Tortillas are commonly used in Mexican and Central American Cuisines. There are many uses for these delicate, unleavened flatbreads, normally produced from either Cornmeal or flour. It includes corn and flour Tortillas.
The origin of Tortillas is said to be a Mayan peasant who created them for his starving monarch. Around 10,000 BC, corn Tortillas were used for the first time in history. And the Spanish realized that aboriginal occupants like the Aztecs and others all consumed some form of maize bread when they came.
The Tortilla was termed a small cake in Spanish. This connects to southern Spain because there are thin, spherical crisps prepared from crushed Chickpeas that have Arabic roots.
Most Mexican meals come with Tortillas. They are occasionally sliced into bits and fried crisp for this application. They may be used to scoop up sauced or stewed foods. Tacos are made by folding Tortillas over a filling of meat, beans, or cheese and a spicy sauce. Tortillas are wrapped or folded over a filling and baked with sauce to make Enchiladas. Tostadas are made of thinly fried Tortillas that have been topped with meat, beans, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.
Types of Tortilla (Tlaxcalli)
There are two main types of Tortillas.
A corn Tortilla, often known as a Tortilla, is a type of thin, unleavened flatbread made from hominy, which is created from entire maize kernels that have been nixtamalized, a process that uses alkali to boost its nutritional value.
A thin disc of unleavened bread cooked on a heated surface from masa or wheat flour.
How does Corn Tortilla Differ From a Flour Tortilla?
The primary component in corn Tortillas is corn, whereas the primary ingredient in flour Tortillas is wheat flour. This is the primary difference between corn and flour Tortillas.
Since corn has been a common component in Mexican cuisine for millennia, corn Tortillas are thought to be more representative of traditional Mexican cuisine. While this is true for corn, wheat has only been domesticated since the Spanish introduced it to the Americas. While flour Tortillas are often exclusively found in the northern regions of Mexico and the USA, where they are a staple of Tex-Mex cuisine, corn Tortillas may be found all across Mexico and Central America.
As compared to flour Tortillas, which are significantly whiter in color and are much larger, corn Tortillas are yellow and tend to be smaller.
To make flour Tortillas, you only need flour, a little salt, and water. Masa Harina, a mixture of finely ground corn flour and lime, is used to make corn Tortillas.
Which Type of Tortilla is Healthier?
It’s hard to evaluate all Tortillas similarly because they are all so distinct and unique. Some Tortillas are regarded as being nutritious, while others are better than bread and yet others may not be the best if you’re watching your calorie intake. Due to their higher nutritional and mineral content and overall lower calorie content, corn Tortillas are healthier than flour Tortillas. While a whole wheat Tortilla will be more nutrient-dense than a flour Tortilla of the same size, a tiny flour Tortilla will have fewer calories than a bigger corn Tortilla.
Dietary fiber, a kind of carbohydrate vital to digestion, is included in tortillas. Fiber helps you stay regular by giving your stool more weight, which helps avoid constipation. Additionally, it softens your poop to make it simpler to pass.
A soft, thin flatbread called a flour Tortilla or wheat Tortilla is produced from finely crushed wheat flour. It was first influenced by the corn Tortilla, a flatbread made of maize that predates the advent of Europeans in the Americas, which is a staple in Mexican cuisine. Similar to maize Tortillas, it is pressed and fried using a dough made of flour and water.
The simplest recipes merely call for flour, water, lard, and salt, while flour Tortillas are produced commercially typically with baking powder and other artificial leaveners.
For recipes like tacos, quesadillas, and burritos, flour Tortillas are frequently stuffed with meat, diced potatoes, refried beans, cheese, and other ingredients.
Lettuce wraps are a substitute for flour tortillas. Lettuce wraps are a fantastic way to save calories without sacrificing flavor. Any of your preferred ingredients may be used to fill them, and they are simple to prepare.
The pepper is another option. Sliced bell peppers may be packed with your preferred ingredients to create a delicious wrap. Make your own almond flour flaxseed wraps if you want something more original. While still tasty and light, these wraps include protein and fiber.
Nutritional Benefits of Wheat Tortilla
Instead of using masa, soft wheat Tortillas are made mostly from wheat. The following ingredients are listed under the Mission Foods brand: Water, vegetable shortening (soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, and/or palm oil), enriched bleached wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic acid), and less than 2% of the other ingredients like salt, sugar, Sodium Bicarbonate, sodium Aluminum sulfate, corn starch, Monocalcium Phosphate and sodium acid (to preserve freshness).
The ingredients for preparing flour Tortillas are as follows,
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons lard
- 1 ½ cups water
Steps For Preparation of Wheat Tortilla
- Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Rub in lard with your fingers until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together
- Transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead for a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball
- Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Use a well-floured rolling pin to roll a dough ball into a thin, round tortilla. Place into the hot skillet, and cook until bubbly and golden; flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side. Place the cooked tortilla in a warmer; continue rolling and cooking the remaining dough
Benefits of Wheat Tortilla
For people who are attempting to lose weight, flour tortillas may be a healthy addition to their diet, but it’s crucial to read the label and make informed decisions. When compared to tortillas prepared from refined flour, ones made from whole wheat or other whole grains can offer more fiber and minerals.
Tortillas made with whole-grain flour include more fiber and complex carbs than those made with refined flour. Because these complex carbohydrates break down slowly, they can help maintain stable blood sugar levels and prolong feelings of fullness. They could also be lower in calories and carbs than tortillas made from refined flour. But not all flour tortillas are created equal; certain versions purchased from stores may have hazardous additives like high-fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils.
The flour used to make tortillas is maize, which is high in fiber and lowers cholesterol. These tortillas are prepared with nutritious, low-calorie components that are beneficial for weight loss.
Along with calcium, niacin, folic acid, and vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, this has a high fiber content. The following are a few advantages of eating corn tortillas for exercise: Enhances the thickness, strength, and suppleness of the muscles and tendons.
Do Flour Tortillas Go Bad?
Yes, flour tortillas can go bad. The shelf life of flour tortillas should be one week in the pantry and three to four weeks in the refrigerator. If you store your handmade tortillas in a pantry, you can continue to consume them for two to three days beyond the marked expiration date. You may still eat them within 5-7 days if you store them in the refrigerator.
Flour tortillas are a healthy part of the diet. They often include more calories, fat, and salt than corn-based alternatives, but they also offer extra vitamins and minerals that can help maintain a balanced diet. But maize tortillas are the best choice if you want to be as healthy as possible. Compared to flour tortillas, they are lower in fat and calories and include fiber and whole grains.
When compared to whole-wheat bread and whole-wheat pasta, corn tortillas have a little less fiber, important vitamins, and minerals, even though they can be a decent source of whole grain. The magnesium level of corn tortillas was lower than that of whole-wheat bread and pasta, which was the most notable difference.
With a 1 oz piece of flour tortilla comprising about 60–65 calories as opposed to 75–100 for the same quantity of bread, flour tortillas typically have fewer calories than bread. Additionally, they offer up to 1.8g of fiber per 1oz piece compared to 0.6g in bread, making them more fiber-rich than bread. Because of this, flour tortillas are a preferable choice for anyone trying to consume more fiber and maintain excellent digestive health.