Okay, you’re right—half of pretty much all tortillas are already vegan and gluten free.
But can we all agree that in the flour vs. corn debate, flour tortillas are clearly the superior taste winners? But also: those doughy and pliable rounds are all made out of refined flour and lard. Ew.
Luckily, it’s now possible to make really similar tortillas out of just chickpeas, flour and flaxseed. GET EXCITED!
The key: chickpea flour, which is also known as garbanzo bean flour, gram flour or besan. It’s just ground chickpeas and it has approximately double the nutrition of masa harina (the corn flour used in corn tortillas).
¼ cup of masa harina = 100 calories, 2g fiber, 3g protein
¼ cup of chickpea flour = 110 calories, 5g fiber, 6g protein!!!!
Chickpea flour is one of the cheapest alternative flours you can buy—if you can’t find it in your local grocery store, it’s available in a lot of ethnic markets OR you can just buy a pack of dried garbanzo beans and grind the flour yourself in a powerful blender or food processor.
These are amazing—doughy, just like flour tortillas, with the perfect amount of chew and a slightly nutty flavor. They’re just slightly less springy (they’ll crack if you happen to try to wrap an especially thick tortilla around a wet burrito filling). Instead of rolling out dough like traditional tortillas, these cook up like crepes with a runny batter. They take just a few minutes to make and then voila! A healthy, fiber-filled tortilla is ready for any number of fillings you feel like throwing at it.
If you don’t have flaxseed, you can omit it, but I highly recommend it for an extra nutritional boost. Again, these are vegan and gluten-free, but I stuffed them with the highly NOT vegan filling of steamed kale, egg whites, tomatoes, parmesan and avocado. It was delicious.
Chickpea Flour Tortillas
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed flax meal
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 cup chickpea garbanzo bean flour
- 2/3 cup water + additional if necessary
- pinch of salt
- pinch of cumin
- Whisk together the flax meal and 2 tablespoons water in a large bowl; let sit for five minutes to thicken slightly.
- Add the chickpea flour, water, salt and cumin and whisk until there are no lumps. The mixture should be about the consistency of pancake batter. If you want thicker tortillas, use only 2/3 cup water. I liked the texture at around 1 cup of water; just add water a tablespoon or two at a time until you reach a consistency you like.
- Preheat a lightly greased 9-inch frying pan over medium heat. Pour about ½ cup of batter into the pan and swirl to coat the bottom. Let cook for 2-3 minutes or until you see the edges start to dry out. You will easily be able to slide your spatula underneath the tortilla when the bottom is fully cooked and ready to be flipped. Flip and cook for an additional 30-60 seconds, then remove from pan and repeat with another ½ cup of batter.
- I didn't need to re-grease the pan between tortillas, but if your tortillas start sticking to the pan, add a little oil to the pan and swirl it around before adding the batter. I laid the cooked tortillas flat on a plate, slightly overlapping each other. I folded a few of the last ones in two since I was running out of space, but the thicker tortillas started to break along the fold. I would recommend storing the cooked, cooled tortillas on a plate covered with plastic wrap in the fridge.
- To kale burrito your tortillas: Add 3 cups of kale to the pan over medium-high heat once you're finished cooking the tortillas. Cover and steam for 1-2 minutes. Add four egg whites--whisked until foamy--chopped tomatoes, grated parmesan, salt and pepper. Scramble everything until cooked through. Top with avocado, roll up and eat!