VEGAN | DF | GF
Did you know that authentic home-made falafel is supposed to be jam packed with fresh herbs (1.5 cups used in this recipe) making it a true superfood. Store bought falafel mix on the other hand is not quite as healthy for a few reasons:
Reason 1 – the low herb content. Most store bought falafel mixes contain only about 2 or 3% herbs. Fresh herbs are extremely high in antioxidants as well as a multitude of medicinal plant compounds.
Reason 2 – store bought falafel mix contains preservatives that are proven to have harmful effects on our health and immune systems.
Reason 3 – this recipe uses extra virgin olive oil which has incredible health benefits as apposed to seed or vegetable oils which do not have the same health benefits and have been through a chemical extraction process to make the oil (very unnatural).
And so although supermarket falafel mix is probably one of the healthier options of processed food you can purchase it is nowhere near as good for you as if you had made it fresh at home. If you enjoy falafel, especially if your vegan or vegetarian then it will be well worth your while to start making it yourself.
The only ingredient you may not be able to find at the supermarket is dried chickpeas which I’d recommend getting from a bulk foods store or just searching for this online. They are usually pretty cheap if you buy 1 or 2 kg’s which should last you a long time. Chickpeas are also a great addition to curries and soups and can be used to make hummus also – click for recipe.
You can learn a about the health benefits of chickpeas here on my Superfoods Bible.
The recipe contains significant amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, magnesium, and potassium, among others, due to the inclusion of fresh herbs and chickpeas.
Per serve: calories = 250, protein 17 grams, carbohydrates 60g, fiber 15g, fat 8g.
1 cup dried chickpeas (soaked in water overnight)
1 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, basil or chives
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons chickpea flour
1 large ripe avocado
Juice of 1/2 a large lemon
A sprinkle of salt
A splash of extra virgin olive oil.
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- Simply blitz all of the ingredients together in a food processor until well combined and creamy looking but there should still be a bit of texture so it doesn’t need to be 100% smooth.
- Scoop the falafel mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
- Roll up the falafel into gold ball sized balls with your hands and set aside on a plate.
- You can either fry your falafels in a pan or on a hot plate like I have done or they can also be baked in the oven – cook at 180 °C = 356 °F for 25 minutes or until golden on the outside.
- Either serve with aioli or to make the dip combine all of the ingredients together in the food processor and blend until smooth. You can add some herbs to this also for extra flavor.