Friday, March 4, 2011

Wheat Tortillas

What most of us don't know is that grains are protected by a chemical coating called phytic acid. This "inhibits" the grain from sprouting until there is are "ideal" circumstances to release it's nutrients. What does this mean? It means that phytic acid is present in grains that have not been soaked, sprouted or fermented. Phytic acid does not allow the body to fully reap the benefits and nutrients of these grains.

Before industrialism grain was stored, for some time, out in the fields where there was rain and sun, rain and sun. The grain was "allowed" to begin sprouting. Thus releasing and making the nutrition available for our bodies and easier on the digestive tract.

Another anecdote to the phytic acid issue is natural fermentation. This means sourdough. I prefer sourdough because it's natural leavening power combined with superior nutrient density. Getting involved in sourdoughs is a rewarding but somewhat involved process. The list of sourdough goes WAY beyond bread and pancakes. Muffins, biscuits, cookies, crepes and more can be made from wild yeast.

lastly, there is soaking! Soaking flour in a slightly acidic environment is another cure for making grain (milled or whole) digestible, nutritious and full flavored. It is preferable that the grains be soaked 24 hours but better "some than none".

Here is a recipe that my family LOVES. It's an arm wrestle to get them to the table and not eaten on the way. Homemade tortillas are SUPERIOR in flavor and nutrition. Enjoy the recipe and let me know what you think.

Whole Wheat Tortillas
by Jami McQuivey
Makes 12 -18 torts

4 Cups wheat flour
2 TSP real or celtic Salt
¼ TSP cumin and Chile powder (opt)
½ Cup real butter, coconut oil, olive oil
1 ½ Cup boiling water
1 TBSP Apple cider vinegar
½ cup sourdough (opt: gives it a slightly sour flavor)
1 Cup white flour + some for rolling

Mix wheat flour and salt (and optional spice) together. Cut in fat. Make a well in the center and add water then vinegar. Stir with a fork until you can knead together. Knead until smooth (3-5 min). Knead in white flour and optional sourdough. Allow to sit 2 hours (minimum) or 24 hours (preferable). When ready to make roll into 18 balls. At this point you can let them sit, covered until you’re ready to cook.

Heat a griddle or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Roll out a tortilla to your preferred thinness, using very little flour IF NECESSARY. Cook one at a time. Place on the griddle for 10 seconds, as soon as you see a bubble on the top, flip the tortilla over. Let it cook for about 30 seconds, then flip and cook the other side for another 30 seconds. Roll out the next tortilla while you wait for that one to cook. Repeat until all of the balls have been cooked. Tortillas can be refrigerated or frozen.

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