La Banderita corn tortillas are a staple of our diet.  They are cheaper and healthier than flour tortillas. And I love them with a love bordering on obsession.  They are rich in calcium, tryptophan, and folate. Gluten-free.  And they are delicious.

The pack of 30 tortillas photographed above cost $1.09 at Food Lion this week.  Normally they’re $1.29, but they were on sale.

Health benefits of corn tortillas:

1. these don’t have hydrogenated oils like a lot of flour tortillas.  In fact, they don’t have any fat.* (Now, I wouldn’t mind if they had some fat, and I would never really eat any meal without some butter or olive oil or cheese, but a lot of flour tortillas have hydrogenated shortening or something similar that makes them pretty icky for you!)

2.  the corn is treated with mineral lime, which enhances the mineral and B vitamin content– ie, these suckers have 9% daily value of calcium.  And I’m quoting from Wickipedia here (sorry, Davidson):

“The preparation of maize in an alkaline solution of mineral lime or calcium hydroxide…. significantly enriches the nutritional value of maize as a source of vitaminsdietary minerals and protein. The lime water used in the process adds its own bioavailable calcium, while it also renders the B vitamins and amino acids in maize far more easily absorbable by the human digestive system.

The process, called nixtamalization, was developed indigenously by pre-Columbian cultures and predates European contact by many centuries, if not millennia.

Soaking the maize in lime water is important because it liberates the B vitamin niacin and the amino acid tryptophan. When maize was brought to Europe, Africa and Asia from the New World, people left out this crucial step. Those whose diet consisted mostly of corn meal often became sick — because of the lack of niacin and tryptophan — with the disease pellagra, which was common in Spain, Northern Italy, and the southern United States.”

3. Corn, if eaten with beans, produces a complete protein. (One of my favorite dinners is just a few spoonfuls of canned refried beans in between two corn tortillas, heated in a pan like a quesadilla, topped with fresh salsa, hot sauce, etc.)

Word.

Now, let me just say.  I bought some corn tortillas a few months back that were some other brand, not my precious La Banderita.  And they were terrible.  Inedible. I actually had to throw them away. So if you are not a fan of corn tortillas yet, it may be that you have not found the right kind.  Try some different brands until you find ones that are delicious!!!

* Based on the nutritional label of La Banderita corn tortillas.  May vary by brand!

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