Easy Recipe for Healthy Baked Falafel. Serve individual falafel balls with tahini dipping sauce as a fun appetizer or with wraps and fillings for a healthy main dish.
I’ve always loved falafel, but the greasy fried balls haven’t always loved me. It took years for me to take the time to dissect what about them worked well for me and which parts I could alter to still give me the taste I was looking for without the belly ache afterwards. Ingredient by ingredient I addressed my concerns, and then moved on to the cooking method. Baked falafel is healthier than its fried counterpart….and it is possible to have a crunchy outside, yet a tender inside.
Healthy baked falafel is a great option for vegans because it is nutrient dense. It’s also a great option for a Meatless Monday, or for anyone just trying to include more plant-based options into their repertoire because it’s tasty and satisfying.
Tahini: big on flavor and nutrition.
I’ve been crushing on tahini for quite a while now. (Do you love those halva bliss balls as much as I do?) Some tahini on the inside of these baked falafel keeps them moist. Some tahini for a drizzle on top of the falafel adds flavor plus protein, more healthy fats and calcium. Adding more tahini is a great option all the time because I just love everything about it! There. I said it. Toppings, wraps, and even the falafel themselves can be altered to suit dietary restrictions and tastes…which makes this dish even more appealing in my book.
Where does your nourishment come from?
Greetings from the Dominican Republic! I hope you’ve seen some of the gorgeous photos I’ve been sharing on my Insta-stories of the beautiful beaches and lush greenery, the quaint villages and the gorgeous healthy food we are eating. Maybe you’ve even missed the usual sightings of Calvin Klein, but are enjoying the frolicking kitties that are at the villa? This is the 18th year I’ve taken a winter trip with the same group of women. There are 8 of us and our friendship continues to be one of the most important components of my self-care routine. The nourishment I get from my relationships is as vital to my well-being as the food I put in my body.
What’s the best diet anyhow?
The fresh local fish here is amazing, and I’m enjoying it, but truthfully, I eat very little animal protein at home. It works for me because I focus on nutrient dense vegan options. Whether you include animal products in your diet or not isn’t the best indicator of how healthy the food you’re eating is. Vegan that isn’t done well—-it’s possible to be vegan and even gluten-free while eating a bunch of junk— is actually LESS good of an option than a diet that includes meat, chicken, fish or eggs along with an abundance of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and real whole food.
The best diet for YOU is the one that makes YOU feel your best and most vibrant self. It’s the one that is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, healthy fats, etc. and lacking in empty calories that offer no nutrition. Finding choices that work well for YOU so that you’re able to participate fully in your life is the way to go.
I’ve loaded up on both physical and emotional nourishment while here in the Dominican. That natural Vitamin D has been a real boost! Perhaps you saw my post on social media asking for your definition of self-care? For me, this is it. A week with my friends where I know that my authentic self can shine. We laugh, we cry, we support, we encourage, and we listen.
Healthy baked falafel will nourish your body. To nourish your soul, I suggest you get something on your calendar pronto!
- ¾ cup dried chick peas, soaked overnight*
- 1 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 large shallot, minced (approx. 1/3 cup)
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 4 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground corriander
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 Tablespoons tahini
- ¼ cup almond meal
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 large purple onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup cider vinegar
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt.
- Heat oven to 450 and line rimmed baking pan with unbleached parchment.
- If using dried chick peas, soak 12-18 hours, or overnight. If using canned chick peas, put them into the food processor at the end with the tahini and almond meal.
- Place everything but almond meal and tahini (and canned chick peas if you're not using dried) in food processor. Process until smooth. Add tahini Process. If you're using canned chick peas, put them in now and process, leaving a few chunks.
- Put almond meal in shallow bowl.
- Scoop falafel mixture by tablespoon, roll into balls and drop into bowl with almond flour. Toss to coat and then place onto prepared pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes, turn and then bake for additional 10 minutes until golden.
- For Tahini Drizzle: whisk together ingredients, adding more water 1 Tablespoon at a time until pourable consistency.
- For Pickled Onions: Thinly slice onions and place in small glass bowl. Boil vinegars, water, syrup and salt. Stir until syrup and salt are totally dissolved. Pour over onions that are in glass dish. Let sit at room temp for 1-2 hours. Store in air tight jar in fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Use fresh pita or collard green, or Boston lettuce as a vessel for falafel sandwich. Fill with lettuce, or cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes or whatever else you like. Add falafel, top with pickled onions and a generous drizzle of tahini. Enjoy!
CHICK PEAS: You can use canned chick peas, drained, rinsed and drained again. Note that if you use canned chick peas you will add them at the very end.
OPTIONAL WRAPS: pita or butter lettuce or cabbage leaves, collard greens or swiss chard.
OPTIONAL FILLINGS: jalapenos, chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, lemon juice, sliced cabbage, olives, chopped greens, fresh herbs
Serving Size3 Falafel Balls
Amount Per Serving Calories 399Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 20gCholesterol 0mgSodium 1201mgCarbohydrates 35gFiber 7gSugar 14gProtein 13g
The nutrition calculations were done using online tools. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you used. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information is accurate, complete and useful.