Is Couscous Gluten Free?

Posted on 16 Oct 2012 01:52

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No, is not gluten free. It contains the protein gluten. Couscous is a Moroccan pasta, shaped into tiny grains and made from semolina wheat flour. Therefore, it contains gluten like any other wheat-based pasta.

If you see couscous on an ingredients list it will usually list wheat or another term for wheat in the sub-ingredient parenthesis. But even if it does not, you must assume that it contains gluten.

The term couscous refers to the pasta itself, but also to the dish made from it, no matter what ingredients, such as vegetables, meat, and seasonings, that are added to it.

It is used much like rice is used to make a pilaf.

There are some brands of gluten free couscous, such as Lundberg, which uses brown rice flour and Wholesome Kitchen, which uses millet. Keep in mind that both these brands also make regular couscous products, as well.


Couscous Grains
image by Josefine Stenudd via flickr

Mock Couscous Made from Cauliflower

A great (and nutritious) trick for making "mock" couscous is to use roasted cauliflower processed into grains. You may even find you like this better than regular couscous, and it is certainly about as gluten-free as you can get.

The basic recipe is easy. Take one head of cauliflower and break it into large florets. Toss the florets with one to two tablespoons olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. At this point, you can also add other spices or herbs that you might like, such as ground cumin. Put the seasoned cauliflower on a roasting pan and bake for about 10 minutes at 400° F. It's ready when it is barely turning golden brown. Remove it from the oven and let it cool completely before processing in a food processor. Remember, do not over-process your cauliflower. You want to use the pulse so you can get it to grain-sized pieces that resemble couscous. If you overdo it you'll get mush instead of grains. Once you've got it processed, it's ready to eat as is or to mix with other ingredients for a couscous dish.

This information is provided for those who have been medically confirmed to have a need for a gluten-free diet and in no way should be taken to mean that Ground Up Strength endorses the general "gluten free living" trend.

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