Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
For most of us, tacos, wraps and burritos are a must. But if your gut health is compromised, you may have been told to avoid gluten or grains – which, sadly, might mean you have to say adios to traditional tortillas. But don’t worry, there’s a new tortilla in town, and they’re quite easy to make.
Conventional tortillas aren’t for everyone
If you’ve been eating tortillas for decades, you might be wondering, what’s wrong with them? The answer is a little complicated because it depends on the state of your gut.
Most tortillas are made of either corn or wheat flour. If you are following a gluten-free diet, you might be able to eat corn tortillas, but many gut-supportive diets such as the Paleo diet, the Autoimmune Paleo Diet (AIP) or even the Whole30 don’t allow corn. So what’s a tortilla lover to do? The answer may lie in these cassava tortillas.
The cassava solution
Made from the cassava root, a staple veg in Africa, Asia and Latin America, cassava flour is one of our favorite flours for grain-free baking because it has a fine texture and is the most similar to wheat flour. Since it’s made from a vegetable, it provides a starchy quality without gluten or grains. It’s actually made from the same source as tapioca starch, except that tapioca uses the starchy pulp only, while cassava flour uses the entire root.
Cassava flour is a great flour substitute in Paleo and gluten-free cooking: it can be used as a thickener for casseroles, a breading for fish or chicken, and, of course, they make especially good tortillas.
While these cassava tortillas take a minute to form and cook, they hold up well in the fridge and freezer so we recommend making a double batch and stashing them away to use throughout the week. Use them in tacos, as a base for a breakfast wrap or smother it with pesto, cheese and veg then bake for a quick flatbread.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour and salt. In a bowl, whisk together the hot water, oil and honey. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour the liquids into the flour mixture. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until the dough is cohesive and not hot to the touch (add up to 1 tbsp additional cassava flour if needed to hold together). Divide into 12 balls of equal size and cover.
- Heat a cast iron skillet on medium. While the skillet heats, roll out a ball of dough into a 6-inch tortilla, dusting the dough and work surface with additional cassava flour. (You can also roll the dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper.)
- Place a tortilla in the skillet and cook for about 30 seconds. Flip and cook until brown spots appear on the bottom of the tortilla. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Repeat the cooking process with the remaining tortillas. Tortillas are best served warm, but they can be made in advance and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
Recipe courtesy of Paleo magazine