WHOLE WHEAT TORTILLAS
Silly Food Fact
Did you know that astronauts eat tortillas? A sandwich made with bread just doesn’t work with the reduced gravity in space—bread crumbs float around the spacecraft and can damage equipment. That’s why NASA created specially-designed flour tortillas for astronauts’ meals. The classic flatbread tortilla has been eaten in Central America for thousands of years. Tortilla means “little cake” in Spanish, and now tortillas are popular around the world.
Why Our Bodies Love It
Tortillas are a low-fat, low-sodium food. They contain iron, B vitamins, manganese, and potassium. Whole wheat tortillas are healthiest of all! They provide complex carbohydrates and fiber. Half the grains we eat should be whole grains to protect against heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and certain types of cancer.
Care and Picking
All types and sizes of tortillas are available on the grocery store shelf. And no wonder–tortillas have surpassed both bagels and muffins in sales; only sliced bread remains in the lead. Hunt for whole wheat tortillas for maximum health benefits, and watch out for packages labeled “wheat” that aren’t actually whole grain. The first ingredient listed should be “whole wheat.” Avoid the high-fat tortilla chips, but you can easily skip the oil and salt by making your own baked tortilla chips.
Tips and Warnings
Store purchased tortillas tightly sealed in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. For longer storage, pop them into the freezer where they will last several months. While it is convenient to grab a package at the store, nothing beats the taste of homemade whole wheat tortillas! They are fun to make, and leftovers can be turned into tortilla soup or easily frozen. Just place a piece of wax paper between each homemade tortilla and wrap the stack in foil to put in the freezer.
Watch Maria J. Ronquillo as she shows us how to make our own wheat tortillas