Are you a fan of couscous? Do you prefer it sweet or savory? Have you ever eaten it for breakfast?
Couscous has been one of my favorite pantry staples for many years now. If you aren’t familiar with couscous, it is a quick cooking pasta that acts like a whole grain and is high in fiber. It has a neutral flavor which means it can be paired with almost any protein, fruit, or vegetable. We use it in multiple meals and one of our favorite ways to eat it is this breakfast berry couscous.
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While we do love to cook over the campfire, sometimes it makes sense to cook up some stuff at home to save both time and effort. After all, our worst nightmare is waking up hungry and having to wait until the fire is ready to make breakfast. Having our breakfast berry couscous to snack on while we are drinking that first cup of coffee and getting a meal ready for the crew helps keep us from getting hangry.
What we love about Breakfast Berry Couscous:
- Make ahead
- High fiber/Quick energy
- Mix and Match favorite fruits and nuts
The ingredients for Breakfast Berry Couscous:
- Mixed dried fruit
- Olive Oil
- Mixed Nuts
The process to make Breakfast Berry Couscous:
- Combine the water, fruit, honey, olive oil, and salt together in a large pot. Bring to a boil.
- While waiting, toast the mixed nuts.
- Add couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork and mix in toasted mixed nuts.
- Enjoy immediately or let cool and pack for a camping trip.
FAQ and How to Customize Breakfast Berry Couscous:
Q. What exactly is couscous?
A. Couscous is a quick-cooking staple from North Africa which is crushed wheat semolina which makes it a pasta, not a grain as is commonly thought. It is extremely popular in a variety of cuisines although the word itself is probably of Berber origin. Most of the couscous found here in the United States is precooked. This means it is “instant” and only needs a few minutes in hot liquid in order to become light and fluffy. We try to use whole-grain whenever possible as I look for any way to add fiber to our diet (especially while camping!).
Q. What ingredients are needed to cook couscous?
A. At the very least you will need the couscous and some liquid. You can use plain water, however if we are going sweet, I enjoy adding some honey to the water. And if we are going savory, I definitely use broth instead of plain water. Optional ingredients would be some fat (butter, evoo, or a combination of the two) and some salt (I prefer sea salt and tweak to taste depending on the other ingredients being used in the final product).
Q. How do I cook couscous?
A. Cooking couscous is not rocket science. Unfortunately, some packaging seems to want to make it so. I like to cook it the way I first learned which seems to be our way to success. If I try any of the alternate methods I’ve found, something always seems to go wrong!
- Bring your liquid to a boil.
- Stir in the fat and salt until dissolved
- Stir in the couscous and immediately remove from the heat.
- Tightly cover with a lid and allow to steam for ten minutes. Do not peek!
- Remove the lid and use a fork to stir until your couscous is fluffy.
Q. Can you make couscous without a stove?
A. Actually you can as long as you have a microwave or other heat source. Put your couscous into a large heat-proof bowl or pot. Heat your liquid until boiling, then measure out the amount you need and pour over your couscous. Stir to combine and tightly cover with a lid or heavy-duty aluminum foil. Allow to steam for ten minutes before fluffing.
Q. How can I store cooked couscous?
A. If you are going to be eating it in the next few days, simply place the cooked pasta in an airtight container and refrigerate. It will last for three days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top with a little bit of olive oil or butter to keep it from drying out. You can also freeze plain cooked couscous for up to four months. We recommend thawing overnight in the fridge before reheating. We don’t typically freeze finished couscous dishes as many of the items we mix in are not at their best after freezing.
Q. What does couscous taste like?
A. It has a nutty, sweet flavor that works well with many flavor profiles. We enjoy it sweet for breakfast and savory for dinner and you can check out some of our favorite savory recipes below.
Q. How can I flavor my couscous?
A. For this recipe we use the fruit and honey, along with the olive oil, to flavor our couscous. When we are using it in a savory dish, we will often use broth instead of water to enhance the final flavor of the dish.
Q. What is the difference between traditional couscous and Israeli couscous?
A. Israeli couscous is not actually couscous. It is an extruded pasta which has been toasted making it larger, chewier, and more toasted wheat like in flavor. They can be used interchangeably but I definitely prefer traditional for my recipes.
Q. What are some of the health benefits of couscous?
A. While I should be talking about all the healthy reasons to eat couscous while camping, I just enjoy eating it in a variety of dishes. However, I can state that when using whole-grain couscous, you are increasing your fiber intake (helps keep you regular at the campsite!) as well as keeping you full longer.
Q. What can I substitute for couscous?
A. Quinoa, another of our favorites, would be the first suggestion we would have as a substitute for couscous. Other ideas are millet, sorghum, and short-grain rice. These have the benefit of being gluten-free (check your labels!) if that is important to you.
Q. What dried fruit did you use?
A. I tend to use whatever I can find but my preference is always for a mixed berry medley.
Q. What nuts should I try?
A. I love cashews and almonds but will also use walnuts, pecans, and pistachios. Basically, any nuts we have in the house are fair game.
- Dutch oven: to boil and cook the couscous
- Skillet: for toasting nuts
More Couscous Recipes to Enjoy:
- Couscous Salad with Almonds, Apricots, Arugula, and Feta
- Mandarin Orange Chicken Couscous Salad
- Mediterranean Couscous Salad
Are you a couscous eater?
If not, we urge you to give it a try. If you are, tag us on Instagram @campinganswer and tell us your favorite way(s) to eat couscous! We are always looking for new ways to enjoy this versatile pasta.
Sweet Berry Couscous
- Dutch oven
- 12 oz couscous
- 6 oz dried fruit mixed
- 1 cup toasted nuts mixed
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups water
- Combine water, fruit, honey, salt, and oil in a large pot. Bring to a boil.
- Add couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let sit for ten minutes.
- Fluff with a fork and add toasted mixed nuts.