Flour tortillas have many delicious variations and most traditional recipes have evolved over time to remove animal-based ingredients, however the question remains, are flour tortillas vegan? How do you know if certain flour tortillas conform to your vegan lifestyle? Let's take a look!
Flour Tortilla Ingredients
Flour Tortillas typically have very few ingredients which is appealing to those of us who live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Flour, baking soda, salt, oil, water and sometimes a pinch of sugar are the ingredients that it takes to make them. They are simple, clean and easy to pair with any style of cooking you enjoy. Even though Mexican style food seems to be a recurring theme with tortillas, if we think outside the box, the possibilities are endless.
So, Are Flour Tortillas Vegan?
The simple answer to this is yes, however if you are buying them in the grocery store or ordering them at a restaurant, it is important to ask how they are prepared or check the ingredient list to be 100% positive.
Why Are Some NOT Considered Vegan?
In addition to the ingredients listed above, many traditional recipes used to include lard as one of the ingredients. This is much less common now, given the rise of health concerns and growing popularity of health food items, however it is still used in some cases, so it is good to be aware of this possibility.
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Some time ago, a debate came up in the vegan community that questioned whether white flour and sugar are truly vegan ingredients, due to the process that they undertake to be bleached white which involves using bone char. Although this claim was not confirmed for white flour, unbleached flour and wheat flour are available as a substitute.
In regards to sugar, Vegan Society advises us to take caution when choosing our sugar. This means we should check the companies to ensure they aren’t using bone char to bleach the sugar, or buying unbleached sugar to be on the safe side.
Store-Bought Flour Tortillas
Many larger companies have switched from using lard and are now using vegetable oil as a more health-conscious option. Although, since they have large-scale production, certain animal products may still be finding there way in, such as vitamin D, glycerin, or enzymes.
Are Mission Flour Tortillas Vegan?
Mission claims that their product does not include any animal derived ingredients and list themselves as vegetarian and vegan friendly. Some people have point out, however, that Mission brand uses enzymes in their product, which may be a decision-making factor for some vegans. With this in mind, Mission does not prove to be a pure, vegan product.
Vegan Tortilla Brands
There are plenty of great vegan options out there for tortillas, it is merely knowing what they are and where you can find them. Listed below are some highly recommended brands for vegans. Stores such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are known for offering quality vegetarian and vegan products.
- Wrawp Original Wraps
- Food For Life Tortilla-Ezekiel Sprouted Grain
- 365 brand Whole Wheat Tortillas
- Rudi's Gluten Free Fiesta Tortillas
If you are looking to take it a step further, buying locally is a great way to get fresh, clean products as well as limit waste. Check out your local farmer’s markets or bakeries to see what they have to offer. They will be able to tell you exactly what ingredients they use in their products.
Make Your Own Vegan Flour Tortillas!
The surefire method to knowing that your flour tortillas are up to par with your vegan diet would be to make them at home. You can do it! Check out Sustainably Vegan for a simple, step-by-step video to make homemade flour tortillas that you know you can feel good about.
Flour tortillas can be a crucial staple for vegans. You get extra fiber and carbs from tortillas, as well as them simply being a delicious vessel in our plant-based diet. It is important to be conscious of the potential “red flag” ingredients that we have seen in certain recipes or processed food companies.
Please feel free to comment with any questions may you have. After learning a bit more about what it takes for flour tortillas to be considered vegan, always remember:
- Ask questions when there are no labels or ingredient lists available
- Check ingredient lists for additives and animal based ingredients
- Buy tortillas locally or learn to make tortillas at home