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Erica White DipION, FBANT, Nutritionhelp Founder

Split Pea Tacos

Thu 21st Jun, 2018 - 4:01pm by Emma Cockrell

Why a taco shell made with split peas?

A challenge that a number of clients face is to find meals that are satisfying, filling and enjoyable in the light of many food intolerances or dietary complications.  While there is a big leaning in the ‘Nutrition World’ to reducing grains in the diet, a proportion of clients find that it is a matter of necessity, not choice, which drives them to avoid grains – including gluten-free. This may mean including legumes, such as yellow split peas, in meals to help keep a feeling of fulness.

Leaky Gut

Reasons for these reduced diets are many and varied, but quite often gut permeability (leaky gut), as a result of Candida, parasites, stress, medications or poor diet choices, leaves an individual susceptible to gastric discomfort and upset when eating certain foods. Of course, working nutritionally to remove the cause of leaky gut, while providing key nutrients through diet and supplements to support the health of the digestive tract, may mean that in time, the gut lining is restored, and a variety of foods tolerated again.


Another issue reducing diet options are oxalates. For most people, oxalates are not a problem, but for some, this inbuilt pest-repellent in many plant-based foods can be the source of much pain and discomfort. From muscle pain to vulvodynia, to sore, painful eyes to joint problems. Dr Shaw also advocates that oxalates are a major issue contributing to autism. Reducing the oxalate load on the body by choosing low and medium-oxalate foods, and again supporting the health of the gut,  should bring an oxalate problem under control. But in the meantime, food options may be limited.

Soft Taco

So here is a soft taco recipe, made with yellow split peas, which is suitable for those who have to avoid high oxalate foods or grains. If you struggle to digest legumes it may be helpful to take a natural, plant-based digestive enzyme supplement with the meal, to encourage a good break-down of the cellulose in legumes. This may help prevent bloating and wind, often associated with eating beans. However, because the split peas are pre-soaked and then thoroughly blended before cooking, digestion may not be affected.

These soft tacos can be used immediately or kept in the fridge or freezer, ready for a snack. Try topping with a poached egg for breakfast, use as a wrap with salad and flaked salmon for lunch, or make it a pocket for savoury mince for a hot evening meal. The spices in the tacos can be omitted if you are wanting to further reduce oxalate content.

Yellow Split Pea Soft Tacos

  • 1 cup of split peas
  • Boiling water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed.
  • Pinch Lo-Salt or Himalayan Pink salt
  1. Wash the split peas, place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for at least an hour, overnight if possible.
  2. Rinse the split peas and place in a blender with 1 cup of water, and the remaining ingredients. Whizz until you obtain a smooth batter.
  3. Heat a pan over a medium hob, with a little extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Spoon half a ladle of the batter into the pan, tilting to spread evenly.
  4. Add a lid to the pan and leave for about 3 minutes, or a bit longer, until the taco is golden on the underside and firm enough to carefully flip over with a fish slice.
  5. Cook the second side for a further 3 minutes, adding the lid again.
  6. Slide onto a plate while cooking the remaining batter. If you place another plate on top, and stack the tacos as you make them, they retain their heat well.

Eat immediately, or keep in the fridge or freezer and reheat when needed.