“Are Corn Tortillas Gluten Free? I want to expand my diet and include new items in my regular gluten free meal plan.” – Mary K. Chicago, Illinois
Thanks for the question Mary. Before you read any further please see our awesome Homemade Gluten Free Corn Tortilla Recipe.
As you probably know, living with gluten intolerance is a challenge because you need to look into every single ingredient that goes into your meal. Even though gluten is present only in specific cereal grains, there is no guarantee that the final cooked product (especially items bought in grocery stores) does not contain hidden sources of gluten. You also need to be careful about what goes into meal preparation at restaurants because most places are unaware of cross contamination.
One such food that may have hidden sources of gluten is corn tortillas. As the name suggests, corn tortillas are made from corn and should logically be gluten free. Corn itself does not contain gluten so logic says that corn tortillas should be gluten free. However, there is more to the story.
Corn tortillas that are available in supermarkets and restaurants may contain hidden sources of gluten. The tortillas are often prepared with a mixture of corn and wheat. The addition of wheat to corn tortillas makes them taste sweet and creates a nice texture to the final product. After all, when you buy something, the customer wants something that tastes great, right?
When you buy gluten free corn tortillas they should solely be made from corn and purchased from a trusted company who proudly displays their items as ‘gluten free’. The ones that contain wheat cannot, by law, be labeled as gluten free. Before you purchase your pack of corn tortillas from the supermarket make sure you carefully read the ingredients to find out whether or not wheat is actually an ingredient and always look for the gluten free label.
In short, corn tortillas are safe for consumption if they are only made from corn.
Corn tortillas are safe for all celiac patients and can be consumed by them. However, the tortillas that have wheat incorporated in them are not safe for individuals who show signs of intolerance to gluten. Corn tortillas prepared at home can be safely consumed because they only have corn as the principle ingredient and corn is absolutely free from gluten. Therefore, the corn tortillas that are free from wheat are gluten free.
The main cause of worry with corn tortillas is that, in spite of addition of wheat, they are still labeled as corn tortillas, even though they may actually contain gluten. If they are sold in package form then always read the labels to determine whether or not these contain wheat as a by-product.
So, what about restaurants? Corn tortillas served in the restaurants may contain wheat and is a big cause of concern for all gluten intolerant individuals. If there is the addition of wheat then the corn tortillas should be rechristened as corn-wheat tortillas, so that the gluten conscious individuals can stay way from the product. However, this isn’t the case and many individuals intolerant to gluten end up consuming corn tortillas that contain gluten and will experience digestive problems. It is therefore best to avoid corn tortillas served in restaurants, unless you are certain that they are wheat free. You can always ask the server or chef prior to ordering. Even the corn tortillas that do not contain wheat can become contaminated with gluten if they are cooked using the same stations or utensils that have been used for cooking products that contain wheat.
There are several leading brands that sell gluten free corn tortillas and they label the products accordingly so that you can consume the product worry free.
The corn tortillas that are wheat free are gluten free and worry free too!!
How to Make Corn Tortillas – Gluten Free Recipe
Gluten Free Recipe: Homemade Corn Tortillas
Ready in: 45 minutes
Yields: 18-20 Tortillas
• 2 Cups of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Masa Harina Golden Corn Flour
• 1 1/2 to 2 Cups of very warm water
• Several sheets of wax paper
1. In a large bowl, mix the 2 cups of Masa Harina and the 1 1/2 to 2 cups of warm water together.
2. Be sure the two are mixed well and let it sit for around 5 minutes.
3. Using your hands, kneed the ingredients together for several minutes until it becomes a dough.
4. Take a piece of the dough and shape it into a golf ball or plum sized ball. Repeat….
For the rest of the recipe click here: Homemade Gluten Free Corn Tortilla Recipe