Home-made falafel is one of the most delicious ways to incorporate more plant-based whole foods into your diet. If you practice a vegan diet or want to reduce your meat intake, home-made falafel is perfect for you.
As a nutritionist, one of my most recommended dietary suggestions is to increase vegetable consumption and replace energy-dense foods with those that are nutrient-dense. This home-made falafel makes following this guideline a lot simpler.
Falafel is made with chick peas, a fibrous plant source (legume) of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Some researchers have indicated that consumers of chickpeas “have been shown to have higher nutrient intakes of dietary fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and iron as compared to non-consumers. “ 1
Emerging research also suggests that chickpeas could be beneficial in weight management and regulating glucose and insulin.
- 1/2 cup overnight soaked raw chick peas (bagged and hard chick peas)
- 1 small onion
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1/2 a medium sized sweet red bell pepper
- 1/2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 tbs Bob’s Redmill brown rice flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp all spice
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 2/8 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil for light deep frying
- Soak the chickpeas over night.
- The next day, drain the water from the chick peas and set aside while preparing all other ingredients.
- Take the onion and cut it into smaller parts. Add the onion into the food processor to be chopped.
- When the onion is thoroughly chopped, add all the other ingredients and blend until the ingredients come together. Do not blend the mixture into a puree or liquify. The mixture should be blended enough to form “ burger” patties.
- Grab a frying pan and add enough olive oil to be able to lightly deep fry the falafel. Too little oil will cause the falafel to fall apart.
- Place the frying pan with oil on the stove and turn to high heat. Mold the falafel into burger patties and place them in the frying pan. When the oil begins to bubble, turn down the stove to medium to high heat and fry the falafel on each side for 5- 7 minutes or until golden and crispy. Make sure to make space between each falafel and do not overcrowd the pan.
- When the falafel are golden brown on both sides, remove it from the heat.
- Serve the falafel in a burger bun or with your favourite salad and side servings.
Wallace, Marray, Zelman. The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Chickpeas and Hummus. Nutrients, 2016