Most tortillas are vegan but some are not. One major benefit of living in the 21st century is the relative ease of practicing a vegan lifestyle. Gone are the days of sacrificing your favourite foods for practicing veganism. Now you can be eating everything you always did in a sustainable and cruelty free manner. Conveniently too, because almost all vegan food options are now easily available in your nearest grocery store. Even if they are not, making them at home takes less time and is always fulfilling. But are tortillas vegan?
Tortillas were discovered by Spaniards as a fascinating food of the ancient Mexican Aztec civilization. You’ll find out that corn tortillas were the original majorly staple diet in Mexico, but they have since been made of wheat flour too. Tortillas are generally vegan. It was seen before the 1990’s, though, that many authentic Mexican restaurants incorporated lard as an ingredient in their wheat flour tortillas. It was eventually withdrawn because of the rising health concerns about the suitability of lard as a food ingredient.
Are Tortillas Vegan? an insight of the ingredients used
As a responsible vegan, you should always be aware of the animal derived ingredients that could be a part of your meals. Mexican food is popular all over the globe for its authentic flavours and to-die-for satisfaction.There is a lot of emphasis on wholesomeness and nutrition and although a lot of mainstream Mexican food employs meat and non-vegan additives, possible vegan alternatives are always available at most sites. It is good to stay safe while visiting traditional Mexican outlets and remember to inquire whether they use lard and if their products are adequate for consumption by a vegan.
A standard tortilla utilizes these ingredients : wheat flour, vegetable shortening, salt, sugar, water, and leavening.
Commercial tortilla outlets and brands incorporate their own specific secret ingredients to make their food stand out. You can always check the company’s website or go through the ingredients list of the product. Animals based additives will often be listed as obscure names you will require yourself to familiarize with. Be on a look out for any mention of gelatin or casein in the ingredients. Out at a restaurant, you can always ask.
In testing the veganism of Corn Tortillas, we found out that they are entirely made of corn flour and water, so yes. Corn Tortillas are definitely vegan. Corn Tortillas were also the first kind of tortillas humans were blessed with. The ancient Mexican Aztecs considered Corn to be the staple energy giving food. They stored the corn to let it dry and then ground it into cornmeal which was used to make dough.
It may appear to be a simple process, but making corn tortillas requires precise estimation of the temperature and the amount of water you put in the dough to achieve the perfect consistency. Inadequate consideration of these factors could lead to a mess in the kitchen and no tortillas! You roll the dough into your dream circles once the desired consistency is attained and then you flatten the dough with wet hands. The next step is to place these discs on a griddle that Mexicans refer to as ‘comal’ and watch yourself how corn tortillas are a dream come true and entirely vegan.
Flour tortillas may or may not be vegan
The key ingredients in making flour tortillas, as we’ve mentioned before, are: all purpose flour, baking soda, oil, salt, and water. But many flour tortillas may also contain lard. Lard, a pig product, is a big repellant for vegans. You should always assure that your flour tortilla is free of lard.
Some vegans point out the use of white flour and white sugar in making tortillas. The process undertaken to bleach sugar white employs bone char. Though this hasn’t been proven for white flour, white sugar is generally not used by vegans.
Wheat tortillas are considered entirely vegan
Your wheat tortilla is essentially made of whole wheat flour, oil, salt, and water, in right amounts to make the ideal consistency perfect for your favourite snack. This type of tortillas are growing fast in the whole Mexican food industry.
Mexican food is widely eaten all over America. The growing number of hispanics in America contribute one factor. Another is the undeniable popularity of Mexican food for obvious reasons. It is possible to create innumerable dishes using tortillas. Tortillas are a versatile food option that can be used to make both desserts and savory dishes.
Other than that, tortillas also prove to be a healthy food option. A standard tortilla is rich in protein, fiber, iron, and B-vitamins. Healthier options have emerged to suit the increasing demand in the population.
Now various types of tortillas are available in the grocery store to suit your particular health based requirements : Organic, Non-GMO, Wheat free, Gluten free, Vegetable based, Vegan.
Vegans should be aware of these Vegan tortilla brands
Many tortilla producers have made changes in their manufacturing process to suit vegans. If you are looking forward to incorporating tortillas in your diet, this is good news. We have brought to you a list of trusted brands that supply truly vegan tortillas.
365 brand Whole Wheat Tortillas
These tortillas are easily available at Whole Foods. They are organic, natural, and vegan. One loved feature of this brand is that their tortillas are made entirely of whole grain. They are healthy, trusted, and also economical.
Food for Life Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortillas
Sold by Food for life Ezekiel, these tortillas are a great opportunity for vegans. All natural ingredients like barley, lentils, wheat, beans, millet, and spelt are used in making this product. These are known to be a favourite amongst many who desire diverse all natural ingredients.
Rudis Gluten Free Fiesta Tortillas
This brand supplies tortillas for your perfect spiced up burritos and literally everything else. Their tortillas come in different sizes to choose from and some of the key ingredients are onion, garlic, jalapeno, and red bell peppers, and veganism!
Engine 2 Sprouted Grain Wraps
This brand should be considered if you are a fan of authenticity along with natural ingredients and a promise of veganism. The ingredients in these tortillas are four sprouted grains: spelt, millet, emmer, and quinoa. Low in sodium, high in fiber, and with no added oils, these tortillas are a vegan’s dream come true.
Raw Wraps Vegan Spinach Wraps
This certified vegan brand supplies handmade tortillas made in the USA. The ingredients include spinach, onion, apple, psyllium husk, and quinoa. Known to be rich in antioxidants and Vitamins A and C, low in sodium, high in fiber, these tortillas are soy free, gluten and paleo, raw, and definitely vegan!
WrawP original wraps
These tortillas are made out of fresh organic fruits and vegetables. These are not only vegan, they are gluten free, non GMO, low in carbohydrates, and rich in antioxidants.
Green Leaf Foods Raw Spinach Wraps
These tortillas are made of raw fruits and vegetable ingredients. Each packet will have five large tortillas low in sodium, rich in fiber and antioxidants. They are known to be soy free, gluten free, paleo, and like all tortillas, a healthy and versatile food choice.
Sunfood Superfoods Raw Vegan Coconut Wraps
These certified non-GMO, raw, paleo, gluten free, vegan tortillas are rich in fiber and antioxidants and make for a perfectly healthy vegan choice.
The world has seen the rise of famous tortilla outlets that you definitely crave and expect to consider vegan food options. We have answered the quest of veganism for your favourite tortilla outlets and the most popular mexican food brands.
So is your favourite tortilla outlet vegan?
Mission is one of the most famous tortilla brands with their wide range of tortillas including wheat, corn, and flour made tortillas and the gluten free, artisan style, and better-for-you options.
According to the manufacturer, none of the ingredients in their tortillas are derived from animals and their list of vegan friendly ones include: flour tortillas, corn tortillas, pre-fried tortilla strips and chips, un-fried tortilla strips and chips, taco shells, tostadas.
Though Mission claims that their company does not use animal derived products, some vegans find the use of enzymes problematic. It is well known that some enzymes used in food products are derived from animals. So even if the packet says ‘vegan’, it is necessary to search for this keyword in the ingredients.
There are other great options for tortillas in the market if the prospect of consuming food with enzymes troubles you.
Guerrero is a popular tortilla brand you would have often seen in the supermarket. These come in wheat, corn, and flour variants and the list of ingredients suggests that these tortillas are vegan: ground corn treated with lime, cellulose, water, gum, benzoic acid, propionic acid, phosphoric acid, guar, and amylase. Yes, amylase.
Amylase is described as an enzyme that breaks down starch into a simpler form and is derived from bacterial, fungal, or animal sources. You would be relieved to know that the amylase used in Guerrero tortillas is derived from fungal microorganisms and is plant based. The mono and diglycerides emulsifiers listed in the ingredients are also plant based.
Guerrero tortillas are vegan.
Chipotle has distinctly mentioned in their website that their tortillas are indeed vegan. They have also made it clear that their food items commonly paired with tortillas are also vegan: chips, beans, vegetables, rice, guacamole, and salsa.
Chipotle has a well known vegan meat substitute called Sofritas that they launched back in 2014.
Needless to say, you don’t have to worry at Chipotle.
PETA has clearly notified Taco Bell’s tortillas, rice, beans, potatoes, and guacamole and is vegan friendly. But before we declare them as safe for vegans, we need to take certain factors into consideration. While the restaurant can prepare vegan recipes with vegan ingredients suit our needs, they have no provision to let us know if our vegan preparations come in contact with their non vegan meat products.
It is often doubted whether the frying oil is different for vegan and non-vegan preparations. While their tortillas are essentially vegan, it is good to assure yourself if their method of food preparation suits your comfort.
Make your own Tortillas!
While there are many options available in the market, we understand if you still don’t trust them. Capitalist manufacture often doesn’t pay heed to ethics. So we have brought for you a simple tortilla recipe that’ll have you munching on your favourite snack in no time.
You need the following ingredients:
- One tbsp salt
- Three cups of flour
- Half tbsp baking soda
- Half tbsp sugar
- Six tbsp canola oil
- One and a half cups of water
Step 1: Mix all your dry ingredients in a bowl and then add oil and water.
Step 2: Mix the dough together with your hands until the mixture becomes stiff and add more water into the mix if needed.
Step 3: Knead the dough into a smooth and elastic consistency and set it aside for 5 to 10 minutes. It will be easier to roll the dough if you set it aside in a greased pan covered with a damp cloth.
Step 4: Now you have to divide your dough into 12 equal parts and turn each piece into a ball.
Step 5: Use a rolling pin to roll one ball into a very thin piece and do the same for others.
Step 6: Put a non stick pan over medium heat and fry one of your thinly rolled pieces for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. The colour of the tortilla piece will be white when it will be cooked.
The possibilities with tortillas are endless. One tortilla could be a part of Mexican lasagna, cannoelonis, tostados, chimichangas, chips, burritos, quesadillas, salsa, vegetable wraps, mini pizzas, french toasts, and almost everything. This has made tortillas rise in the market. With this, it becomes important to know which of the big tortilla manufacturers are safe for consumption by vegans and which are not.