What is bulgur?

Have you heard of bulgur? This word is of Turkish origin and refers to an ingredient that is obtained from wheat and has been consumed since ancient times in the gastronomy of the Middle East. Today it is used in different parts of the world.

So much so, that in Latin American countries, such as Paraguay and Argentina, it is also used to prepare dishes, although in these places it is called burgundy wheat . Find out more details below.

Bulgur, a typical cereal in the Middle East

Bulgur is a whole grain product that is produced from wheat ( Triticum durum ). For the traditional preparation, the grains are cleaned and cooked in a cauldron with enough water.

From there, it is stirred evenly so that the cooking is even. This process takes time and generally uses medium heat until, after a certain time, the temperature is lowered.

Once they are cooked, they are drained and dried in the sun for as long as necessary. They are subsequently subjected to stripping and grinding. As a result of this stage, irregular grains are obtained that are sieved and classified by size into small, medium, pilaf and coarse .

In addition, the bran or outer layer they have is removed. Finally, drying is perfected by leaving the bulgur exposed to the sun for several days.

According to the study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology , all the steps that are needed for its preparation provide some functional characteristics. They give resistance to mold contamination and insect attack , as well as inactivating enzymes through cooking, which is also related to the inactivation of microorganisms.

Through processing, the nutritional quality of the wheat grain is improved , achieving an attractive flavor, while extending the useful life of the food. Therefore, we achieve a product for quick consumption that is economical.

Tabouleh plate.
Tabule is a classic preparation with burgundy that is optimal in summer due to its freshness.

Read also: Teff flour: what is it and what are its qualities?

How is it different from couscous?

Although couscous and bulgur come from wheat, they look similar and can sometimes be used to make the same dishes, they are not the same. In fact, there are marked differences between them.

Contrary to the process used for bulgur (which is cooked wheat), the couscous is prepared starting from a fine wheat flour is mixed with water and salt until a thick mass. From it, small balls like rice are made, which are then precooked to extend their useful life and to shorten subsequent cooking times.

In what recipes is bulgur used?

One of the typical recipes in which bulgur is used is tabouleh . This meal is a mixture of vegetables with wheat variants, ideal for the summer months.

It is also used to make keppe ( kepi in some countries), a dish that contains minced lamb meatballs rolled with this ingredient. It can be used to make risottos, fill vegetables and hamburgers, among other options.

Nutritional value of bulgur

Bulgur has the same nutritional properties as wheat. According to the study “Healthy bioactive components of bulgur” , this food contains proteins, complex carbohydrates and unsaturated fats. It is thus a source of the basic macronutrients.

It is also possessor of dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus and zinc . Fiber, in particular, is a substance that is helpful in those with gastrointestinal disorders associated with constipation. Its regular consumption allows to stabilize the peristaltic movements avoiding constipation.

Finally, it should be noted that bulgur is a source of antioxidants and vitamins. The phenolic acids act by blocking free radicals that promote cellular aging, so their addition has beneficial effects on human health.

What benefits does it have on human health?

Some of the positive effects that regular consumption of this food has on human health are linked to the regulation of blood glucose and the enhancement of the immune system . On the other hand, its action in weight loss plans is not negligible.

Maintains normal blood glucose levels

Bulgur has a low glycemic index compared to other cereals. This is due to the amount of dietary fiber it has. In effect, what this component does is decrease the absorption of sugars.

Thanks to this, it maintains the sugar in its normal parameters within the circulation. For this reason, it is also associated as a preventive food for type 2 diabetes.

Avoid cell damage and improve the immune system

This provides food antioxidants, especially phenolic compounds and vitamin E . Thanks to this, it contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system, as it protects cells from the damage exerted by reagents and toxic components. In addition, the minerals it contains are essential for metabolism .

Dishes with bulgur wheat.
The recipes with bulgur wheat are varied and its cooking is fast.

Promotes weight loss

Bulgur is an option to maintain an optimal weight , since if it is consumed in liquid preparations, such as soups or broths, it contributes to creating a greater feeling of satiety . What happens in these cases is that the fiber swells and fullness appears prematurely.

See also  Benefits of millet, the fashionable food

What to remember about bulgur?

As you have seen, this typical Middle Eastern food has nutritional properties identical to whole wheat. Therefore, its regular consumption is beneficial. It helps in the balance of blood glucose and the functions of the immune system.

In addition, due to its production process, it is cooked in a short time. The flavor it has is pleasant and can be incorporated into countless recipes . Go ahead and try it if you haven’t already, since today it can be purchased in various markets almost all over the world.

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