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From Tortillas to Tostadas

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Whether it's Summer or Winter, whether it's breakfast-time or closer to dinner, you can hardly go wrong the Mexican way. The type of cuisine that's known for its freshness, vibrant colors, and fun-loving family gatherings to prepare festive meals together can be made part of a raw household too.  Most of the wonderfully flavorful dishes that, more often than not, rely on simple ingredients can be prepared the raw (or at least highly raw) way to refresh you in the heat or warm you up on colder days. The challenging part for a raw food enthusiast of course is not so much the right combination of fresh vegetables and spices. It's more the chips you eat with salsa or dip into guacamole, the tortillas, tamales, etc.
Making tortillas may seem like an especially intimidating task to embark on because you want them to be firm enough to hold food when you make tacos, but also pliable to make "wraps" or more like burritos and roll them up for single-serve enchiladas, for example. I've already given examples on how to make chips before. Today it's time to make tortillas! Corn ones, that is.

Why Eat Corn?
The pearl-like kernels can help maintain good vision, add anti-oxidants to your diet, aid in digestion, provide fiber, folate, and other essential vitamins and minerals that can even help prevent anemia. In other words, corn is quite nutritious.

Corn Tortillas
(Makes 5 tortillas)
2 ears fresh corn, yellow or white
3-4 tbsp ground golden flax seeds
1 finger-size hot pepper*
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste
pinch of cumin

*Any pepper will do. I grabbed mine from the garden and I forget what kind they are but cerranos and other small peppers will be just fine. If you can find red ones the color will add to the richness of the tortillas.

1. Cut the kernels off the cobs and place all ingredients in a high-speed blender.
2. Make a paste as smooth as you prefer (I prefer mine with a good amount of "texture" left) and add a little water if you can't manage without. Some blenders need more liquid to handle the ingredients while others do well with hardly any in there. Note: add as little as possible to save time in the dehydrator.
3. Pour the mixture into 5 little lumps on a teflex sheet and spread them out fairly thin, as thin as you can/prefer but thick enough so that you can still work with them when you make tacos, etc. 0.1 in (or about 3 mm) is a good thickness.
4. Dehydrate them for 1-2 hours at 110-115 °F (43-46 °C) and then flip them onto a screen and dehydrate them for several hours longer, until they resemble the dryness of tortillas and they feel "workable".

Here comes the fun part. Now that you have the base, what yummy stuff you are going to pile on them, fill them with, dip them into is up to you but here's what I chose to make this time.

Tostadas the Raw Way
corn tortillas (recipe at the top of the page)
guacamole (see recipe here)

Keeping it so simple by combining such delicious ingredients always works : ) Layer your ingredients in a presentable way and serve immediately. One of those snacks that are great for Summer gathering so if you have people coming over this could be a way to introduce them to the delightfulness of raw foods. Enjoy!

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