An easy go-to recipe for lunch or dinner that is high in fiber, protein and flavour! Texture is key; while blending, be sure not to over-process or puree the mixture- a fine coarse crumb with several larger pieces is optimal. Baked Falafel can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for an easy salad topper, finger food for your kid, or as a late night snack. These are not traditional Falafel, but they taste just as good with a texture I hope you'll love. Garlic dill sunflower dip is the perfect accompaniment!
I'm always on the lookout for great finger food for our son. The other day, I had an intense craving for falafel so, I decided to try making them at home. I quickly realized that crafting non-traditional falafel is no easy task. I'm happy to report that after several attempts, I feel I got it right: a baked falafel with a crunchy outside and good texture on the inside, that isn't dry or too moist. I had a little help along the way thanks to some brainstorming with my friend, Alexandra @ Occasionally Eggs and much research on the subject. Keep in mind that these are certainly not traditional falafel, but I think they taste just as good and have a very similar texture without any deep-frying.
These falafel are low in fat, high in fiber and protein, and make for quick and healthy eating especially for your little ones; Connor devoured a sizeable portion of every test batch exclaiming "these Pa-lapels are gooood, mommy"! Pair them with my easy Garlic Dill Sunflower dip (blended in a Vitamix) for an awesome lunch, snack or quick dinner...you won't believe this dip is made from raw sunflower seeds (it's so good)!
I hope you love them!
BAKED FALAFEL with GARLIC DILL SUNFLOWER DIP
For the Falafel
- 3 cups (485g) unsalted canned chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
- ⅓ cup parsley
- ½ (115g) medium red onion roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
- 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup raw sesame seeds
- 3 tbsp spelt flour or all purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
For the Garlic Dill Sunflower Dip
- ½ cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp dried dill or 1 tbsp fresh
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp water
Prepare the Falafel
Preheat oven to 385'F. Brush a large baking sheet with a thin but generous layer of oil. Set aside.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then pat to dry to remove excess moisture. Place the chickpeas, parsley, onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, olive oil and salt in a food processor, then pulse until the ingredients resemble a coarse crumb (about 10 pulses).
Scrape down the sides of the food processor, then sprinkle in the flour, sesame seeds and baking powder. Pulse another 5-6 times or until the mixture resembles a fine but coarse crumb with a few larger pieces. Be sure not to puree the mixture! Pour the mixture into a medium sized bowl and give it a couple stirs to make sure all the flour and sesame seeds are combined.
Shape the Falafel: measure approx ~2 ½ tbsp, then roll it into a ball. Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet then gently flatten it with the palm of your hand until it's ~½" thick. Brush a small amount of oil on the top of each falafel and bake for ~30 minutes in the preheated oven, carefully flipping the falafel halfway through the cooking time. The finished falafel will have a nice golden brown colour. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before serving.
Prepare the Garlic Dill Sunflower Dip
To a high powered blender (I recommend a Vitamix), add all the dip ingredients, and blend on high until the mixture is smooth and even. Serve the falafel with a side of dip, or place in pita bread with fresh vegetables, hummus and a healthy dollop of dip (my favourite).
Because canned chickpeas can vary in texture, if your mixture is too crumbly (i.e. doesn't stick together when pressed between your fingers), stir in ~1 tbsp of water. Cooked falafel will last for about 4-5 days covered in the fridge, however, they will lose their crunchy texture if not eaten right away. Garlic dill sunflower sauce can be made ahead and kept covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
*The directions for this recipe were lovingly inspired by the great people over at The Kitchn! Thanks, guys!