You may have heard that Mexican Food can many times fall under the category of entirely vegan. It’s true, corn, beans, and rice are all vegan.
If you take out the animal products, such as eggs, chicken, beef, and pork that are commonly served alongside these, then you’ll be able to easily assemble a vegan Mexican meal. But specifically, are corn tortillas vegan?
The answer is yes. Corn tortillas generally contain no animal byproducts, and when filled with beans, rice, and other vegetables, they can make a tasty vegan meal.
But let’s take a closer look at corn tortillas and vegan options when it comes to Mexican cuisine. Read on to learn all you need to know about vegan corn tortillas.
A Main Staple of Mexican Food
Corn has been the cornerstone of Mexican cuisine for hundreds of years, as Mexico’s generally warm and arid climates are perfect for growing it. However, you may have heard that humans have a hard time digesting corn, and this is true.
Corn contains several amino acids that are difficult for the human body to process unless paired with other agents during digestion.
A perfect way for the human body to be able to access and process the amino acids found in corn is by eating them alongside another staple of Mexican cuisine, beans. Beans contain high levels of lysine, and when digested alongside corn, that lysine will help your body break down the nutrients found in corn. Your body will then be able to break them down into the proteins it needs.
Besides being a potential source of nutrients, corn has other pluses too. In addition to rice and quinoa, it is also gluten-free. It is also very low in fat and high in fiber.
And if you want a corn option that has less sugar in it, the other multicolored varieties grown in Latin America are the choice for you.
Because modern yellow corn has been bred to taste sweeter and sweeter over the years, there is the higher sugar content. The multicolored variety is less sweet because it contains less sugar and is probably healthier all around.
Whichever variety you decide you like best, whole kernels of corn make a fantastic addition to any vegan dish. This is especially true in savory soups and chili.
They also will add texture and flavor to vegan salsas, so keep that in mind the next time you decide to cook some up at home. You may also find corn in a liquified drink form, sweetened to make it almost a dessert.
If you really want to switch things up, you can get ahold of some corn masa harina and make your own corn tortillas from scratch. This is the best way to ensure no non-vegan additives were used in the composition of your tortillas. This leads us to the main point of this article, corn tortillas.
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Corn tortillas are generally smaller in size than their flour counterparts, often made in just the right size to be used for tacos. Tortillas are an essential staple in the Mexican diet. In fact, every town or city in Mexico is sure to have at least one specialized bakery that produces only tortillas to satisfy the local population’s need for tortillas.
Most of these tortillas you’ll find will be vegan, free of animal byproducts, but you might want to make your own if you value freshness. Tortillas bought at the store or at a bakery may be days old.
But how do you know if a corn tortilla is truly vegan or not? Well, you can be sure any corn tortilla you find has no animal byproducts in its ingredients because most of them contain nothing more than ground up corn.
And because they lack gluten, if you make them too large, they’ll break apart. This is another factor that accounts for their being on the smaller end of the scale.
The larger tortillas you’ll see in burritos or quesadillas are always flour tortillas, which traditionally contain tallow or lard. But thankfully nowadays there are plenty of flour tortillas that are vegan as well.
Any major supermarket or grocery store should have organic whole wheat tortillas if you prefer them over corn tortillas.
Corn tortillas being vegan also extends to corn tortilla chips. They are made in essentially the same fashion, although some brands may contain oil or fat from animals, so be sure to check the ingredients or look for a vegan label.
Because the yellow and white varieties of corn are heavily produced, you can expect heavy pesticide use and GMO’s in the tortilla chips made from them. You might want to spend a bit extra for an organic alternative if you’re looking to limit the amount of pesticide heavy food you eat.
If you’ve been wondering now for a while whether or not corn tortillas are vegan, you can rest assured that they are. We hope the information we’ve outlined for you today about the virtues of corn as a vegan food has helped you on your vegan journey.
Remember to check the ingredients on the back of the packaging for any tortillas you buy in the store unless there is a vegan label clearly marked on it.
If you simply don’t trust the supermarket or would like the freshness of your own corn tortillas, simply get ahold of some vegan masa harina and make your own. This will ensure you know exactly what went into the tortillas you eat, or at least it should.
It will also give you the benefit of added freshness that you won’t be able to find in store bought tortillas. And for all your vegan food needs, good luck, and remember to do your research!