Monday, September 1, 2014

Oil-free Baked Falafel

In my last post, I shared a hummus recipe that got some really kind feedback, well today I’ve got another chickpea-based Middle Eastern inspired recipe: oil-free baked falafel.

As I mentioned in my post about mung beans, legumes are one of the healthiest foods available worldwide, and some recent research suggests that bean intake is the most important factor associated with longer lifespans! Not only this, but beans are some of the cheapest foods making their nutrition value a huge bang for the buck!

This falafel recipe is super easy, essentially fool-proof, and tastes phenomenal.

I’m also including a very basic tahini dressing recipe. This is one of those once-in-a-while foods. Tahini is a thick paste made from pulverized sesame seeds, which sounds healthy on its face. However, it is very high in calories with most of those calories coming from fat. Unfortunately, most of that fat comes from Omega-6, an essential fatty acid, but one that most westerners get too much of in relation to their Omega-3 consumption. It is also possible for tahini to oxidize as it ages, which can cause the release of free radicals in your body.

That said few things are so cut and dry. Tahini is rich in phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and iron. It’s also a good source of methionine and very high in calcium. It also boasts vitamin E and many of the B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15). Most tahini’s are around 20% protein as well. So feel free to weight the costs for yourself. If you’re healthy and fit, including tahini in your diet won’t have a negative impact on your health when consumed sparingly.

Oil-free Falafel:

1 ½ cups dried chickpeas
2-3 cloves fresh garlic
1 small sweet onion
1 cup fresh parsley (it’s important to use fresh for this recipe)
Juice from ½ of a lemon
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax in 1 tablespoon of water)
Pinch of baking soda
1 tablespoon cumin
Black pepper and salt to taste

Soak the chickpeas overnight or for several hours. Try adding some citrus (like apple cider vinegar) to speed up the process and help with digestibility. Once the beans can be crushed by pinching them between your fingers they are ready. (Note: if you don’t have time to soak them, boil the chickpeas until they are about half cooked. Roughly 30 minutes).

Now, put all of the above ingredients into a food processor or hand held blender. Process until well combined and relatively processed, but not completely smooth. Stop the food processor and push the ingredients down towards the blends when needed. The entire mixture should turn into a light green from the parsley and have a pleasant cumin smell.
Now pre-heat the oven to 350 and line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the mixture into small 2 inch balls and put onto the pan. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes and check. The falafel balls should begin to brown. Flip them over and return to the oven for another 8 – 10 minutes. Take out and let cool.

While the falafels are cooking making the tahini sauce.

Tahini sauce:

2 tablespoons tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
Onion powder
¾ cup water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined and smooth.

As always the information presented in this blog is for educational purposes only. It should not be considered as specific medical, nutritional, lifestyle, or other health-related advice.


  1. Remember the ultra-fried balls at Mamoun's in New Brunswick? These are the antithesis of those.

    1. Hahaha, yes these are. But they are ever bit as tasty as any falafel I've ever had!

  2. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I have never made Falafel from scratch, but this makes me want to try my hand at <3