AIP / Paleo Cauliflower-Plantain Tortillas

 

I’ve mentioned before that I have been an adherent of my own spin on Paleo for a few years, and besides the weight loss and increased muscle tone I observed came with this significant change in my diet, I also clearly had improved digestion. Although I am not on the AIP, a family member has been for some time now (also with very good results), and so I’ve gotten to create some AIP recipes we both really enjoy.

These tortillas are awesome, and we love them more than any tortilla we can buy in the store, AIP or not. Even if you’re not on the AIP, I’m sure any taco lover will appreciate these.

I had already been making my own cauliflower & egg paleo tortillas for a long time (using a variety of Paleo-friendly flours), when I needed to start thinking about AIP restrictions. I had used bananas before as a substitute for eggs, in muffins when my daughter was a baby and had an egg allergy, and also for AIP pancakes (I’m still tweaking my recipe but eventually it’ll be on this site too).

With this in mind, I knew bananas could help make the “glue” that would keep my AIP tortillas doughy and bonded together. On the other hand, I thought it could be a bit strange to have banana flavored tortillas. Actually, I’m pretty sure I would be fine with it, but not so much my AIP family member. And that’s when the idea of using ripe plantain hit me. It’s more savory than banana, but would have the same effect on the dough.

As far as flours go, some paleo flours (any which use almond or other non-AIP ingredients), aren’t permitted on AIP, as legumes, seeds, and nuts are out. (If you’re just paleo, these flours work perfectly well.)

So while there are still a few options, our go to flour has been cassava. At the end, when I roll the dough balls in more flour to make them less sticky for when flattening them into tortillas, I sometimes switch it up with a dusting of coconut flour. I love the taste it imparts, but if you don’t like the idea of a tortilla with undertones of coconut, then just use more of the cassava flour, or another AIP flour, like arrowroot or tigernut, which isn’t nut at all.

The other thing I love about these tortillas is that they are very nutritious, not just easy to digest. You can find easily digested cassava flour tortilla recipes all over the internet, but they don’t take the added steps here with the cauliflower and plantain. This is going to give you an awesome flavor and without those empty calories. Lastly, they are also pliable and sturdy.

We have now made these tortillas many times and they’re an absolute favorite in our house for AIP tacos. We are thrilled we could get back our taco night (with of course some AIP change-ups to our taco seasoning), which was a weekly tradition.

This recipe will yield four medium tortillas; more if the cauliflower is large (in which case you may need extra

You will need: large mixing bowl; measuring cups & spoons; plastic wrap; clean kitchen towel; large fork for mashing; microwave safe bowl; blender; pan & spatula; optional: rolling pin; paper towels (for soaking up oil at end)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-small cauliflower (recommended: colored variety, orange or purple, for added nutrients and attractive appearance
  • 1 large, ripe plantain (skin should have turned mostly or completely black)
  • 1 cup cassava flour or other AIP/paleo flour of choice
  • An additional 1/4 – 1/2 cup arrowroot powder to prevent stickiness (tigernut flour is a good alternative)
  • 1 TBSP water (or reserved juice from the cauliflower, see below)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil for pan cooking tortillas (about 2 tsp; 1/2 tsp per tortilla)
  • Optional: other seasonings to taste (e.g. 1 tsp Mexican oregano or coarsely crushed cumin seeds)
  • Optional: 1 TBSP AIP-friendly shortening (e.g. Nutiva coconut palm shortening)
  • Optional: 1 TBSP arrowroot flour/starch to rolls dough balls in (can substitute with coconut flour for a unique flavor)
  • When cooking: about 1/2 tsp oil per tortilla

Directions:

1.) Wash the cauliflower; remove the stem; and cut into pieces

2.) In a blender, “rice” the cauliflower by pulsing several times until it has been evenly broken down into small crumbles

3.) Transfer the blended cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Puncture several holes in the wrap using a fork or knife. Microwave for 3 minutes. Wait until cool.

4.) Place the cooled cauliflower in the center of the kitchen towel, twist until enough pressure builds to release the juice. (You may reserve up to 1-2 tablespoon of the juice to add back in later, if needed.) Squeeze and wring the towel until the juice no longer comes out (or only with a lot of effort). This could take a couple minutes. Then return the cauliflower crumbles to the blender or processor and blend for about 30 seconds.

5.) In a large bowl, mash up the plantain until smooth, and then add the cauliflower crumbles, cup of cassava flour, salt, and optional ingredients (these will further enhance texture and flavor but can be completely omitted). Mix with clean hands, pastry cutter, or potato masher.

6.) Add the ¼ cup arrowroot powder to a working surface, such as cutting board. Working on the powdered surface, squeeze and knead the “dough” until it is even. If it is too dry to form into a cohesive ball, add 1/2 to 1 TBSP of the water or reserved cauliflower juice. Continue to try to form into a doughy ball that sticks together. In some situations, another ½ TBSP water may be needed. (You don’t want to end up with too much water, as it will make the flattened tortillas more prone to tearing.) If the dough is sticking to the surface, add up to another ¼ cup arrowroot powder and roll the dough ball evenly in it.

7.)Divide the large dough ball into four equal, smaller balls. (If it was a large cauliflower, you might end up with a bigger dough to make more balls). Either by hand or rolling pin, thin out the balls into a flattened, circular tortilla, about 1/8″ to 1/4″ max thickness. As you flip the tortillas to flatten each side, sprinkle a bit of the extra arrowroot powder to ensure the tortillas don’t stick.

8.) Add a bit of AIP-friendly oil (extra-virgin olive oil or avocado) to a heated pan, and cook the tortillas about a minute on each side, on medium-high temp. Cook until golden brown but not burnt. Remove and place on a paper towel. Place another paper towel on top, and stack the tortillas with the towels between them.

Enjoy!

I add some of my own (non-AIP) ingredients to my tacos. Here’s one with some Cotija cheese and my Mexican fermented veggie escabeche (for you Paleo folks). Look at the next pic to see how it holds up to all that weight when I pick it up!

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