- 100% Plant-Based
ALMOND SESAME SEED FALAFELS
Serving size: 12
While falafels are already typically vegan, they're not always gluten-free and are usually deep fried. My version is both gluten-free and offers a healthier alternative to deep frying by baking them. Falafels are naturally packed with plant protein thanks to all the chickpeas, as well as countless other micronutrients & antioxidants from the variety of fresh herbs, onion, and garlic.
• 1 cup *dried* chickpeas (cannot be canned)
• 4 cloves garlic
• 1/2 medium yellow onion
• 2 to 4 tablespoons almond flour
• 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• white pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons parsley, finely minced
• 2 tablespoons mint, finely minced
• 1/3 cup cilantro, finely minced
• 1/4 cup sesame seeds
It is absolutely CRUCIAL that you use DRIED chickpeas and not chickpeas from a can to make falafels. If you attempt to use chickpeas out of a can, they will turn out as complete mush. If you're used to only buying chickpeas out of a can, you can find dried chickpeas in the same section of the grocery store usually in a bag like this.
To make the falafels, begin by placing the dried chickpeas into a large bowl and cover with about 3 inches of cold water. Let these soak for at least 4 hours or overnight then drain, rinse, and set aside. You will be left with approximately 3 cups of beans after they're done soaking.
In a food processor, pulse the garlic a few times then add the onion and pulse again. Next, add all of the soaked chickpeas, almond flour, flaxseeds, baking powder, salt, pepper and pulse everything together.
Once combined, scrape the mixture into a large bowl, add the finely minced parsley, mint, and cilantro and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
After refrigeration is complete, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Start forming the falafels into your desired shape — round balls or patties (I like to make them into balls). At this point, you can also taste-test the mixture and adjust seasoning as needed. Additionally, if the mixture isn't sticking together easily, you may want to add a touch more of the almond flour.
Before adding the falafels to a baking sheet, gently roll each one in sesame seeds. This step is entirely optional and not necessary but will make for an even crunchier falafel.
Lightly grease a sheet pan and arrange the shaped falafels on the pan. Using a basting brush, lightly brush the falafels with oil. Alternatively, you can spray them with oil. This will help the falafels develop better color and an outer golden layer in the baking process. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until cooked all the way through and slightly golden on the outside.
Falafels are best served immediately after cooking while they're still warm and crispy! Serving options range from inside a pita wrap to on a salad, as part of a Mediterranean bowl, as an appetizer/snack with vegan tzatziki, or even in a burger as the patty.
My favorite way to enjoy these falafels is with a homemade whipped garlic spread and roasted beets as pictured above. These can get addicting with their crispy outside and soft, crumbly chickpea dough inside but luckily this recipe makes a batch with plenty of leftovers to enjoy throughout the week in a variety of different applications.