Here's something very delicious to make for lunch that whips up in a jiffy and features a brand NEW! product I tried for the first time today: organic Sprouted Corn Tortillas from the Food For Life Baking Company (makers of Ezekiel bread, sprouted grain bagels, sprouted whole wheat tortillas, etc.)
Sprouted grain products are valued for many reasons. Grains are seeds and when they are sprouted, their nutritional value often goes up. The sprouting process initiates the breakdown of protein and carbohydrate compounds in the grains, releasing bound amino acid and sugar components and freeing up nutrients. In this sense, sprouted grains are essentially "pre-digested," to a degree. Another benefit of sprouting is that natural anti-nutrients in grains, such as phytates and protease enzyme inhibitors, are also broken down and degraded in the sprouting process. Finally, sprouting makes grains more alkaline, helping them to favor a preferential pH balance in the body.
All soaked and sprouted grains, as well as sprouted beans and seeds, will offer the above benefits. Sprouting, however, does not remove gluten, a gluey protein that is found in wheat, spelt, rye, and barley. Gluten sensitivity is a rising problem around the world with an estimated 30-40% of people affected. Any food which is made from wheat or any gluten-containing grain, even healthy sprouted Ezekiel bread, still contains gluten.
Corn, on the other hand, is a gluten-free grain. Some people are allergic to corn, but gluten intolerance is not linked to corn allergies, so having a sensitivity to one does not implicate the other. Corn is an ancient New World grain that was sacred to American Indian tribes. Although modern corn has been abused in many ways by agribusiness and industrial development, corn itself is still a high value food, especially when it is organic corn grown in nutrient-rich soils and free of genetically modified organisms.
Delicious Food for Life Sprouted Corn Tortillas are made with only four ingredients: organic sprouted corn, filtered water, sea salt and lime. According to the company, after the corn is sprouted it is ground and mixed with the other ingredients to form a masa, or traditional thick dough, which is then rolled and flattened into characteristic tortilla shapes. The tortillas are baked at low temperatures (250 degrees) before packaging. Each tortilla provides 60 calories of whole grain carbohydrate energy and only 1 gram of fat, plus a little calcium and iron. The flavor and texture is naturally corn-sweet, wholesome, chewy and far moister than some gluten-free tortillas I've tried that crumble when folded.
I forsee this product becoming a new staple in my kitchen and am pleased to be sharing it with you today. I looking forward to creating sprouted corn tostadas with avocadoes and cilantro, with black beans, with tofu-miso paté... but for today, let us begin with hummus, the humble and widely available Middle Eastern sesame-chick pea spread. I used Hot Mama's original flavor hummus in this recipe, but any brand or flavor, including your own homemade raw or cooked hummus, would surely be tasty and satisfying.
Practically Raw Sprouted Corn Tostadas
with Hummus, Salsa & Sprouts
2 sprouted corn tortillas
1/4 cup hummus, your pick of flavor
1 cup alfalfa or red clover sprouts
2 teaspoons salsa
2 black olives
Warm tortillas briefly in the toaster or on the surface of a hot, cast-iron skillet for about 30 seconds to gently soften. Transfer to plate and divide hummus evenly between the two tortillas, spreading out almost to the edges. Top each tostada with half the sprouts, half the salsa and one black olive. To eat, spread the salsa across the center line and fold the tostada in half, like a soft taco. Then, bite in. Yum!
Note: I purchased my sprouted corn tortillas at Green Fields Market in Greenfield, MA and did not receive any product or compensation from Food for Life Baking Company prior to posting this blog. However, Food for Life is welcome to send me free samples and coupons anytime, as I adore their products!