I love falafels and am always so tempted every time I walk by a Lebanese restaurant or a Kebab shop hearing them call out to me (I swear I am not crazy, they really do want me to eat them!)
However, despite the temptation I am aware that even though these are so delicious they are also not the healthiest option. Normally fried and covered copiously within oil, that you can nearly see them glistening in the sun.
However, this does not mean that falafels in general should be banned, just maybe rethink that oily falafel wrap at 2am. However, when you remove the excess amount of oil and just take a look at ingredients that make up the falafels themselves you will see that these are nutrient dense. Containing mostly chickpeas that serve as a great source of protein and carbohydrates for vegans, vegetarians, and even meat-eaters.
Most recipes for cooked falafels are made from chickpeas with some fragrant spices and fresh herbs, while other raw falafels normally contain a mixture of seeds and nuts in substitution of the chickpeas.
In this recipe of Kale and Carrot Falafel Balls I decided to mix this up a little bit and move away from the traditional recipe. Admittedly this may have occurred because I could not find chickpea flour at home, and also ran out of chickpeas so I used a combination of chickpeas and soya beans in the recipe (this is what you get for deciding to spontaneously make falafel balls with the ingredients that you already have present in your kitchen). Nevertheless, I still stand firm by my choice in ingredients for this recipe, providing a greater diversity incorporating two different types of legumes (chickpeas and soya beans) and a psuedo-grain (amaranth), each with their own distinct nutritional values, complimenting one another.
One of the guidelines from the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (2013) is to enjoy a wide variety of food from the five food groups everyday, with a large focus on increasing the consumption for vegetables of different colour, legumes/beans, and grains as they all provide different vitamins and minerals.
With the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating in mind my creation of the Kale and Carrot Falafel Balls is low in saturated fats and cholesterol, providing you with 3 different sources of protein (soya beans providing 16.6 grams of protein for every 100grams). These are also an excellent source of unprocessed healthy, low GI carbohydrates that is necessary for energy production. In addition, the combination of vegetables and legumes found within 2 and a half of these falafel balls make up 1 serving of vegetables. And if you wish to up the ante even further then place these falafel balls on a lettuce wrap with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, red capsicum and topped with my Avocado and Cucumber Dressing.
Makes 22 balls
Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Vegan, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free
Preparation & Cooking Time
25 minutes prep time
30 minutes refrigeration time
25 minutes cooking time
Kale and Carrot Falafel Balls
- 320 grams cooked chickpeas
- 320 grams cooked soya beans
- 4 cloves of garlic chopped
- 4-5 springs of green onion
- 1 x medium carrot chopped
- 2 cups of kale chopped
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp amaranth flour
- 4 tsp cumin ground
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- pinch of cardamom
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- handful of fresh coriander
- handful of fresh parsley
- handful of fresh dill
- salt and pepper to taste
- sesame seeds to coat the Kale and Carrot Falafel Balls
- 1 x chopping board
- 1 x knife
- 2 x measuring spoons
- 1 x measuring cup
- 1 x food processor
- 1 x large baking tray
- baking paper
- 1 x frying pan
- 1 x wooden spoon
- 1 x Large bowl
- 1 x plate
- Place the cooked soya beans and chickpeas into the food processor. Process these until they are broken down.
- In a medium frying pan add one tbsp of olive oil and heat. Add in the spring onion, garlic, carrot, kale, ground cumin, paprika, ginger powder, and cardamom. Saute for approximately 2 minutes until the kale is softened and the spices are fragrant.
- Place the kale and carrot mixture into the food processor with the beans and process until well combined.
- Add the coriander, parsley, dill, chilli powder, 4 tbsp olive oil, flour, and salt and pepper into the food processor and combine these well. Be careful not too over process as it should resemble a grainy/paste texture
- Place this into a large bowl and cover. Refrigerate this for at least half an hour
- In the meantime make the Avocado and Cucumber Dressing
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
- Remove the Kale and Carrot Falafel mixture from the refrigerator
- Take a scoop roughly the size of the palm of your hand and rolls this into a ball or make into a patty shape.
- Lightly cover this in sesame seeds and then place onto the baking tray
- Place the baking tray into the oven and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes flip the falafel balls over and cook for a further 15 minutes
- Remove these from the oven and serve on a lettuce wrap with a drizzle of avocado and cucumber dressing. Bon Apetit!
Avocado and Cucumber Dressing
- 1 medium ripe avocado
- 1/2 medium cucumber chopped
- tsp dill
- 1 clove of garlic chopped
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- pinch of onion flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- water to thin
- 1 x chopping board
- 1 x knife
- 1 x measuring spoons
- 1 x small belnder
- 1 x smal bowl
- Place all of the ingredients into the small blender, except the water, and blend until smooth.
- Add 1 tbsp of water at a time until you receive the desired consistency
- Place this in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- If you do not have soya beans then feel free to just replace this portion with normal chickpeas or even try adding in another type of bean
- In substitute of amaranth flour you can also use chickpea flour
- This also goes well with a lemon tahini dressing
National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Guidelines to Healthy Eating 2013, http://health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/nhsc-guidelines~aus-guide-healthy-eating