Keto Dieters: Have You Tried Nopal Cactus Tortillas?

nopal cactus tortillas ketogenic 728

Tacos. Nachos. Burritos. Tostados. What do all of these foods have in common? Well, they’re all unbelievably delicious…and they also all start with a tortilla. 

But if you’re on the keto diet, corn and flour tortillas are a major no-no. Why? All those carbs, guys. For perspective, a Mission medium flour tortilla has 26 grams of carbs and 140 calories, while a Mission yellow corn tortilla has 22 grams of carbs and 110 calories. Bye-bye, delicate state of ketosis.

But does that mean our favorite crave-worthy Mexican-inspired eats are completely off-limits? Not entirely. You could use one of the low-carb tortillas on the market. But to be honest, we’ve found many of them to be rubbery and weird tasting. We’d rather just pile all of our ingredients onto a collard leaf, thank you very much. 

Everything changed when we discovered nopal cactus tortillas, a Mexican specialty that looks like a tortilla (well, a green tortilla) and acts like a tortilla, but is sneakily low-carb and low-cal. Turns out, the mighty cactus is low in carbs and calories. Depending on the brand, a single tortilla ranges from 3 to 11 carbs and 20 to 60 calories.

Nopal cactus, also known as prickly pear cactus, has a slightly sour flavor that translates magically into a tortilla. The texture is similar to corn tortillas, and they’re begging to be piled high with crunchy vegetables, cheese, sour cream and guac.

Not only are nopal cactus tortillas fantastic for wrapping, but also they fry up beautifully into crisp tortilla chips for nachos or tortilla soup. We cut ours into triangles and toss them with a few tablespoons of canola oil until they’re fully coated, then sprinkle them with sea salt and bake them on a sheet tray until—voilà—they transform into homemade tortilla chips.

Ready to give them a try? They’re available on Amazon and at major nationwide retailers like Walmart.

These Wraps Are 0 Carbs, 8 Calories and a Keto Dieter's Dream

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Food Editor

From 2017 to 2019 Heath Goldman held the role of Food Editor covering food, booze and some recipe development, too. Tough job, eh?