New in the Market: Bob’s Red Mill Pearl Couscous

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on September 5, 2011 · 0 comments

We love to try new foods. Some don’t measure up and some become staples in our kitchen. See what you think.

Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, already known for its back-to-basics healthy whole grain flours, cereals, meals and mixes, has extended its product line to include 3 varieties of pearl couscous. Couscous is well-known and considered a staple in countries such as Israel, Morocco, Algeria and Libya. Many in the US do not realize that these tiny pasta pearls can make a healthy, interesting, quick cooking substitute for rice or traditional pasta.

Couscous pairs nicely with most sauces, can be cooked and served plain, or used as the base for a salad. We tried all varieties of Bob’s Pearl Couscous and found all three equally good tasting and versatile. This product is definitely worth a try.

Pearl Couscous cooks in 10 minutes and is made of beads of toasted semolina flour. It is a great rice substitute and can be used in soups. It has 210 calories in a two-ounce dry serving cooked, 1 gram of fat, 7 grams of protein, 44 grams of carb, no sugar or fiber, and 5 milligrams of sodium.

Tricolor Pearl Couscous also cooks in 10 minutes and is a combination of one-third unflavored semolina, one-third tomato flavored and one-third spinach flavored pearls. It gives a beautiful presentation on a plate. We sautéed a fresh onion and some fresh mushrooms and used chicken broth for the liquid to cook the tricolor variety and served it as an accompaniment to chicken. It has 210 calories in a two-ounce dry serving cooked, 1 gram of fat, 6 grams of protein, 44 grams of carb, no sugar or fiber, and 5 milligrams of sodium.

Whole Wheat Pearl Couscous cooks in 20 minutes and is made of beads of toasted whole wheat flour. It has a nuttier taste and is a great salad base. It has 190 calories in a two-ounce dry serving cooked, 1 gram of fat, 7 grams of protein, 38 grams of carb, 5 grams of fiber and no sugar or sodium.

As an aside, pearl couscous is a great size and shape for early toddler meals. Our 22-month old tester loved it and gave it an enthusiastic “more, more” which can be translated into a 5-star rating.

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