I am lucky nobody in our family has food allergies or food sensitivities. But I know so many people do these days. I came up with this gluten free and grain free tortilla recipe for a friend of mine whose child had some pretty serious gut issues following a long-term course of antibiotics. After following a Leaky Gut Diet protocol, the gut issues are gone and the little boy is back to his usual happy (and hungry!) self. However, my friend is still nervous about reintroducing certain foods to her son’s diet too soon. She is especially worried about reintroducing wheat and gluten-containing foods until she is 100% confident the gut issues are resolved.
Anyone who is a parent can attest to the fact that it can be difficult to get your child to like new foods. If you raise your kids on white pasta then they are probably not going to be particularly enthused if you try to replace it with sprouted Ezekiel pasta. This was the scenario my friend was running up against when she tried to replace her son’s favorite food, tortillas, with one “gut friendly” grain free tortilla recipe after the other. He wouldn’t eat them.
And that’s how the whole gluten free/ grain free tortilla recipe challenge began…
My Gluten Free / Grain Free Tortilla Recipe Challenge
I tried multiple different recipe variations to come up with this recipe, but it was definitely a challenge. It was particularly challenging because the recipe had to meet the following criteria:
- It had to be nutrient-dense
- Could not contain refined flour (such as tapioca flour)
- Could not contain refined oil
- It had to taste amazing
- Had to be easy (a lot of tortilla recipes are difficult to handle)
After a number of failed attempts I finally came up with a recipe that we all agree tastes better than conventional tortillas! And much to my friend’s delight, this actually ended up being the easiest tortilla recipe she has ever made.
A Note About Cassava Flour
The cassava flour (see photo left) might be the only ingredient you are not familiar with. This is a relatively new “whole food” gluten free flour for me and I have absolutely fallen in love with it. From both a nutrition and cooking standpoint, cassava flour has been one of my most favorite new clean food finds in a long time.
Cassava Flour is Made From a Root Vegetable (Yuca Root)
Just like the popular gluten free tapioca flour, cassava is made from the same starchy vegetable called cassava root (also known as yuca root).
However, unlike tapioca flour, cassava is an unrefined flour. Tapioca flour is made from the bleached and extracted starch of the cassava root. Cassava flour is made from the “whole” cassava root, making it a “whole food” flour that is also rich in antioxidant vitamin C and fiber. If you have our Clean Cuisine book, you know it is far better from a nutrition standpoint to eat the “whole” plant.
Best of all, cassava flour has a delicious flavor and texture that I have found to be even better than white whole wheat flour.
Cassava flour is easy to find these days at just about any natural foods store. And of course you can always buy it at online grocery stores too. You can read more about why I love cassava flour so much in the blog post I did for gluten and dairy free brownies.
I now don’t know how I managed raising our (very active) 16-year old son, Blake, for so long without this staple recipe.
Pin this graphic for later!
Anyone who has ever raised a son knows that a growing boy can eat! It can be hard to keep up with a child or teenager’s appetite while also trying to raise them on a clean diet. But if you have a stack of tortillas you can make healthy (and filling!) meals in minutes. Pretty much anything goes between or on top of a tortilla.
Blake is especially fond of tostadas made with my “clean” refried black beans (this recipe is in the soon-to-be-released Clean Cuisine Cookbook!) But we also do eggs, chicken, hummus, sautéed veggies and even fruit! One of his absolute favorite after school snacks is a tortilla spread with almond butter or peanut butter topped with sliced fruit (apples, nectarines, pears and bananas are especially good.)
For those of you with food allergies and food sensitivities, it’s helpful to know this recipe meets the following dietary restrictions:
Egg Free / Grain Free / Bean-Free / Gluten Free / Paleo Friendly / Vegetarian / Vegan/
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cassava flour, almond flour and salt. Add the oil and use clean hands to combine ingredients. Add water and knead until dough is nice and smooth. The dough should not be too dry or too wet and sticky. If the dough is too dry (i.e., crumbly and not forming into a ball), add warm water 1 teaspoon at a time. If the dough is too sticky (i.e., sticking to your finger when you touch it), add flour 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Divide the dough into 10 equal size balls (each ball should be about 2 heaping tablespoons) and roll each ball in your hands.
- Place each ball between two pieces of parchment paper, put a thin cutting board or other firm flat object on top of the parchment paper and use your hands to press down until the ball flattens into the shape of a tortilla. Repeat with each dough ball.
- Place a 10 or 12-inch seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and let it heat for several minutes. Once the skillet is hot, add the tortillas 2 or 3 at a time, and heat each tortilla for about 1 minute, or until bubbles start to form. Flip, and cook on the other side for another minute or so. Serve warm or store in a plastic bag in the fridge for 3 days or the freezer for 3 weeks.
P.S. If you like the gluten free / grain free tortilla recipe, you might also want to check out my recipe for homemade tortilla chips!