Do you love Mexican food? Like tortillas, but maybe looking for something a little different? Maybe you even think they are a little bland. Don’t buy those wheat-based tortillas from the supermarket, how about making fresh blue corn tortillas?
Learning how to make blue corn tortillas is simple. They are surprisingly easy to make. I find the taste of blue corn tortillas far superior to wheat tortillas and no gluten to worry about! Their color is also rather spectacular and will have your friends and family raving about the taste.
I also find fresh blue corn tortillas a more filling alternative to their wheat counterparts. They are fun to make and you can involve the whole family. This is another good recipe to introduce the joys of cooking to children.
And once you know how to make blue corn tortillas, you can use them as the basis for other blue corn tortilla recipes.
We all know yellow corn, but did you know corn actually comes in a variety of colors including blue, black, purple and red? And many of these heirloom or native varieties are much better tasting and much better for you in terms of nutrition.
Corn is the largest, agricultural crop in the USA, and America grows more of it than anywhere in the world. In the USA, much of the corn crop is used in other products or to feed livestock. Roughly 36% of corn grown in the USA goes to feed livestock (cattle, pigs and chickens), and another 40% is used for biofuels including ethanol.
Of the small percentage consumed by humans, some is exported to other countries, some is consumed as corn and the remainder is used to make food and food products including corn flour, cornmeal, hominy, and grits. The making of high fructose corn syrup is another large use of corn in the USA.
Unfortunately breeding corn for these by-products has increased the sugar content and reduced the nutritional value now found in most widely available corn varieties. So, there is not a lot of nutrition in yellow corn. So what is the alternative?
About Blue Corn
Look for heirloom varieties of corn at the local farmer’s market or specialty grocery store. When using corn flour or corn meal a nutritious alternative is blue corn flour.
Blue corn is common in Mexico, Peru and other parts of South America. Corn is one of the most widely used ingredients in Peruvian cuisine. During our visit to Peru we learned a lot about the ancient farming techniques of the Incas. They used careful breeding and seed selection to create varieties of both corn and potatoes that would grow in a variety of climates and terrains. There is evidence of corn growing in Peru as far back as 1200 BC.
Today Peruvian farmers grow over 55 varieties of corn, more than anywhere else on earth, in a wide range of climates. Mexico’s corn production is much the same, focusing on native varieties that thrive in a variety of natural conditions.
Health & Nutrition Benefits of Blue Corn
Blue corn contains high levels of anthocyanins, which is what give it the blue tones. This is the same antioxidant found in other blue/purple/red plants including berries.
The health benefits of anthocyanins include:
- better metabolism of glucose;
- properties that protect from cell damage and toxins;
- inflammation reduction; and
- better cognitive function.
And if we still haven’t convinced you, how about the fact they look and taste great!
Fresh Blue Corn Tortillas
As to the question of, “How to make blue corn tortillas”? Only 2 cups of blue corn flour mixed with 2 cups of warm water. Could there be anything easier than that?
We used Minsa Blue Corn Masa Mix. Not only can you make tortillas with this mix but also tamales, sopes, enchiladas, pupusas, gorditas and atoles. When you open the pack the delightful smell of the blue corn will have you smiling with delight. We receive no commission for mentioning Minsa, we just like the brand.
Try these home-made, fresh blue corn tortillas. They are easy to make, deliver a superior result and the dark blue color makes for some interesting taste and color combinations. Try making fish tacos with them, you will love the result. Also great with tomatillo chipotle salsa.
We used Minsa brand blue corn, but there are others available and you can order online if you can’t find it in your local shop.