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Tortillas are one of those things you don’t really think about when you commit to being vegan.
It’s more likely you see them soon after as you’re shopping and then it hits you that you may never be able to have Mexican food again. Well, I’ve got some epic news for you…
The chances are that your favorite brand of tortilla wraps is in fact vegan! Most of them are. They’re typically made of six core ingredients
- Water (super vegan)
- Wheat flour (vegan)
- Salt (check)
- Sugar (as long as it’s not filtered through bone…totally delicious and vegan)
- Vegetable shortening (veganveganvegan)
- Rising Agent (almost always vegan)
You do have to be careful with some tortillas, though. It’s not such common practice this day and age, but traditionally, tortillas were made using lard rather than oil. Lard – if you’re unsure – is basically just rendered animal fat, normally from a pig, so it’s to be avoided at all costs.
Since the 90s, not many store-bought brands will use the classic lard recipe, but if it’s a company that specializes in authentic products, make sure you run through those ingredients with a fine-toothed comb.
If you frequent Mexican restaurants, I highly recommend asking the chef if their tortillas are vegan.
If you’re vegan but you’re also watching your intake of breaded goods, you’ll be pleased to know that you can get a massive variety of tortilla style products that are actually made out of vegetables.
Yam wraps are a personal favorite of mine. They take a couple of tries to get used to because they do have a distinct flavor, but as long as you lean into it with your filling, they’re a culinary treat to behold.
You’d be forgiven for being a little weary about the average pack of tortillas in your local store; it’s good to be vigilant. If you wish to completely avoid a mistake, check out some brands online that officially make vegan tortillas.
Here are some brands taking America by storm at the minute:
- Wrawp: Original Wraps – These guys use zucchini, onions, flaxseed, black salt, coconut, oregano, and turmeric for their flavorings, amounting to a product that isn’t only certified vegan, but gluten and grain-free too.
- Food For Ezekiel: Sprouted Grain Tortillas – This brand utilizes the awesome power of beans and lentils to make their 100% vegan tortillas!
- Rudis: Gluten-Free Fiesta Tortillas – These bad boys have a little bit of a kick to them so if there are any spice lords reading this, you’re in for a treat. Mostly containing jalapeno, bell pepper, garlic, and onion, these things are all about maximum flavor with every bite.
- 365: Whole Wheat Tortillas – 365 is a Wholefoods brand who’s entire tasty catalog is vegan friendly. Their tortillas are a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a plain and simple replacement for classic tortillas.
Sneaky Ingredients to Look Out For
We vegans simply aren’t allowed to relax when we hit the grocery stores. It’s a meticulous and highly organized event that requires the sharpest of eyes and keenest of wits, for lurking almost imperceptibly in the small print of thousands of food items are ingredients that are lowkey not suitable for a vegan diet.
Here are a few to be wary of in bready goods…
- Vitamin D in food and drink products is almost always animal-derived, so don’t let that one slip through the net. It sounds healthy as you scan those tiny words, and it is, but it’s not for us!
- Glycerin and glycerides are not always, but usually are, animal-derived, and some that aren’t can contain palm oils, which many vegans try to avoid anyway.
- Enzymes in bread products, for the most part, are fungal-based and perfectly ok to eat, but there are quite a few products that draw enzymes from pig pancreases.
It’s happened to me a few times now. I’ll be visiting my mother or friend, and they’ve gone above and beyond trying to find me all the best vegan snacks their local stores have to offer, which I’m always very appreciative of.
It’s only when I’m just about ready to make a big old Scooby-Doo style sandwich or wrap that I notice the bread contains eggs or milk.
This is normally because it’s been bought from a free-from section of a store that supplies food for people with intolerances and allergies, not necessarily vegans.
These bready products will often include egg and milk to boost flavor or provide a better texture in the absence of ingredients like gluten.
Obviously, you should always check the ingredients, but standard bread products are typically vegan, so it’s best to stay away from the free-from products.
Not Labeled Vegan
Did you know there’s tons of food out there that is totally vegan, it’s just not got that glorious V we all look for when we hit the store? Basically, it’s because some companies don’t even realize that veganism is a selling point.
There are huge online communities in which hungry vegans share all their non-labeled finds. They’re widely known as accidentally vegan groups, and I highly recommend you find them on your favorite socials to open up a whole world of accidental culinary delight.
Even though any tortillas you encounter in your local supermarket are most likely going to be 100% vegan, it’s common for bread products to contain a very ambiguous and disheartening caution on their packaging.
The warning normally reads something along the lines of…’May contain milk’, or ‘May contain eggs’. It’s irritating because you’ve double-checked the ingredients, found no problems, and allowed yourself to get excited about the tasty snacks you’re about to make when you get home, then boom! All your delicious lunch plans are ruined, and you’re not even sure why. Don’t worry, though. I’ve got some great news.
Many vegans still choose to avoid them, but these warnings don’t mean that a food item isn’t vegan. As long as all the ingredients are plant-based, you can still eat it. These warnings are put on items if they’re made or packaged in a factory that also works with the highlighted ingredient.
There will never actually be any cross-contamination as it’s likely they’re held in vastly different areas of the factory and dealt with by separate workers. Companies do the same thing with nuts for the sake of full transparency.
How To Make Sure
If you really want to confirm if a product is vegan, feel free to do a bit of research on the manufacturer’s websites and even contact them if necessary.
Any contact companies have with vegans is beneficial to everyone involved. The industry slowly cottons on there’s an absolutely massive vegan market waiting to throw their money at new vegan products, and we get the information we need and eventually get to taste the vegan fruits of their labor.
So, are tortillas vegan? Yes and no, but thankfully, most are! As long as you take in some of the factors we’ve discussed here today and continue learning via your own research, you’ll be cooking up a storm in no time.
Every single day, the food industry is waking up to the potential of veganized products, and if we keep fighting the good fight, eventually, veganism will never be associated with dietary sacrifice and compromise again.