Healthful Falafels

I’m always trying to get my kids to eat healthy, and make all food from scratch and make sure that we eat food from different cultures and different parts of the world. I must say my kids aren’t fussy eaters and are willing to try anything once.

My older daughter suddenly announced at the age of 11, that she wants to become vegetarian. She said she couldn’t bring herself to eat meat after reading about all the cruelty to animals. Of course, 5 minutes later, she said “but I do want to have bacon once in a while”. Haha. 🙂

Anyways, getting protein through vegetarian food is quite difficult. There’s eggs of course but pretty much nothing else has large amounts of protein. Yogurt, chickpeas yes but not a lot of protein. Chickpeas are 98% carbohydrates and only 2% protein.

So really, that pita bread that you are eating the falafels with is not necessary.

But how else do you scoop up that delicious tahini, tzatziki and hummus?

Healthful Falafels

(From Serious Eats)

  • 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and soaked overnight in water.
  • 2 cups mint, parsley or cilantro leaves, or a mix of all three
  • 6 scallions, white and pale green parts, sliced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Oil, for frying

Combine all the ingredients except the oil in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely minced and can hold together as a ball. Transfer the mixture to the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Remove and form balls (about the size of a plum, no larger than a golf ball). Transfer the balls to a plate. I rolled some of them in sesame seeds to give it an added crunch.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. When the oil sizzles if you drop in a tiny bit of mixture, it’s ready. Gently lower the balls, a few at a time into the hot oil. Let them brown, and gently flip them so that they are browned on all sides. It should take about 4-5 minutes total.

Remove the fried falafel and transfer to a paper napkin-lined plate. Season with salt.

Serve with tzatziki, hummus, tahini, pita bread. And a lovely salad of chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onion, pickles and some feta cheese. And Zhug, a great Yemenite hot sauce.

Note: I did try to bake these falafel, and they didn’t taste half bad. So go ahead and bake them if you prefer, at a 180 deg C oven for 8-10 minutes, until browned. They are obviously not as crispy as when they are fried.

I’ve also air-fried them and they are pretty good for about 10 minutes out of the air-fryer, but they don’t keep well.


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