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The problem is that the modern tortilla chip has strayed from its healthy heritage and become more of a junk food than the nourishing, traditional, food it should be.
Even the tortilla chips served at Chipotle are made from genetically modified (GMO) corn and fried in sunflower oil, an omega-6 vegetable oil that absolutely cannot be heated without the creation of free radicals that damage cell DNA when consumed.
Organic tortilla chips from the healthfood store are not a good idea to eat on a regular basis either. While the corn used is nonGMO in an organic chip, a survey of the popular organic tortilla chip brands indicates that food manufacturers typically use oils (safflower, sunflower, canola) that are not appropriate for high heat frying due to the high concentration of heat sensitive polyunsaturated fatty acids.
No need to write off tortilla chips, however. Make them the old fashioned way and you can eat them knowing that you are being nourished and not harmed in the process. The video below shares my method for making healthy, no guilt tortilla chips. This approach is fast – no need to make the tortilla chips from scratch unless this is something you want to do.
All you have to do is source sprouted or organic tortillas from a local food co-op or healthfood store and fry them for a minute or two in a healthy, heat stable oil. Be sure to keep an eye on the temperature so that it is as low as possible to avoid excessive formation of acrylamides.
How to Make Homemade Tortilla Chips (Video Tutorial)
My favorite oils for frying tortilla chips are avocado oil or expeller pressed coconut oil. Plain, organic corn tortillas work fine also. However, I prefer sprouted corn tortillas as the sprouting process adds improved digestibility and nutrition to the corn. Major nutrient improvements include additional B vitamins and Vitamin C.
Be sure to check the oil temperature with a frying thermometer. This is because even heat stable oils can become rancid if the smokepoint is exceeded. I keep my frying oil temperature at 350F (177 C) to ensure no creation of free radicals.
Homemade Tortilla Chips Recipe
This healthy homemade tortilla chips recipe is nourishing and digestible unlike even the organic ones from the store made with unhealthy vegetable oil.
Add about an inch of oil to a medium to large frying pan. Using a frying thermometer, heat the oil to about 350 F (177 C).
When the oil is the proper temperature, add one tortilla at a time, frying each side for about minute. The tortilla should be lightly browned but not burned.
Remove the tortilla from the oil and place on a plate. Continue process until the entire package of sprouted tortillas has been fried.
When cool to the touch, break each tortilla into quarters. Pair with homemade cilantro salsa and serve.
Alternatively, you can break the fried tortillas into small pieces and use them as a healthy cold breakfast cereal that tastes just like corn flakes.
Avocado oil is a healthy substitute for coconut oil if desired.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist