Do you know how to make protein falafel?
I absolutely love falafel, so I've made it many times! Strangely enough, though, I've never made a protein-packed, fitness-friendly falafel. What a great challenge!
Traditional falafel is made from a mix of chickpeas, spices, onions, garlic, (chickpea) flour, egg, herbs, and breadcrumbs. From this batter, balls or fritters are formed and then deep-friend in oil until golden brown. Falafel is usually eaten warm inside pita bread, but it's also common to find falafel balls served alongside a lettuce and tomato salad.
Delicious! Unfortunately, falafel is traditionally fried and high in fat. For those following a healthy nutrition plan, falafel doesn't really fit.
I set out to answer a few burning questions: Is it possible to make a low-fat and lower-carb falafel? Can we keep everything that makes falafel taste great and get rid of the things that make it unhealthy? And, most importantly, can we up the protein content?
Guess what, friends? We can.
- 1/2 cup (118ml) liquid egg whites
- 3/8 cup (51g) unflavored pea protein powder
- 1 can (255g) unsalted cooked and drained chickpeas
- 1/4 cup (34g) oat flour (gluten-free or regular)
- 1/4 of a red onion (34g)
- 1 fresh garlic clove
- 1 handful of fresh parsley (or more, depending on taste)
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- In a bowl or mixer, pulse together the above ingredients; you want to retain some of the batter's texture, so just pulse the mix until the chickpeas are mushy.
- Shape mixture into balls or fritters and place them on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Turn falafel balls over so they brown evenly. Bake for another 15 minutes.
- If falafel is thoroughly browned, take them out of the oven.
- Eat them! They're good dipped in hummus and also delicious dipped in Greek yogurt with fresh coriander and onions. They're also good inside pita bread, or alongside a good old-fashioned salad!
Serving Size Per 6 falafel, recipe yields 12
Protein Falafel PDF (71 KB)