Early Mexicans didn’t have table cutlery (obviously). That’s why they invented something much better: The tortilla!
It seems almost every Mexican dish takes tortillas in one way or another. It’s really a turn off for keto dieters who previously loved to enjoy Mexican food.
Let’s play a game: How many Mexican foods can you remember, from the top of your head, that are not served with tortillas? Let me know in the comments. You can’t play if you are Mexican or lived in Mexico, that wouldn’t be fair… But in this case, please let us
eat drink from your knowledge by sharing the keto tortilla-less opportunities of the Mexican cuisine we are missing😋
The list of Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes that ask for tortillas is just… depressing, from a keto perspective. The outrageously delicious collection below is by no means exhaustive:
- Taco – A small tortilla topped with a variety of fillings, and eaten by hand. In Mexico, the word taco is actually a generic term, like sandwich. Everything you can call a sandwich, but use a tortilla for, you can call a taco.
- Fajita – Yes, it’s basically meat and vegetables. But it’s usually served with tortillas (unless you have a brilliant idea). This is the best dish to ask if eating out on keto, as the tortillas are served on the side and it’s (relatively) easy to skip on them.
- Chalupa – It’s a deep fried tortilla, made in a concave boat shape to better hold more fillings. (I like the way they think!)
- Tostada – Tortillas that are too old to be eaten fresh are deep fried (think day old bread made into toast or pudding). The tortilla shape is flat, as opposed to chalupas, and fillings are put on top.
- Enchillada – Tortillas rolled up with fillings, covered in salsa or mole and crema (similar to sour cream) and baked in the oven. This mouthwatering creation is incredibly similar to Italian cannelloni, or Brazilian savory pancakes. But oh-so-much better.
- Chimichanga – A deep fried burrito. It has the best name ever. Just pronouncing it makes me want to eat it.
- Chillaquiles – A breakfast (!) dish of fried nachos topped with salsa.
- Quesadillas – Sandwich style tortillas traditionally filled with Oaxaca melted cheese, or with both cheese and ham, then called sincronizadas. Outside Mexico, the most common fillings for quesadillas are shredded chicken and cheese.
So, in order to not miss out in all this deliciousness… us keto people have to get our tortilla business in order. These keto tortillas are surprisingly simple and fast to make! You don’t need any food processor or standing mixer – the dough comes together just by mixing the flours with fat and hot water, using a large spatula or wooden spoon.
They are also healthy – and you can’t really say this for many tortillas out there. They’re nut and dairy-free, packed with protein, and if you need fiber to function and are missing it on keto, this is the ideal recipe for you. The fiber content is great and varied, thanks to the flax meal and psyllium husks added – and it can even be increased if you add some oat fiber to the mix.
What are the ingredients for the keto flexible flax tortilla wraps?
The flour base: an equal mix of pea protein powder and flax meal (or flour). You can use either golden or brown flax meal, whichever you have at hand. Just make sure, if you are grinding your own, to powder it as well as you can. Don’t be lazy like me, and leave some bits and pieces unprocessed.
(You can see some flax seeds on my tortillas, but it wasn’t my intention. That’s because I decided to grind all the stuff I had on the same day – psyllium husks to powder, then sunflower seeds to meal, then granulated erythritol to powdered, and when I finally got to the flax seeds I was so sick of standing, grinding, washing and drying that I didn’t do a very good job.)
If you want to increase the fiber content of this keto tortillas recipe even more, while reducing the overall amount of calories, you can substitute one third of the flours for oat fiber, making it in a three flour combination. That’s how I initially developed the recipe, and it was great. But, since then, I ran out of oat fiber and tried the recipe using only pea protein and flax meal half and half. It also made wonderful tortillas, so that’s how I’ve been doing lately.
Psyllium husk powder and xanthan gum: to give the tortillas the needed elasticity for stretching the dough and making it pliable. The dough in these keto tortillas will roll out smoothly as a traditional tortilla and it won’t break.
Hot water and fat mixture: we’ll pour boiling water mixed with melted lard on top of the dry ingredients, which will cook and bind the flours together while quickly activating the mucilaginous properties of the flax meal, helping form a flexible dough.
Salt and spices: We’re adding salt, garlic powder and cumin to flavor these tortillas. But here’s another reason why I call this a flexible recipe (besides the tortillas being physically flexible): You can easily change up the spices to make them a perfect base for different dishes.
Add paprika or chili powder, if would like some extra heat. If you are more interested in using these as flat breads or wraps, for your daily ham and cheese rolls, you can leave the spices out for a blander taste. For an Indian food taste twist, some curry powder and turmeric powder are great flavor additions – my favorite combo, actually!
How to make keto flax meal and pea protein tortillas?
This keto tortilla is simple to make, quite elastic, and it will hold fillings very well.
The recipe as written makes 12 tortillas weighting about 45 grams each, with a diameter of 15 cm (6 inches) – the size of the pan lid I used. But you can choose to make more, smaller tortillas or less, bigger tortillas, based on the diameter of the lid you’ll be using to cut them out.
Simply mix the dry ingredients and add hot water with fat to form the dough
Start by adding all dry ingredients into a large bowl: flax meal, pea protein, oat fiber (if using), xanthan gum, psyllium husk, salt and spices. Mix all these ingredients very well, until they become one homogeneous powder.
Boil the water with lard in a pan, or in a jug in the microwave. Mix it so the lard is completely dissolved.
Carefully pour the hot water and fat mixture onto the dry ingredients (1), while slowly mixing with a large spatula or wooden spoon.
Continue mixing everything, until it comes together, forming a dough. Don’t be gentle. (2) You can use the following technique: make stabbing motions with the spatula, cutting the dough, then fold it and press it down – smashing the dough against the bottom and sides of the bowl. Repeat this process until it’s all evenly smooth. The consistency is like a warm play dough.
Cover the dough with a plastic film (3), and let it rest for about 20 minutes, enough that it’s cooled enough for you to handle it (4).
Separate the dough into balls and roll them out to form the keto tortillas
Separate the dough into even sized balls (5) – I initially separated into 8 balls, but you’ll get more balls from the scraps. That’s how I made it to 12 tortillas.
Prepare your non-stick surface: I used a silicone mat. They are ideal to open dough without having to “flour” the surface.
Take one ball of dough, and press it down with your hand until it’s flattened. Use a rolling pin, continue spreading the dough, from the center to the edges, until the tortilla is about half a centimeter thick or a bit less (6). You don’t need to apply force here, the dough is very delicate and easy to spread.
Using a pan cover with your desired tortilla diameter (for 12 tortillas use a 15 cm/6″ lid), press it down onto the stretched dough and slightly twist to cut the round tortilla out (7).
Carefully lift up the tortilla with your fingertips, and set aside (8). Repeat these steps until you run out of dough balls, and as you collect the scraps form them into new balls to be rolled out.
After cooking the tortillas, tuck them in
After rolling out all the tortillas, prepare their “bed”: Put a thick tea towel that’s big enough to completely wrap all the pile of tortillas in open inside a plate.
When you start cooking the tortillas, as they get ready, you’ll pile them up inside the tea towel, folding the extra fabric above the tortillas. This will keep the steamy moisture on the tortillas, preventing them from drying as they cool down, which will keep them soft and flexible.
To cook the tortillas, use a non-stick or seasoned cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. It’s not necessary to add oil to the pan. Get the pan very hot before adding the first tortilla.
Cook each tortilla for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until you get the nice charred marks. But don’t overcook: if the tortilla loses too much moisture it won’t be pliable anymore, it will harden and it might crack when you fold over the fillings. You can still use it for nachos, though.
Can we make bigger, burrito like tortillas?
Sure! The recipe as is will make 12 tortillas with a 15 centimeters (6 inches) diameter, which is the ideal size for tacos – eating it just folded over the fillings in your hand. But you can use a larger pan lid to cut them out, which will make larger tortillas that would hold much more fillings and even be rolled as burritos.
You must be more careful when lifting your keto tortillas out of the cutting area to the pan, as when they get larger they will also be heavier which increases the risk of breaking/ripping them. I’ve successfully made 22 centimeters (8 1/2 inches) tortillas, so up to this size I can guarantee that they will endure.
Keep in mind, though, that you’ll get less tortillas out of the recipe. You can easily solve this by making more of it!
Can you freeze the keto flax and pea protein tortillas?
Yes they freeze perfectly! This is a great perk of this recipe: You can easily double the ingredients to make enough of the tortillas to freeze, so you can have your base for Mexican toppings or any keto wrap ideas you can think of, anytime.
Wrap them up in a couple of turns of cling film, individually, or stacked up in the number you intend to use at a time. They will keep as good as fresh for at least 3 months. Whenever you feel like eating them, remove from the freezer and leave on the counter for about 20 minutes until they reach room temperature. Add your favorite fillings!
Share with your friends,
they might cook for you!
- 100 grams pea protein
- 100 grams flax meal or flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoon psyllium husk powder
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 50 grams lard
- 350 grams boiling water
- ½ teaspoon fine grain salt
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
- 1/2 tablespoon curry powder (optional)
- Mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Boil the water with lard in a pan, or in a jug in the microwave. Mix it so the lard is completely dissolved.
- Carefully pour the hot water and fat mixture onto the dry ingredients.
- Using a large spatula or wooden spoon, mix everything until it comes together, forming a dough. Don't be gentle.
- Cover the dough with a plastic film, and let it rest for about 20 minutes, until cool enough to handle.
- Separate the dough into even sized balls. (I initially separated into 8 balls, but you'll get more balls from the scraps)
- Take one ball of dough, and press it down with your hand until it's flattened. Use a rolling pin and continue spreading the dough, from the center to the edges, until the tortilla is about half a centimeter thick or a bit less.
- Using a pan cover, press it down onto the stretched dough and give it a twist to cut the tortilla out.
- Carefully lift up the tortilla with your fingertips, and set aside. Repeat these steps until you run out of dough balls, and as you collect the scraps form them into new balls.
- Prepare the tortilla "bed": Put a thick tea towel that's big enough to wrap all tortillas in open inside a plate.
- To cook the tortillas, use a non-stick or seasoned cast iron shallow pan on medium-high heat. It’s not necessary to add oil to the pan. Get the pan very hot before adding the first tortilla.
- Cook each tortilla for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until you get the nice charred marks.
- As they get ready, pile them up inside the tea towel bed, folding the extra fabric over them.
US Cups approximate conversion: Use 1 cup of pea protein, 1 cup flax meal or flour, and 3 tablespoons of lard. Other ingredients as indicated.
Be careful not to overcook the tortillas. If the tortilla loses too much moisture it won’t be pliable anymore, it will harden and it might crack when you fold over the fillings.
For the same reason, it's super important to keep the tortillas wrapped inside in the warmth within the tea towel as soon as they get cooked, so they keep their softness.
If you'd like to increase the fiber content and cut down the amount of calories in the recipe, you can substitute 1/3 of oat fiber. The adapted flour quantities are: 70 grams of oat fiber, 70 grams of pea protein, and 70 grams of flax meal flour. In US cups, use ½ cup of each.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 158Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 106mgCarbohydrates: 13gNet Carbohydrates: 1gFiber: 4gSugar: 0gProtein: 10g
Nutrition information is provided as a guideline only. Different brands of ingredients may have different nutrition facts. If tracking macros, remake the calculations using the nutrition facts from the labels of the ingredients you selected. Net carbs calculated exclude carbs from insoluble fiber and the sugar alcohol erythritol.