Homemade Tortillas: Four Variations on a Theme…

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My son eats a lot of tortillas. It is an easy way to get him to eat protein–put it in a taco! Add some sliced avocado and ketchup (of course, right??), and he’s got a meal that he will eat and enjoy. Chicken, grilled fish, steak, ground turkey or buffalo–the possibilities are endless. For a vegetarian version, try beans and rice or quinoa, sautéed sprouted tofu with spices, grilled veggies and cheese, you get the picture. I even like these tortillas toasted as snacks, spread with some butter, ghee or coconut oil.

I found a tortilla press from Mexico at a second-hand store for $2, and the kids love to take turns pressing the tortillas flat! My daughter also likes to roll the dough in her hands–she loves the slightly spongy feeling of the dough, with just a bit of spring, and she says it’s ‘bouncy’! We try to keep the dough ball from being played with too much, though; it’s similar to play-dough in consistency and so much fun!

Sometimes I feel like with all the tortillas, we’re eating too much corn, though. Corn is an allergen for some people, as well as highly glycemic (raising your blood sugar levels) and very high in carbohydrates. For those who want or need an alternative to corn tortillas–but still want gluten-free–ground millet and quinoa flours make a wonderful alternative!

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Simple Corn Tortillas

1 cup masa harina flour

Scant 1 cup hot water

1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt

Optional: 1-2 tbsp olive oil or melted coconut oil

In a bowl, mix masa flour and sea salt. Slowly add in the hot water and mix until the dough comes together into a ball. The dough ball should be springy and firm, not too dry or too wet as to be sticky. Add more flour or water if needed to get the right balance and consistency. Then cover with a towel and let sit for about an hour (optional).

Heat an iron skillet, ceramic saute pan, or other type of non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Make small balls from the dough and either roll out between two pieces of wax paper or, using a tortilla press with wax paper on both surfaces, press out the dough ball into a tortilla shape.

Gently place flattened dough in heated skillet with a pat of melted coconut or olive oil if necessary or desired. Cook for about a minute on each side.

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Millet-Quinoa “Corn” Tortillas
(corn and gluten free)

1/2 cup millet flour

1/2 cup quinoa flour

Scant 1 cup hot water

1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt

Optional: 1-2 tbsp olive oil or melted coconut oil

Follow directions same as above with “Simple Corn Tortillas.”

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Homemade Gluten-Free Sourdough Tortillas

1 cup gluten-free flour (millet, quinoa, buckwheat, rice, teff, amaranth or a combination)

1/2 cup gluten-free sourdough starter (recipe to come)

A scant 1/2 cup hot water

1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt (such as Celtic or Brittany)

Mix all ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl (ceramic, glass, or pottery) until a ball of dough is formed, neither too dry not too sticky. It should be slightly springy and firm. Cover with a towel and set aside for 6 to 24 hours.

After this time you may add in a tablespoon or two of oil (I like olive oil or melted coconut oil or ghee) and mix again to form a ball.

Divide into four parts and roll into small balls. Press or roll flat to desired thickness, either between two pieces of wax paper or in a tortilla press.

Heat a skillet with or without oil, and gently place the flattened dough in to the pan. Cook for about a minute on each side.

Enjoy with your favorite fillings! Or eat by themselves, warm with some melted butter and cinnamon for a treat!

* To make these sweeter, and to counter the sour taste, you may add in some sweetener of choice (honey, stevia, xylitol, coconut palm sugar, maple syrup, etc.), maybe a teaspoon at a time (except in the case of liquid stevia, use a few drops at a time) until the desired taste is reached.

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“Cheesy” Tortilla Flatbreads
(dairy and gluten free)

Take the sourdough tortilla recipe (above) and after the appropriate time spent ‘souring,’ mix the following ingredients into the dough:

• 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

• 2 tbsp dulse or nori flakes (these are seaweed, and optional)

• 2 tbsp dried or fresh chopped parsley

• 1 tbsp onion powder

• 1 tbsp garlic powder

• 2-4 tbsp melted ghee or coconut oil, or olive oil

• 1 tbsp gluten-free tamari (optional)

Combine all ingredients and mix together (a stand mixer works great for this) to make a new dough. Follow same directions as other tortilla recipes, cooking tortillas in a medium-hot skillet with melted ghee or coconut oil until lightly crisped.

These can be cooled and kept in your fridge, then popped into a toaster oven for a tasty snack!

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