This falafel recipe is a winner in so many ways. A healthy upgrade to the traditionally fried chickpea cakes, this falafel is baked, avoiding the messy kitchen and processed oils that normally come with frying. This recipe uses sweet potatoes to marry the typical flavors you normally see in traditional falafel, while adding a subtle sweetness that takes it to a whole new level. Bonus: these little nuggets are amazingly freezer-friendly, and thaw in a flash, so consider making a double batch - you won't regret it!
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1-2 cups chickpea flour (Bob's Red Mill Garbanzo Flour)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup red onion, diced
- 2 big handfuls of fresh cilantro or parsley (or both), chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced (or 1 Tbs garlic powder)
- 2 tsp of each: coriander + cumin
- 1 tsp of each: cinnamon + paprika + cardamom + turmeric
- pinch of cayenne
- 1 lemon (zest + juice)
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- s + p
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Meanwhile, rinse the sweet potatoes and pierce a few holes using a fork or knife. Lay the sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop them in the oven until soft and tender (about 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the sweet potatoes). Meanwhile, Add all of the remaining ingredients to a large bowl, mix to combine (start off with only 1 cup of chickpea flour). Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven. While you wait for them to become cool enough to handle, make the Green Herb Tahini Sauce (see below). Once the Sweet Potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them down the middle and scoop out the flesh, adding it to the chickpea flour mixture. Stir to combine all of the ingredients. The "dough" should be thick and sticky, almost like the consistency of cookie dough (heads up: depending on the moisture level of your sweet potatoes, you may need to add extra chickpea flour, add a few Tbs at a time). Pop the falafel batter in the refrigerator for 30 min to firm up. Then roll the dough into 1" balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (Tip: you can dust your hands in garbanzo flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your palms. PS: this is a great activity for the kids, put them to work!!) Bake the falafel at 375 F for about 10-15 minutes, until they are firm with a slight give (the bottom of the falafels should turn lightly brown). Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Enjoy these protein-packed nuggets by dunking them in the Green Tahini Sauce, or serve them in a big fat Greek salad, or assemble a Mediterranean Mezze Platter.
Green Tahini Sauce
- 1/2 cup Tahini
- 1 lemon (juice + zest)
- 3 Tbs of vinegar (apple cider, red wine, white wine all work well)
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 handfuls of fresh cilantro and parsley
- cold water (as needed)
Throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and puree until smooth. The tahini will "seize" (turn into a super thick paste). Begin to add small amounts of cold water (1 Tbs at a time) and continue to pulse until sauce "relaxes" and reaches desired consistency. Enjoy!