practically brought to readiness with the preserved germ and shell. Then the grains are dried, often in the sun. Bulgur is often ground, but you can find both coarse and medium grinding. Often this cereal is cleaned of bran.

Bulgur has more calories than couscous. In addition, it surpasses couscous in properties (for example, the amount of fiber in bulgur is 4 times higher than in couscous).

Shall we brew porridge?

When cooking, both cereals do not need to be washed either before cooking or after, because they have already been steamed. By the way, the time spent on cooking is minimal. Often cereals are sold already in a semi-finished form, and we only have to pour boiling water over it for 5 minutes and let it brew for the same amount.

Couscous has a delicate texture and pleasant taste, and it can be served both cold and hot: as a side dish, the basis of a dish, an ingredient in gravy or vegetable soup. Couscous is less intense in flavor than bulgur. But, thanks to this quality, magical desserts are obtained from this cereal.

Bulgur has a characteristic nutty flavor. In addition, the product is very economical: when cooking, cereals noticeably increase in volume, and this should be taken into account.

Couscous dessert

4 tbsp couscous

2 kiwi

2 apple

1 lemon

100 г клубники

100 g seedless grapes

1 tbsp powdered sugar (can be replaced with honey)

Pour boiling water over the couscous and leave for 3 minutes. Mix with powdered sugar. Finely chop the peeled kiwi, then squeeze the juice from the lemon. Cut the apples into pieces, after removing the seeds from them. Pour lemon juice over diced apples and stir to combine. Cut grapes and strawberries into several pieces. Then toss the couscous with the fruit. If desired, you can decorate the dessert with almond petals.

Bulgur and avocado salad

150 g frozen green peas

150 g bulgur

1 avocado

1 lemon

1 red onion

0,5 tsp liquid honey

5 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Drop the peas into the boiling water for a couple of minutes, then drain into a colander. Prepare bulgur according to package instructions. Finely chop the onion, pour over lemon juice, let it brew. Slice the peeled avocado thinly. Mix all the blanks with the finished bulgur, adding honey, salt and pepper.

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