Beware the calories, fat in flour tortillas
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By Jim Romanoff
By Jim Romanoff
Not all flour tortillas are created equal.
Surprisingly, these thin, light rounds of bread can contain plenty of unwanted fat and calories. Depending on ingredients and size, a flour tortilla can have as little as 100 calories and about 1 gram of fat, or as many as 400 calories and 12 grams of fat.
Avoid this nutritional trap by reading package labels thoroughly and choosing the right size tortilla for the dish you are making.
The best flour tortillas have just a few ingredients — flour, water and a bit of fat to keep them soft and moist. Some brands use more fat than others for the same size tortilla, so it's important to watch the fat grams.
Equally important is the type of fat used. Look for products that use healthier oils, such as canola and sunflower, rather than hydrogenated soybean or cottonseed oils.
Also, beware the mega-tortilla. Avoid 12-inch and larger tortillas (often called wraps) unless you are planning to use one to serve two people. The calorie and fat levels in these sizes are obviously the highest. They also encourage you to overfill with ingredients, making the nutritional numbers even worse.
If you are making tacos, smaller, 6-inch tortillas probably are just the right size. For burritos and wraps, a larger tortilla may be necessary to hold all the ingredients, but an 8- or 10-inch size probably is fine.
Of course, what you put inside the tortilla is just as important.
These delicious and satisfying roasted vegetable wraps are inspired by flavors from the Middle East. Plus, with sweet potatoes as the main ingredient, they are loaded with nutrients and healthy dietary fiber.
The wraps are made using 8-inch tortillas, which are the perfect size for the amount of filling created with this recipe. If you like, use whole-wheat or multigrain flour tortillas for added flavor and nutritional benefits.
For a summery, light supper, serve the roasted vegetable wraps with a diced cucumber and tomato salad dressed with olive oil, red wine vinegar and some chopped fresh herbs such as parsley and oregano.
ROASTED VEGETABLE TORTILLA WRAPS
Preheat oven to 425. In a medium bowl, toss the sweet potatoes and green beans with 2 teaspoons of the oil. Spread the potatoes and beans over two-thirds of a large baking sheet.
In the same bowl, toss the peppers with the remaining teaspoon of oil, then spread them over the remaining third of the baking sheet. Season all the vegetables with salt and pepper.
Cover the potatoes and beans with a piece of aluminum foil, leaving the peppers uncovered. Roast for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, stir together the salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and thyme. Uncover the potatoes and beans and sprinkle the spice blend and lemon juice over all the vegetables. Toss the vegetables to coat. Return to the oven and roast, uncovered, for 25 to 35 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are tender and browned.
Spread about 3 tablespoons of hummus over each tortilla, leaving a 2-inch uncovered border all around. Divide the filling among the tortillas; fold in two sides and roll up as you would a burrito, placing the seam side down so the wraps stay closed. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.