Can You Freeze Couscous?
Couscous has its origins in North Africa. It is made from durum wheat and you can cook the same by steaming it. Couscous has a light, fluffy texture and makes a perfect meal option. Here are a few tips you can try to freeze couscous.
One can also make couscous from small, round balls of semolina flour. Traditionally couscous is eaten with vegetables and meat or fish. Couscous is a very versatile dish and can equip different flavors with many different spices and herbs.
If you follow these steps carefully, you can freeze the couscous effectively for more than two months. Doing so can help you prep and save meal options for an entire week. Keep reading to know more about freezing couscous.
Steps to Freeze Couscous
Freezing couscous is an easy task. It doesn’t require any prior preparations and you can freeze them quickly after cooking. Of course, there’s no need to freeze uncooked couscous as it can be stored in any normal container for months. Follow these steps to freeze couscous appropriately:
- First of all, start by cooking your couscous meal as usual. Cook the meal according to your preference and then cool it completely.
- You can cool the dish by placing it in a large container so that the surface area increases and cooling occur faster.
- Then line a baking tray with parchment paper or baking paper. Spread your cooked couscous on this tray and create an even layer. Make sure the layer is even throughout the tray.
- Then flash freeze this tray of lined couscous for around 2 hours. Once the couscous is sufficiently frozen, break it into fine pieces using any flat spatula or spoon. It will start to appear like breadcrumbs.
- Once you crush the couscous you can store it in airtight bags or boxes. Then pop these boxes into the freezer.
This is it! That’s all you have to do to freeze couscous. Therefore, if you are worried about how to store your extra couscous meal, now you know an easy method to do so!
How to Defrost Couscous?
Well, couscous is one of those food ingredients for which the thawing process isn’t necessary. Therefore, you can save time on thawing frozen couscous. Whenever you wish to eat couscous you can simply remove it from the freezer and defrost it directly in a pan or microwave.
Thus, couscous is the perfect meal for people who need a quick and healthy breakfast. Unlike other foods, couscous doesn’t need thawing. Therefore, it saves you the last-minute chaos in case you forget to thaw your frozen food overnight.
Steps to Defrost Couscous in Microwave
- First, empty all the contents from the airtight bag into a microwave-safe tin or bowl.
- Then add a splash of water to the contents in the bowl so that they can defrost effectively.
- Transfer the bowl to the microwave and heat for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and stir it with a spatula.
- Continue steps 2 and 3 till all the contents in the bowl heat up completely. Once steam originates from the bowl you can stop the microwave session for the bowl.
- Eat it directly or cook it for a minute in another pan with veggies and toppings of your choice.
Steps to Freeze Couscous on a Pan
- Add a tbsp of oil to the pan and heat it on low flame. Add 2-3 tsp of water to hot oil.
- As the water starts to splatter, quickly add the frozen couscous to it.
- Keep stirring and adding water in splashes till the entire batch is equally fluff. Also, use a fork to prevent them from sticking.
How Long You Must Freeze Couscous?
As mentioned earlier, uncooked couscous can be stored for months, and if you don’t use it then for a year as well. However, there are limits to storing cooked couscous meals. Scientifically speaking, if you consider the overall parameters for bacterial growth then you should not freeze couscous for more than 3 months.
It is because they are usually prepared by adding vegetables and other liquids. Therefore, they have a high chance of going bad before you eat them. Therefore, if you are storing cooked couscous then the maximum duration for the storage should be 3 months.
However, if you consider adding meat pieces to the couscous then eat it within two days, or else it will go bad.
Tips to Freeze Couscous
- Now that you are aware of the method and the duration of freezing couscous, here are some dos and don’ts as well.
- When freezing cooked couscous, try to avoid adding veggies or meat pieces to them. Because adding vegetables or meat pieces to the meal will deteriorate its shell life.
- You can cook your vegetables separately and store them in other freezer-safe bags. Then, you can defrost them and cook them again with defrosted couscous.
- Always portion your meals and freeze them accordingly. This way the freezing process turns out to be more effective. It is because instead of disturbing an entire batch of frozen food every time, you’ll use only the ones you need.
- Leave enough space in the box or bag for the couscous to rise sufficiently on freezing.
- Lastly, do not refreeze couscous unless you wish to spoil its texture and taste.
Recipes with Frozen Couscous
Frozen Couscous Salad
A salad is the best meal option for anyone irrespective of their eating habits. Adding couscous to salads merely increases the nutritional content by several thresholds. So here’s how to prep for one! Start by chopping your greens and veggies using a food processor. Then, add frozen couscous chunks to a microwave-safe bowl and defrost it till it gets fluffy. Transfer this fluffy couscous to the salad bowl. Add spices and a dash of olive oil. You can add chicken broth to this mix as well (Cook the salad for a minute when adding chicken broth.). Mix all the ingredients and enjoy!
Couscous and Greens
To prepare this deliciously healthy meal you will need- frozen couscous, chopped asparagus, mint leaves, coriander leaves, chopped chilies, salt, and olive oil. In a pan defrost frozen couscous as discussed earlier. Transfer the defrosted couscous to another bowl. Now heat the pan and add a tbsp of olive oil. Drop in the chilies and greens to it. Saute them on a medium flame for a minute. Turn off the flame and add all the ingredients to the couscous bowl. Mix all the ingredients, and done! This vegan meal is perfect for all the fitness freaks out there looking for healthy and tasty meals.
Couscous usually freezes very well for 3 months without going bad. However, this is the case when you freeze couscous alone without adding any vegetable or meat pieces to it. Therefore, if you insist on storing couscous for months then avoid adding greens to it. Also, do not forget to try these healthy recipes with frozen couscous!