It’s been over a year since I’ve eaten bread! Do I miss it? Not at all. That’s a lie, I don’t miss how bloated and lethargic it made me feel, but I miss its convenience. Salads are great, but nowhere near as portable as a lunchtime sandwich or wrap. As I’m often out and about during the day, there are certainly times when I miss the ease of ‘food on the go’.
Highly acidic and lacking nutrients, we’ve become too used to eating products made from refined flour for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whether you’re officially gluten intolerant or not, if you lack energy, struggle to concentrate or get that sluggish feeling and bloated tummy after lunch ~ flour could be the culprit.
On the flip side, bread really is handy when it comes to a quick and simple working lunch. So, what’s the alternative? I’m excited to share the answer with you … gram flour! Made with nothing more than dried chickpeas, ground to a flour-like consistency. Other names for chickpea flour include besan flour, cici flour and garbanzo bean flour.
The breads are so versatile. You can break them like regular indian breads to dip in dal and curries. Wrap them like Mexican tortillas with your favourite stir fried vegetables and sauces, or pack them full of raw veg, salad and homemade hummus or pesto to take to work. So many options!
Because they’re made from chickpeas the wraps are much more nutrient dense than breads made with regular flour. They’re a brilliant source of protein, with six times more protein than all-purpose flour. They’re low in saturated fat and high in folate, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.
As if they’re not nutritious enough in their naked state, I’ve been experimenting with natural food colourings this weekend which has given me the opportunity to add even more vibrancy, flavourings and goodness to create these bright little beauties!
Making the wraps without adding colour will not affect their success. They will work and they’ll taste awesome regardless. Chickpea flour is naturally much more yellow than the white, refined stuff, so you will get a wonderfully bright colour from that alone. If you have a juicer, adding juiced spinach or beets to the batter is going to inject a stunning array of natural colours and make your lunch look super pretty!
100g gram flour (also called chickpea flour or besan flour) ~ Sainsbury’s sell Dove Farms Gram Flour or check out your local Indian supermarket where you’re sure to find some
100ml warm water
Coconut or extra virgin olive oil to grease the pan
Pinch of pink himalayan salt (regular salt works just fine but I love this salt ~ it packs an amazing 80 + minerals and elements and promotes a healthy pH balance in your cells)
Put the gram flour and salt in to a mixing bowl and add a little water. Using an electric whisk, slowly continue to pour water onto the flour while whisking, making sure there are no lumps or bits of flour stuck to the side of the bowl.
The whisked mixture should resemble pancake batter in its look and consistency.
At this point I love to add a little colour. An egg cup full of juiced spinach provides a stunning bright green. A pinch of nutmeg compliments the taste perfectly. A few drops of juiced beetroot will turn your wraps pink! The more you add to the batter, the deeper the crimson colour. I love juicing beets and ginger together, ginger adds a fantastic flavour! If you don’t have a juicer but still fancy playing with colours, try a shake of turmeric and ground cumin powders. This combination works brilliantly well if you’re dipping the breads in dal or curries.
A little word of warning if you’re playing with colours … they stain! Especially beetroot and turmeric. So if you don’t want your beautiful white tea towels tie dyed permanent reds and yellows, make sure you’ve got an old dishcloth around for splashes and spills!
Heat a little oil in a heavy bottom frying pan. The amount you need will vary depending on the size of your pan, you’re aiming to fully coat the base of the pan very lightly, without creating an oil slick! I often find my second wrap works better because the first has absorbed a little excess oil.
The trickiest part of this recipe is getting the tortillas super thin. Once the oil is hot, turn the heat down and pour in around a third of your batter, quickly tilting the pan to ensure the mixture spreads thinly and evenly. There is an art to this and you will find it easier the more you make!
Allow the batter to cook for a couple of minutes, you’ll see the edges begin to rise and the mixture dry out. Once you’re able to, use a spatula to lift the tortilla and flip it over. Cook the other side for another minute or two.
Repeat the process with the remaining batter. You might need to add a little more oil each time, depending on how well your pan stays coated. 100g of chickpea flour generally makes 3 decent size wraps. You can pop them into a sealed container and refrigerate for 2-3 days.
Experiment as much as you like with fillings. I love packing my wraps with lots of raw veg, leaves and home made pesto. Salads such as watercress add a wonderful flavour and provide lots of amazing plant based vitamins and minerals including calcium and iron.
These chickpea wraps really do make the perfect, nutrient packed, guilt free lunch. It’s like healthy stuff, wrapped in healthy stuff ~ totally win win!