How long does couscous last? That is a tricky question to answer. Uncooked couscous does not actually expire and, if stored properly, can survive for months past the expiration date on the package.
If you keep your couscous covered and refrigerated after cooking it, it will last for around four to five days.
It is like pasta in the sense that it does not go bad when it’s uncooked. It does not matter if you have opened the bag as long as you reseal it.
You have recently discovered a package of couscous that is a few months over its expiration date on the label, and you are not sure if you can consume it. What should you do?
Before touching on that question, I feel like it is important to describe what couscous is, and then we can get into the nitty-gritty about how to keep it safe and hygienic to eat and enjoy
What Is Couscous?
Couscous is something we all know and adore, but do you know what it is, where it originates from, or how it is made?
Perhaps you have bought couscous from the shop and cooked it dozens of times. Or maybe you have dined on a platter of hot, steamy couscous at a friend’s housewarming meal.
Whatever the case may be, you could be asking what couscous is. Lucky for you that we got all the answers you need.
Couscous is commonly mistaken for a grain, although this is not the case. “Couscous is a pasta prepared from semolina flour and water,” according to Wikipedia.
Semolina flour has a high gluten content and is commonly used in kinds of pasta because it produces firm noodles that are not as sticky as most other kinds of flour.
We have given the flour made from durum wheat the name semolina. It is a very hard wheat that is higher in protein than the wheat we usually eat daily.
Durum wheat, sometimes known as “pasta wheat” or “macaroni wheat,” is the second most widely grown wheat species after common wheat.
It also has roughly 3% more extractable gluten than normal wheat, which is used to manufacture the majority of bread products.
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Does Couscous Go Bad? – How Long Does Couscous Last And How To Preserve It?
You may believe that couscous is simple to preserve, and you would be correct. The tough part is keeping it away from moisture and other potential spoilers.
Couscous can be stored for three to six months past the expiration date on the label if kept cold and dry.
This estimate is based on the origin of the couscous and the type of container it is stored in. Cheaper couscous and containers are not likely to survive very long.
Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing whether yours will last three months or three years after its expiration date. It all comes down to how you store things, the product’s quality, and a little luck.
Use an impermeable opaque container away from any heat, light, moisture, or foods with strong aromas for optimum results.
It will work in any cabinet, cupboard, or pantry. Before you put it in, make sure the container is well sealed.
We recommend getting a Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Airtight Food Storage Container for your couscous storing needs.
It can accommodate pasta, baking materials, and other grocery essentials, allowing you to save room and keep your pantry tidy. It is a set of 4 airtight, opaque containers in different sizes, which will be really useful for other purposes as well.
You can also get an OXO Good Grips POP Container if you prefer storing couscous and other kinds of pasta in bulk instead of keeping them in smaller containers. Its space-saving design keeps dry items fresh and organizes your cupboards.
As you can see, couscous is very similar to other grains like rice or quinoa, and it is not difficult to store.
The main thing to remember is to keep this durum wheat product dry. It will most certainly start growing mold if it gets wet within a few days.
Couscous thrives in an atmosphere that is dark, dry, and cool; therefore, the pantry is an excellent place to store it because it satisfies all three criteria.
Depending on how it is prepared and stored, and starch (rice, couscous, pasta) will last three to seven days.
It will be preserved the longest if you do not use it in a sauce and leave it open to cool before putting it in an airtight container and storing it in the fridge.
If you are going to cook it before eating it and you will be serving more than one person, only take out what you will eat (do not heat the entire container and restore the leftovers)
Couscous Is more durable in the back of the refrigerator rather than closer to the door, where it will be exposed to humid air.
It is preferable and a much better option to store the couscous in an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid.
Make sure you only open the container when you are ready to use it, as more air exposure increases the risk of mold or other contaminants getting inside.
If you do not have a proper container, a resealable bag will suffice. Before putting the couscous in the fridge, make sure the bag is shut and any excess air has been squeezed out.
You can use Mylar Bags off Amazon as resealable bags for food storage purposes, especially to store couscous.
If you want your couscous to last as long as possible, freezing it is the best solution.
In theory, couscous can be stored in the freezer for a prolonged period if properly packaged, and no problems occur. Due to concerns such as freezer burn, the time is close to three to four months in reality.
Couscous preserves best when frozen alone rather than as part of a meal because the texture and flavor of the other components can affect couscous if they are all frozen together. When couscous is defrosted, certain ingredients might make it soggy and distasteful.
Cooked couscous is the only type of couscous that should be frozen. Uncooked couscous is preserved far better in the pantry as compared to the freezer, and it is pointless to freeze it until it has been cooked.
The good thing is that couscous can last for months, as we have already mentioned.
The bad news is that it can rot or go bad in a variety of ways, even if you have stored it carefully. Remember to inspect your food before using it.
How Can You Tell If Couscous Is Fresh?
Couscous contains a lot of telltale symptoms that it has gone bad. Some of the things to look out for to see whether couscous has gone bad are:
If the odor is off, the food should be discarded, much like other dry commodities. Before you use the couscous, give it a whiff. Because the oils inside the couscous are exposed to oxygen, rancid couscous has a peculiar odor that has been likened to wet cardboard or wood varnish.
Dry couscous may smell fine at first, but it develops an odor after cooking. If that is the case, toss the rest of the grains away as well.
Couscous that has gone rotten has a peculiar flavor. Take a small mouthful if you are unsure whether or not it is good. You are probably fine if it tastes good.
If it doesn’t, it is time to toss out your couscous and replace it with a freshly cooked or store-bought replacement.
If you notice any living or dead insects in your couscous, such as moths, weevils, or other insects, it is time to discard it. Bugs are not only disgusting, but they may also contaminate your food and infect you.
It is high time to throw the couscous out if it has been in the fridge for more than a week or even longer. Even if it seems good, one week in the refrigerator is too long to keep it safe.
It is better to be safe and sorry, so do not take any risks with cooked couscous and throw it out when enough time has passed.
If you check the couscous and do not see any of these symptoms that it has expired, you can probably eat it, so do not worry about becoming sick from it.
- Allow your couscous to cool slightly before placing it in the refrigerator. If you put it in when it is still warm, it will stay warm for a long time before cooling and becoming subject to pests and mold. This also applies to the freezer. It cools down to the point where you can chill it in about an hour. Just make sure you do not leave it out for more than two hours.
- If you keep dried and uncooked couscous in an airtight resealable container, it will last longer. This is especially true if it is in a package that is not completely resealed. Regular food containers linked above are the best for this kind of storage needs.
- If you are putting your couscous in a resealable container, do not forget to label it with the date you placed it in and the expiration date. This will assist you in remembering the expiration date and keeping it in mind so that it does not expire.
Health Benefits That Come From Eating Couscous
Couscous is more than simply “the food so nice they named it twice,” it also offers a slew of health benefits. It is a staple food of the North African community.
It is a really healthy and nutritious dish that is a great substitute for other pasta kinds; it is nuttier and packed with nutrition.
Fiber is abundant in whole-grain couscous. Fiber is beneficial in a variety of ways. It can prevent blood sugar spikes and keep you satisfied for longer. It can also help lower cholesterol, lowering your risk of heart disease.
Fiber can help avoid constipation by moving meals swiftly through your intestinal tract. Intestinal and breast cancer risk can both be reduced by eating a high-fiber diet.
Whole wheat couscous can replace refined white pasta or white rice in a healthy way.
Selenium is one of the most significant components of couscous, and it will play a role in many of the health benefits discussed here. Selenium is a necessary nutrient that is difficult to come by in diet, but it is an important part of the human body.
Couscous may contain more than 60% of the daily recommended selenium intake in a single serving, making it one of the greatest sources of selenium in any diet.
Selenium acts as an antioxidant in your body, helping to eliminate cholesterol buildup in your veins.
It is also rich in potassium which is yet another essential part of the human body. Potassium helps with the prevention of contraction of blood vessels and so helps with blood pressure issues.
Selenium’s natural antioxidant properties aid in the fight against the multiplication of toxins in the circulation and body’s systems, but it also has a second unique way of boosting the immune system.
Selenium actually promotes the regeneration of vitamins C and E. Both of these substances are important components of the body’s defense processes. Couscous, in general, can be a very effective supplement to your body’s natural defenses.
Selenium is a crucial component of muscle growth since it is required for protein metabolism and muscle development.
Selenium insufficiency has been linked to muscular weakness and degeneration, as well as excessive weariness and general body weakness, according to research.
Because selenium is such a tough vitamin to obtain naturally, couscous can be one of the finest ways to increase muscle mass!
Healing wounds, recuperating from illness, and recovering from surgery can be challenging times for your body, as it must work overtime to maintain normal function while devoting energy and nutrients to major repair.
Couscous, which has a lot of protein, might be a significant aid during this period. Protein is required for wound healing as well as the metabolism of enzymes that aid in wound repair on both the inside and outside of the body.
Couscous is an important part of any protein-rich diet, and since protein makes up more than 15% of the human body, any food source with this much protein is a good thing!
People on diets are frequently on the lookout for low-calorie, nutritional foods, and grains are regularly chosen since they are full, relatively quick to prepare, and low in calories.
Couscous, in particular, is superior to grains in terms of calories, containing less than 200 calories per cup or less than 10% of the daily calorie intake recommended for adults.
As a result, couscous is ideal for people who are trying to reduce weight primarily by dieting. Couscous is also low in sodium, triglycerides, and fats, all of which are counterproductive to weight loss.
How To Prepare Couscous
You must first bring a liquid to a boil, such as water or broth, before adding the couscous. Start stirring, then withdraw it from the heat and set it aside, covered, for 5-15 minutes.
Do not let it reach a boiling point. Remove the lid and toss the couscous with a fork once it has absorbed all of the liquid. Cooking times may vary depending on the package, so read the instructions carefully.
Serve couscous with a meat or vegetable stew. You might also eat it plain or with dried fruits such as raisins or almonds.
Couscous is not particularly tasty if you do not season it with salt (directly or through the broth, for example) and do not serve it with something to compensate. In that regard, it is similar to unsalted potatoes. So do keep that in mind.
How long does couscous last? If stored properly, couscous can last for months, if not years. Naturally, with that much time, it is more likely to be consumed before its expiration date.
Enjoy! You can get this Couscous Organic by 365 by Whole Foods Market off Amazon; it is completely organic and specifically made to be sodium-free.
There are tons of options available in the market, so go out there and explore to get couscous for all your dietary and fun needs.