Make These Fun Rainbow Gluten-Free Tortillas
This blog does not intend to provide diagnosis...
Homemade tortillas are easy to whip up and are usually more nutritionally-rich than store-bought options. By using cassava flour you can make delicious homemade tortillas that are both gluten-free and grain-free. Use superfood powders to add fun colors to tortillas and increase their nutritional content.
The Benefits of Going Grain and Gluten-Free
Gluten is a type of protein found in many types of grain, including wheat, barley, and rye. It is a fairly resistant type of protein that is not as easily digested by the body as simple sugars, and this can cause gut issues for some individuals with an allergy or intolerance to gluten.
The most common cause of problems for eating gluten is celiac disease. This is a type of autoimmune disorder where the body has an allergic reaction to gluten. People with celiac disease who eat gluten can experience intestinal damage and severe gastrointestinal discomfort, sometimes requiring medication to treat. There are also various other medical conditions related to gluten sensitivity that may result in fatigue, joint pain, headaches, hives, and trouble breathing.
People who are not diagnosed with an allergy to gluten may still have trouble processing gluten in their diet. Some other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, like Crohn's disease, Hashimoto's disease, and ulcerative colitis, have worsened symptoms after eating gluten. This happens because the body has to work harder to digest gluten, and it can put a lot of strain on the system.
Even those who do not have a sensitivity to gluten can still benefit from gluten-free options. Homemade tortillas do not contain excessive amounts of saturated fats, sugars, and other additives that many store-bought options add to make tortillas more shelf-stable.
Sprinkle in Superfoods for a Nutritional Boost
Superfoods have become widely popular due to their nutritional and health benefits. Home cooks have the option of adding beetroot powder, paprika, turmeric, matcha or maqui powder to their tortillas to change the color and add a boost of nutrition. Here are some of the important benefits of these superfoods.
Beetroot powder is a simple pureed mixture of dehydrated beetroots. It is a favorite addition because it provides a bright pink flavor, and it is also a great source of nutrients. Beets contain a great blend of calcium, vitamin C, iron, potassium, and zinc. They also provide a healthy source of nitrates, which deliver oxygen to the muscles and help the body maintain blood pressure.
Paprika can provide an orange hue and a sweet and slightly smoky flavor to foods. This flavoring is made from dehydrated, ground peppers. Therefore, it provides a concentrated amount of the helpful antioxidants that all peppers contain, and it is also a great source of vitamin C that boosts immune system function and helps the body fight off infections.
Turmeric is another classic coloring to use in tortillas. It gives a pretty gold color that makes cassava tortillas look more like corn ones, and it has a mildly smoky flavor. The most important compound in turmeric is curcumin. This is a type of antioxidant that protects cells from damage due to oxidative stress.
Like turmeric, matcha contains helpful antioxidants. This green coloring is simply powdered tea leaves, so it contains all the polyphenols that people normally get from sipping on green tea. Another particularly useful ingredient in matcha is the naturally occurring L-theanine amino acid. Research has linked the amino acid to a boosted ability to recall past facts and learn new ones.
Maqui berries are native to Chile and are known to improve immunity, strength, and stamina. They are a deep purple color and are a rich source of antioxidants.
Rainbow Superfood Tortilla Recipe
- 1 cup ground cassava flour
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- ⅓ cup cold water
- 3 Tbs. melted coconut oil
- 1 Tbs. beetroot powder for pink coloring
- 1/2 Tbs. sweet paprika for orange coloring
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder for yellow coloring
- 1 Tbs. matcha powder for green coloring
- 1 Tbs. maqui powder for indigo coloring
- 1 Tbs. olive, coconut or grapeseed oil
- Combine the flour, salt, coconut oil, and cold water together in a large bowl.
- Whisk until the ingredients form a soft dough. If necessary, add an extra teaspoon or two of cold water to help the dough come together.
- Divide the dough into five balls.
- Add one type of superfood dye to each ball of dough and stir them together to blend the dough evenly.
- Roll two tablespoons of dough at a time into a round ball, and then use a rolling pin to flatten it into a circle. This recipe should yield about 10 smaller tortillas for tacos or five larger tortillas for burritos.
- Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet to medium-high heat.
- Place each tortilla on the skillet and let it cook for a minute before flipping it and letting it cook one more minute.
- Keep tortillas under a warm towel while cooking the rest.
- Top with favorite taco toppings and enjoy!
Tip: It’s easiest to roll out and transfer the dough if each ball is sandwiched between two layers of plastic wrap or parchment paper while rolling them. Use a griddle to cook multiple tortillas at once if desired.