With 10 key ingredients, The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE is delicious, nutritious, and easy to prepare. They're crispy on the outside and soft inside. These freezer friendly balls of deliciousness can be used on a salad, pizza, wrap or as a snack dipped in hummus or tahini sauce. Yum! This baked falafel is a go-to meal prep favorite.
This oil-free baked falafel has 10 key ingredients:
- Dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) that have been soaked in water for 8 or more hours
- Coconut aminos
- Ground flaxseed (or flaxseed meal)
- Coriander, ground
- Cumin, ground
How to prepare this oil-free baked falafel
The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE is easy to make with just a few simple steps. However, soaking dried chickpeas the night before is a must for this recipe. Don't use canned chickpeas.
- Put dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) into a large bowl and cover with water. Since the dried chickpeas will absorb the water, make sure there is plenty of water—about 2 inches of water above the chickpeas should be sufficient. Soak chickpeas for at least 8 hours or overnight. Afterwards, rinse and drain the chickpeas.
- Add all the ingredients into a food processor and process to a coarse meal. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl to ensure all ingredients get incorporated. The mixture should be course enough to just hold in shape but is not too mushy. Shape the mixture into small balls or patties with a spoon or ice cream scooper (about ⅛ cup size).
- Carefully place the balls or patties in the air fryer and cook at 400°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. If oven baking, bake in a preheated oven at 425°F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. The outside of the falafel should be crispy and inside moist. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve on a salad topped with Epic Tahini Lemon Garlic Sauce. Salt to taste.
Check out this short video of Gigi making a batch The Best Falafel That Happens to be OIL-FREE:
I remember discovering and falling in love with falafel in high school and eating it almost every week for lunch. I still love falafel today, but these days I understand the danger of fried foods. So, eating falafel once a week has been a non-starter.
I was recently going through my high school yearbook with friends, and then the next thing I knew, I felt like eating falafel. It's amazing how memories can trigger foods you associate with a specific time in your life. This is where the oil-free falafel was born. These falafels are so delicious. Even though these come out great in the oven, I must give special credit to the air fryer because it gave the falafel a crispy texture without the oil and in less time.
Frequently Asked Questions
The origin of the falafel is up for debate historically. Some food historians argue that the Egyptian Copts dating 1000 years back carried it with them from the Middle East, while others dated it back to India in the 6th century. For modern-day falafel eaters, you have most likely eaten an authentic version of this dish in a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean restaurant. So, what exactly is falafel made of? It is a ball or patty of yumminess. Its ground chickpeas, vegetables, herbs, and spices, then molded into balls or patties. Traditionally it is deep-fried and served inside a pita sandwich, as a side in a bowl with rice and tabbouleh, or on its own with tahini sauce.
The short answer is that canned chickpeas make the falafel mushy.
The ingredients and preparation method for this baked falafel recipe are good for you and your health. Namely, chickpeas are high in protein, fiber, iron, magnesium and other micronutrients. Parsley and mint are good sources of vitamin K, the flaxseeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids. The aromatics like onion and garlic contain beneficial phytochemicals like flavonoids. By using an air fryer or oven-baking to prepare these little golden nuggets of deliciousness, this baked falafel is oil-free. However, when falafel is made with a lot of sodium, and deep fried in oil, the health benefits diminish.
Yes, you can freeze this falafel mixture for later. Be sure to form the balls or patties first, and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then place the baking sheet in the freezer for 6 to 8 hours to harden. Removed from the baking sheet and transfer to an airtight freezer safe bag or container. Falafel keeps well in the freezer for about two months. To cook from frozen, place in the air fryer and cook at 400°F (205°C) for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. If using an oven to cook from frozen, preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C) and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Ways to use falafel in your meals
This baked falafel is a must-try. It's so flavorful and packed with protein and fiber rich chickpeas, fresh herbs, aromatics and various spices like coriander and cumin, it will become your new go-to meal prep. It is so versatile you can eat it alone as a snack or eat it as a meal by adding it to a salad like Gigi's Big Rainbow Salad, and topping with Epic Tahini Lemon Garlic Sauce. You could also add a few falafel patties to an Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortilla with the Best Garlic Hummus (Oil-Free) and some veggies for a quick wrap.
Also, you don’t need to be boxed into or should I say circled into making falafel into balls or little patties. You can use the mixture in a variety of ways.
- Falafel burger
- Meat loaf style
- Crumbles (for pizza or tacos)
One thing is for sure you won't be disappointed. This oil-free baked falafel truly is a gamechanger.
We hope you love this oil-free baked falafel. Please rate and leave a comment below. Be sure to share a picture on Instagram and tag us @danielsplaterecipes so we can see your creation!Print
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