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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Flour tortillas

Celebrating Cinco De Mayo

Cinco de Mayo (fifth of May) is a celebration to commemorate Mexico's victory over the French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. So why is it celebrated in America? Much like Americans love to celebrate Irish culture for St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo is an opportunity for us to gorge ourselves in tacos and margaritas while paying respect to Mexican culture.

Burritos, tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas, and tostadas are all Mexican cuisine that come with some form of tortilla: corn or flour. Corn tortillas are generally smaller and are lower in calories and fat. One six-inch corn tortilla weighs in at only 53 calories, 0.6 grams fat, and 11 grams carbohydrate versus one seven to eight-inch flour tortilla that has 150 calories, 3 grams fat, and 26 grams carbohydrate. The other down-side to flour tortillas is that they are made with partially hydrogenated oils, which have been shown to increase risk of heart disease.

If buying corn tortillas, look for those made with whole grain corn for added nutrients. If buying flour tortillas, look at the ingredient list and avoid those made with partially hydrogenated oils. Unfortunately, they are hard to come by! Consider making your own with the recipe below. What to stuff it with? Try this chicken fajita recipe. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a healthier tortilla!

Flour Tortillas (Printable PDF)

1 cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ cup warm water
Extra flour for kneading and rolling

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flours and salt. Add the oil and slowly add the water, a little at a time, until dough begins to form into a ball. Flour hands and surface. Remove dough from the bowl and knead until smooth, about 1 minute. Return dough to the bowl, cover, and let rest for at least 15 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and shape into eight balls. Flour surface and rolling pin and roll each ball into 6-inch circles. Heat cast-iron pan or other non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add tortilla and cook 1 minute. Flip and cook the other side an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 110 calories, 4 grams fat, 240 milligrams sodium, 17 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams protein

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