Monday, January 29, 2018

Home Made Flour Tortillas and Low-Oxalate Foods

Painting by HenryMargetson

I received this recipe from my friend Janet. I have altered it to suit my own tastes and dietary requirements.

I use these ingredients:

There are many brands of unbleached flour but this is ground finer and easy to work with. There are other brands and it is also available in bulk foods at your market.  Fine flour is not the same as refined, and this is a fine flour, sifted, and there is some that is organic and is often mixed with barley flour.  I will explain at the end of the post why I use this flour. 

Any natural salt, such as pink, or real salt.  I like the Australian sea salt.

Light tasting olive oil, or oil of your choice. I use this because the oil is not too heavy in the fine flour and not overpowering in flavor.

2 and 1/2 cup unbleached light pastry flour  
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light tasting olive oil
1 cup warm water (her note says not from warm tap water)

Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl
In another bowl mix liquids
Combine both and mix until it forms a ball.  Don't worry about it being sticky.

Divide the dough into 12 parts and cover with a plate while you roll out one piece into a tortilla. 

Dough will be elastic. (It should not be the same consistency as a pie crust)

Dust the rolling surface with flour and press the dough into it, then turn over to the other side and roll out as large as you require. 

Place parchment paper between each tortilla after rolling it out.

Heat about a teaspoon of oil in pan, on medium heat.  Spread it around to about the size of your tortilla.

Brown each tortilla both sides and stack between parchment (optional). The tortilla will form brown spots on each side.

Adjust the heat if necessary.

The pan is supposed to be almost dry for cooking tortillas but you can add a drop of oil now and then. You want your tortillas to be dry, not greasy.

Prepare filling:

Everyone has their favorite taco filling. I brown the meat of my choice with dried onions, Italian seasoning and salt and melt in cream cheese after all that is cooked, to make a sauce, which gives a good flavor.

The difference between these home made tortillas and commercial ones is what happens to your teeth!  Children say they are much easier to chew, adults say they are not so rubbery and tough as commercial tortillas.

You can store the cooked tortillas in a ziplock bag  in the refrigerator for later use.

Some of us concerned about additives in our foods like this because there are only four natural ingredients rather than 20 unpronounceable things. Have you noticed the ingredient list on the tortilla package you buy? Some people are adversely affected by some of those ingredients.

I divide this recipe into fourths when I don't want to stand there rolling out all those tortillas and am pressed for time, or if there are only a few people to feed. I sometimes only make four tortillas.  The dough does not store as well as the cooked tortillas so I don't refrigerate the dough. It does not roll  out as well when it is not freshly made, but you can decide for yourself. You can also make smaller tortillas with this batch, which will make 24 small ones.

Low Oxalate Foods:

This is something that was originally discovered effective for people who had a tendency to form kidney stones, but later on it was found to be very effective for people suffering from sinus.

Oxalates in foods cause crystals to form in your membranes, creating pain. They are usually rough foods like whole grains, dark chocolate, and even broccoli.  You can get a low oxalate food list on the web.  

Find a list of high Oxalate foods on the web, and you may be able to see some foods which may be causing you pain.

Sometimes as we get older, or maybe after surgery, or pregnancy, and other things, the membranes 
in sinuses and kidney areas become thin and sensitive, and the high Oxalate foods  contribute to kidney stones and severe sinusitis or sinus headaches.

I never had a a problem with sinus til I began consuming whole grains (including oats and wheat.). I knew broccoli was very good for me and I liked potatoes and nuts a lot, and a whole host of high-oxalate foods.

While certain essential oils did help me AFTER I got a sinus infection, I found that eliminating some of these foods that were harsh on my membranes, prevented the sinus from coming in the first place.
Now, when I do have a little of the foods high in oxalates, I feel that twinge of pain in my face and I immediately know what food caused it.

I found it is okay to consume the foods higher in oxalates, when done so only occasionally and not in large amounts. 

One reason I use the unbleached flour is that it does not have the rough oxalates that form the crystals in the sensitive membranes of the body.  I make bread from this flour and other things requiring flour.

I learned also that some of these rough foods can be awfully hard on children's digestive systems.

The best information I have ever found on this subject is on the websites about Oxalate foods. The comments from people who share the outcome using low oxalate foods are a real education. 

Another thing to watch out for when dealing with the propensity to kidney stones is anxiety and outbursts of anger, which can cause certain kind of kidney stones to form.  It is so interesting how the emotions effect the health of the body.

I realize this may not benefit every reader, but perhaps may be of interest to some of you.


Nancy said...

This certainly was of interest, thank you! I've only recently discovered that my sinus trouble was caused by what I was eating rather than outdoor allergies. I was not familiar with the term oxalates, and am grateful for the education. One thing that has helped me tremendously is switching to einkorn flour, which is wheat as it used to be before it was genetically altered. After reading your post, I wondered if einkorn is also much lower in oxalates than modern wheat, and learned that indeed it is. is a help for anyone interested in learning about einkorn flour. I am interested in reading more about oxalates. Thank you so much!

Lydia said...

Thanks for this information Nancy. I see it's also unbromated. After I make another batch of tortillas with it I will change the picture!

One Shabby Old House said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog today. Reading yours has left me wanting tacos! I have never made a homemade tortillas before however you made me think about so many things that I will have to try your recipe. I am trying to eat better with this new year and I like the idea of knowing exactly what is in my foods. Thank you for the lesson today!

Mary Sorensen said...

Thank you so much for this information, Lydia. We learned about high/low oxalates because of my husband's trouble with kidney stones, but I had NO idea that they affected the sinuses too which I'm experiencing a lot of sinus problems this year. Will have to do much more studying up on this and see if I can find out which culprit I'll have to cut out of our meals! : )

Thanks again!!

living from glory to glory said...

Hello, While I do not have a sinus problem, I have had digestive issues from dairy. But realizing what is causing it for yourself is the best! Now, you can regulate how much and how often. I bet many suffer from this very same problem! Great informational post today. Thank you...

Lydia said...

As I always thought certain root vegetables, grains, some kinds of fruits which were organic and natural were good for me, I prepared them often, not realizing those foods high in oxalates we're putting painful particles in my sinus membranes. It's important you read comments on the Oxalate information blogs to find out just how it can effect you, and how to avoid being too drastic in your reduction of these things.
6:29 PM

Janet Westrup said...

Lydia, you have the most beautiful artwork.Thank you for sharing all this information.

Emmarinda said...

Hi Lydia,

I knew oxalates were bad for the kidneys, but didn't realize they could affect the sinuses. I have had sinus trouble in the last couple of years, so I am most interested in how to take care of this area of my health. I have just spent the last week in bed due to some kind of flu-like virus, and although I am no longer running fevers, I find I am feeling so weak and drained of energy. Anything I can do to get my stamina back is what I am looking for. Do you have any tips on foods to help with that?

Thanks and God bless!


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