I love Mediterranean food and all it has to offer, hummus, tabule (as long as it’s quinoa based), salads, lentil soup and even falafel! But I can’t just indulge in any falafel as most are fried and often contain wheat flour. It is about time I made my own version. So last week I was lucky enough to have a good friend of mine mention that she was making a batch of homemade falafels. I had her send over the recipe that she used and then I made my own conversions that suited my palette and my preferences.
I am so super excited to share these with you. I am also so excited that I can now make my own batch of them and store them in the freezer and warm them up for a quick protein power-packed lunch, snack or dinner. They are gluten free (without the spelt breadcrumbs), nut free, vegan and make an incredible addition to any meal.
If you didn’t know this already, falafel’s are made from chickpeas, one of my favourite beans or legumes. They have a unique flavour, are high in protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates and you can do so much with them! Once you have cooked up a fresh batch of chickpeas from scratch, the sky is the limit as far as recipes from soups to hummus or bean dip, coconut curry or a bean salad and now I have one more to add to the mix!
A quick note on cooking your own cooking your own chickpeas. This is by far the more superior healthy way to go, not only will your beans taste better but they will be less “gassy” and you won’t be as bloated. It is vital that you cook your beans with Kombu – a sea vegetable that helps to break down the beans and help with digestion + it is adding a load of minerals and nutrients into the cooking water. It needs to be removed after cooking.
How To Cook Your Beans:
The night before you decide to make beans, pull out a large pot and fill it half full of water. Place the bean in the water and allow to set for at least 12 hours. Use filtered water for best results. The next morning, drain the water and replace with more water. For every cup of beans add four cups of water. Add the strip of Kombu to the pot and begin to boil the beans. Once at a rolling boil, allow to boil for 20 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 to 4 hours depending on the beans and recommended times on the packaging. Cook until soft. Drain and Serve!
However if time is a factor and you didn’t plan ahead and you want to use canned, go with EDEN organic canned beans. They are preserved with Kombu and the cans are BPA free!
I got really creative and topped my balls on a bed of steamed kale, with roasted brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes and cauliflower. Then I drizzled my homemade tahini sauce on top!
Home Baked Falafels
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 small red onion chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
4 tablespoons CHICKPEA FLOUR (can use brown rice or quinoa flour)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon ground Chia (from Navitas) + 3 tablespoons water (makes 1 egg)
1 grated carrot
2 tablespoons dried parsley
Roll in 1/2 cup Spelt breadcrumbs (Sha Sha)
Preheat oven to 400F.
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
2. Combine the chickpeas, onion, garlic, flour, spices, oil and salt, pulse in a food processor until the mixture is well combined and smooth.
3. Form the mixture into 8-12 small balls or patties with wet hands.
4. Roll each ball in breadcrumbs if preferred (or do half and half).
5. Bake in oven for approx. 30-35 minutes or until crispy and golden.
Serve these delights in a pita, wrap with hummus, tahini sauce or on top of a salad.
Homemade Tahini Sauce
1/4 cup pure tahini
2-4 tablespoons of water to thin out
1/2 of one lemon, juiced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Blend all together in blender – it can be as creamy or thin as you desire!
You can get more delicious knowledge by checking out Marni’s Weekday Meal Planning e-book, available here: http://www.marniwasserman.com/ebooks/
What would you put your Falafels in or on?
Where have you eaten the best Falafels?
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