Classic Baked Falafel (Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan)
Falafel are traditionally fried, which isn’t, of course, the healthiest option. Luckily, this falafel recipe is ultra crispy and oil-free, so I can eat falafel comfortably, without my gallbladder causing me any grief. I was skeptical about them browning without any oil, but they did manage to turn a beautiful golden brown, as you can see from the photo.
Speaking of golden brown, consider the following fun chemistry fact: The browning of food is called the Maillard Reaction. You can now make interesting conversation at your next dinner party, while serving these delectable falafel. You can also be the star of the show, by impressing your guests with the nutritional information (below) of what they're eating.
My favourite flavours and foods are Middle Eastern-inspired. Lots of cumin, sumac, lemon, tahini, mint, pomegranate and chickpeas. These flavours and foods offer a variety of health benefits, and they’re bold, so you can avoid bland-land.
Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo Beans) originated in the Middle East and are a staple in many diets around the globe as a source of nutritious, sustainable, vegetarian protein. They offer an impressive array of vitamin and minerals including, folate, copper, manganese, iron, zinc and phosphorous.
Their high fibre content helps to sweep out excess LDL “bad” cholesterol, for enhanced cardiovascular health. If you’re looking to get more fibre in your diet, adding chickpeas is the perfect fix -just one cup of chickpeas contains 50% of your daily recommended fibre intake.
Along with being fabulously high in fibre, chickpeas are protein-rich and low in sugar, making them a superior food for blood sugar regulation, heart health and management of diabetes. They also have a rich, buttery taste that most people enjoy. Chickpeas are commonly found in hummus, which is a staple in my kitchen.
Dried, roasted chickpeas can be turned into chickpea flour, which I used in this recipe to make these falafel gluten-free. Chickpea flour is gluten-free; high in protein, fibre and iron; and has a soft, nutty flavour. I even like to bake with it for a high-protein alternative to other gluten-free flours.
This clean falafel recipe is completely vegan, oil-free, gluten-free and stays true to the traditional falafel flavour. The tahini condiment, whichever of the 3 recipes mentioned above you use, is crucial to this dish -so don’t skip it! I’ve been keeping a double batch of the Lemon-Tahini Dressing from The Oh She Glows Cookbook and using it as a salad dressing/putting it on all my food. It’s addictive!
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