Over the years I’ve been experimenting with making different changes to my diet to see how it affects my health. At first, I only eliminated processed foods and gluten, and I did feel better after making those changes, but I was still having some digestive issues at the time. One of the more problematic foods for me seemed to be corn. I thought that it was likely due to the corn I was eating possibly being genetically modified. I had thought that here in Europe, GMO’s were supposed to be labeled, but I later found out that here in Spain it isn’t always the case. Greenpeace has comprised a GMO guide for Spain (in Spanish) showing companies whose products are free of GMO’s and those that either have or likely have them in their ingredients. I had been using foods from some of those companies. Once I made that discovery, I was a lot more careful about what I bought, but I was still having issues with corn, even organic popcorn, so I had to stop making my carnitas with homemade corn tortillas, and had to look for a more grain-free/paleo option.
Since then I’ve come up with several paleo flatbread alternatives. I sometimes make a thicker, more bread-like flatbread, closer to a paleo pita of sorts, but more often I make tortillas using flaxseeds. At first I started making tortillas with flaxseeds and eggs, but I was curious to see if I could make something that was egg free for a friend of mine who can’t tolerate eggs.
To my surprise and amazement, it is actually quite simple to make a pliable tortilla using only flaxseeds, water, and a bit of heat, and the flaxseed tortillas holds up well to being filled. Despite my finding, I more often made the flaxseed tortillas with eggs because I found them to be quicker and easier for me to make. Plus, I have hens, and almost always have a surplus of fresh eggs to use up.
Interestingly enough, though, people started writing me about how happy they were to have found my recipe for egg-free flaxseed tortillas, so I decided to start experimenting with them again. Part of the reason that it took me longer to make the egg-free tortillas was that I had been using too much water. Once I realised that I didn’t need nearly as much water as I had been using, I found that I could very quickly make the flaxseed tortillas. What’s more, I also found that I could make a dough out of the mixture that could be rolled between two layers of parchment or wax paper into thin sheets that could be cut into different shapes.
When making a tortilla, of course, that isn’t really necessary, because you can just push the mixture into the bottom of your pan and you end up with a beautifully circular tortilla, perfect for the filling of your choice. My real reason for wanting to better manipulate the mixture was that I also realised that when baked, my tortillas actually get crispy, just like the tortilla chips and taco shells that I so missed while eating a progressively more paleo type diet.
Because of the high fat content in flaxseeds, I have never had problems with the tortilla mixture sticking to my pans. The mixture is very forgiving, and, when baked crispy and paired up with a good homemade salsa or guacamole, actually has a texture and flavor pretty similar to the corn variety. Really!
You can use either brown or golden flaxseeds for this recipe, but because the tortillas brown more when baked, they look more like tortilla chips when made with the lighter ones.
If you miss tortilla chips while on the paleo diet, I’m sure you will love these!
So let’s get baking…
Vegan Paleo Taco Shells
1/2 cup flaxseed meal (find organic ground flaxseed meal here)
1/8 cup water
a pinch of salt
- If you don’t have flaxseed meal, you can very easily make your own by grinding up flaxseeds in a blender. I usually grind up only enough to use for around a week or two because the oils in flaxseed can go rancid quickly once the flaxseeds are ground (that’s why I never buy pre-ground flaxseeds).
- Pre-heat a skillet to medium high heat, and your oven to around 350ºF. If you have a convection setting, use it.
- Mix together the flaxseed meal, water, and a pinch of salt quickly in the preheated skillet, using a spatula to combine it well, and press it against the skillet for around a minute or so.
- Push the mixture together into a ball of dough.
- Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment or wax paper until very thin. You want the dough to be as thin as possible. Cut it into circles using large circular cookie cutters or using a pizza cutter to cut the dough into circular shapes.
- Drape the dough circles over the bars of your oven grill. I draped mine over two bars and left a bar or two between each shell, but if the bars of your grill are very close together, you may choose to drape yours over more bars to make them wider.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes until crispy. If the dough wasn’t rolled thinly enough, it will have a tendency to balloon up and will take longer to get crispy, but should still be usable. Remove from the oven and fill with the ingredients of your choice. Note: The tacos in the picture are mini 4-inch tacos, and I was able to make 10 mini taco shells with 1/2 cup of ground flaxseeds. You can instead choose to bake these flat into homemade tortilla chips.
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I only recommend products that I wholeheartedly believe to be valuable or that I use myself. Rubies & Radishes is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com