Falafels come from the Middle East region. They are usually ball-shaped, but also can be made into patties. Falafels most commonly are made from deep-fried ground fava beans, chickpeas, or in some cases both. These ingredients are incredibly healthy and filled with protein levels comparable to meat. The best part about falafel is that they are vegan-free if you fry them in plant-based oil.
Chickpeas and fava beans are high in protein. The former having a whopping 19 grams of protein per 100 grams, the latter having 13 grams of protein per 100 grams. These ingredients are filled with soluble fiber, which helps with digestion. Also, they are rich in many healthy minerals and other micronutrients, such as manganese, phosphorus, folate, and iron for chickpeas. Fava beans are also rich in manganese, phosphorus, folate, and iron, but in addition to that, these beans also have high levels of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B1, and zinc.
Falafels are made from these ingredients, so eating these nutrient bombs can enrich your life with health and reduce the risk of many potential diseases, such as Parkinson’s and anemia, Also, they can help you to reduce weight, lower cholesterol levels in the blood and reduce high blood pressure.
So, how to make this tasty and healthy dish? For the first recipe, you will need:
- 1 1/2 cups of dried chickpeas
- 4 cups of dried and skinless fava beans
- Three crushed cloves of garlic
- Three grated onions
- 1/4 teaspoons of hot pepper powder, cumin powder, and dried marjoram
- Salt for individual taste
To begin preparing this dish, soak chickpeas and fava beans in water, which is preferably cold, for a full 24 hours. Then remove the water and drain your peas and beans. After that is done, take your food processor and fill it with all the ingredients of falafel, blend all of it until it becomes a batter and let it sit for 30 minutes. Finally, take the mixture and form whatever form you want, balls or flat patties. To finally fry the falafel, use vegetable oil in a deep pan and deep-fry your falafel until they are brown and crispy from all sides. Then, take them out and drain the oil from them with kitchen paper. Here you go, you have prepared healthy, vegan-friendly falafel!
The second recipe is even healthier, as it requires an oven, instead of a deep pan. It will result in less fat in your falafel, which is even better if you want to eat as healthy as you can. For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 cup of dried chickpeas
- 1/2 cup of fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup of chopped red onion
- Four quartered cloves of garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
- 1/2 of black pepper
To bake your falafel, at first you need to soak your chickpeas in water for 24 hours. Then, blend all your ingredients with a food processor until you get a smooth batter. Let it sit for at least a half of hour. After that is done, you can preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and start forming the batter into your desired shape. Keep in mind that flat patties cook better in the oven than balls. When your oven is ready, put your patties on a baking sheet that is sprayed with vegetable oil and bake them for 10 minutes for each side. When you see crispy and brown crust on your falafel, you can take them out and enjoy! This recipe is healthier than the previous one because it contains less fat.
In conclusion, falafel is a gift from the Middle East. Most beginner vegans find it hard to substitute meat protein with plant-based fruits, but this dish eliminates such problem. Falafels are not only rich in protein, but they are also filled with nutrients required for a healthy body and mind. They are easy and quick to make. Besides, they taste amazing. You are guaranteed to satisfy even non-vegan friends with these two recipes!
If you enjoyed making and eating falafel, be sure to experiment with these recipes. You can try to change the ratio of chickpeas and Fava beans, or add different vegetables into the mix. You can even try to add different spices, such as cinnamon. Play with both fried and baked options until you find what you like the most.