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Deliciously Organic: Whole Wheat Tortillas

Deliciously Organic

A blog devoted entirely to simple, wholesome, organic cooking.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Whole Wheat Tortillas

By now we all know the benefits of whole wheat flour and today I'm going throw another twist into the equation.  Grains contain a high amount of phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that make it difficult for the body to digest, but if grains are soaked in an acid liquid (buttermilk, lemon juice, sour cream, etc.) the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors break down so the body can digest the nutrients more easity.  It sounds like a lot of work, but in reality it only takes a minute or two of prep the night before and of course, some forethought.  If you have had problems with wheat and other grains, I encourage you to read about this further because it might just be the solution you've been looking for.

Soaking grains has been something that I've eased into, not because it was something I didn't want to do, but in the past, when I tried recipes with soaked grains, I was very disappointed.  When I began eating a full organic diet I promised myself I would find a way to cook, using these new ingredients, in a way that tastes just as good as the foods I'd eaten before.  I still can't convert every single recipe I have to using soaked grains; some of them work beautifully and some just don't, but my goal is to provide you with as many recipes as possible that have soaked grains (I will you give both ways of cooking the recipe, in case this is something you aren't ready for).  I have actually been very busy re-working many of the recipes in my upcoming cookbook to provide a "soaked" option for those who want to do so. 

There are also sprouted or soaked flours you can purchase if soaking is not something you want to attempt.  I ordered some a few weeks ago and tried it and had great results with baking loaves of bread but because it's "hard" wheat and has more protein than "soft" or "pastry" flour it doesn't produce great results for cakes and cookies. 

Here's a wonderful recipe for Whole Wheat Tortillas. You can substitute just about any grain (kamut, spelt, etc) for these, but I prefer making them with whole wheat flour for the buttery flavor.  This is also a perfect "first" recipe to try if you've never soaked your grain becuase it's very simple.  You can cook them and eat them with a generous pat of butter, throw some salad in the middle and have a salad wrap, melt cheese and beans in the middle for quesadillas...really the possibilities are endless.

I'd love to know what your thoughts are on soaking your grains and if it's something you could see yourself doing in the future.

Whole Wheat Tortillas
If you forgot to soak the grains the night before (or you're not yet convinced about this whole "soaking method") then mix the flour, buttermilk and sour cream and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before proceeding.  Adapted from Martha Stewart Living.
Makes 8 tortillas 

2 cups whole wheat flour (either pastry or hard wheat flour)
2/3 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons sour cream (I prefer this brand)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt (I prefer this brand)

Combine flour, buttermilk and sour cream in a medium bowl.  Tightly cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature overnight or up to 24 hours. 

After the flour has soaked overnight, knead in the baking powder and sea salt.  Divide dough into 8 sections and roll each section out on a floured surface to an 8-inch round.  Place tortilla on a parchment lined plate and as you roll out the tortillas layer a square of parchment paper between each tortilla.  Let rest for 30 minutes. 

Place a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook 1 tortilla about 1 minute per side until spotty brown.  Serve immediately.


Blogger Rebecca T said...

that sounds SOOO good! I can't wait to try it! so easy and healthy. i LOVE your blog and can't wait for your cookbook!

January 7, 2010 at 7:26 AM  
Anonymous Lindsay said...

That looks delicious! I can't wait to try this recipe!

January 7, 2010 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I find that if I eat well first thing, I do well the rest of the day. What do you find healthy, easy to take to work and to stay with you for 4 hours until lunch?

January 7, 2010 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Deliciously Organic said...

Sarah: The smoothie that I posted earlier this week can be made quickly and taken with you to work. It is very filling and will keep me going without a snack until lunch. Having a large handful of nuts with a glass of milk would be good too. i keep little baggies of nuts in my purse and glove compartment so I always have something on hand when I'm hungry. You'd probably need to have an apple or some berries as a snack mid-morning. I also like to make big batches of pancakes adn muffins and put them in the freezer. I send them with my husband who has early mornings and he will heat them up at work (i put the pancakes in a container with a bit of butter and syrup already on top). Also, I really like eating the quesadillas (recipe on blog) for breakfast. They really fill me up and can be eaten at room temp. if needed. You could also have an egg sandwich on Ezekiel bread and maybe throw in some arugula or tomatoes for variation. Let me know if that helps!

January 7, 2010 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Carrie, thanks for posting this. Brandon and I have not had good luck with the current recipe for tortillas that he was using. It will be good to try this one. Also, I am waiting to hear back from Bread Beckers... Sue Becker had written an article on phytic acid that was insightful...and just added to the confusing and somewhat controversial topic of soaking grains. The link I had to the article isn't working. I would really like to know your thoughts on soaking after you read that article. We just kinda remain neutral about it all...for convience sake, I guess.

January 7, 2010 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Can the grain soaking method also work with gluten-free grains? Do you know whether they need to be broken down in the same way as the gluten grains?

January 8, 2010 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger Holyoke Home said...

Wow. I had no idea about the soaking option. Why don't more people know about this important information?!

Stopping by from SITS. Have a FANTASTIC weekend.

January 9, 2010 at 7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anna said...

I was wondering if the dough freezes well? Or even if the cooked tortillas would freeze well. Thanks much! Love your blog!

January 9, 2010 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Deliciously Organic said...

Anna: I don't think the dough would freeze well, but you could definitely freeze the tortillas after they have been cooked. I would reheat them in the oven so they will taste fresh. Hope that helps!

January 9, 2010 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger Deliciously Organic said...

Susan: Good question! All grains contain phytic acid and should be soaked even if they are gluten-free.

January 9, 2010 at 5:21 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Your blog is beautiful and I'm thrilled to see a recipe for whole wheat tortillas -- whenever I make them they don't seem to want to fold or be tortilla-like, so I look forward to trying your take!

January 13, 2010 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Ingrid_3Bs said...

Thanks for the soaking info!

March 6, 2010 at 5:28 PM  

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