Ask The Protein Powder Chef: Can You Make Protein Falafel?

I have a passion for weightlifting, nutrition, and great-tasting food. My specialty is cooking with protein powder. Ask me a question and I'll turn it into a protein-filled, delicious recipe!
Q

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.

Ingredients

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. 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.
  3. Shape mixture into balls or fritters and place them on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  4. Turn falafel balls over so they brown evenly. Bake for another 15 minutes.
  5. If falafel is thoroughly browned, take them out of the oven.
  6. 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!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size Per 6 falafel, recipe yields 12
Amount per serving
Calories 356
Total Fat6g
Total Carbs35.7g
Protein40g

Protein Falafel PDF (71 KB)

Make Fluffier Falafel

Try adding chopped nuts, flaked coconut, or extra spices to the recipe. You could also roll the falafel balls in ground almonds before you bake them. Don't be afraid to experiment!


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About The Author

Anna's passion for exercise and nutrition inspired her to create proteinpow.com while she was still in the last year of her Ph.D. program.

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Comments

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FRED514

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FRED514

I made this recipe. Awesome! I didn't know I could bake them. Usually it's fried...

Jan 18, 2013 8:16pm | report
 
muvarak

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muvarak

Great suggestions, as I LOVE falafel, but eat it once in a blue moon due to the fact it's fried . So this version sounds much better. I'd just like to point out that traditional falafel is actually made with ground chickpeas, onions, parsley and a special spice mix... no flour or eggs. Some restaurants that claim to make falafel do include bread crumbs, but that's so bad since the bread crumbs soak up so much oil, not to mention it's cheating, since they're including it to increase the volume of their falafel mix with leftover bread!

Jan 18, 2013 8:24pm | report
 
AnnaSward

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AnnaSward

Some people do add a bit of egg and the flour I meant gram flour which some people also add BUT you are indeed correct in pointing out that a lot of falafel (esp the "real" falafel) is made sans any flour or egg :-)

Jan 19, 2013 1:59am | report
Mainevant

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Mainevant

As always...awesome..

Article Rated:
Jan 19, 2013 5:33am | report
 
AnnaSward

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AnnaSward

Thank you, sir ;-)

Jan 19, 2013 5:37am | report
bkp25

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bkp25

This sounds like a great recipe, i will be buying some of the ingredients at the store to make this to go with tonight's stirfry, thank you for the idea!

Jan 19, 2013 7:47am | report
 
1JFS3

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1JFS3

these look awesome and the macro profile is money

Jan 19, 2013 6:57pm | report
 
ajmigliacci

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ajmigliacci

I absolutely cannot wait to try these! I knew if I kept asking for falafel, you'd have to make it. I could just tell you love falafel too!

ps - I made the protein tortilla chips yesterday. Sadly, they were way too thick and puffy to be chips, but they make excellent pita! Now I have high protein pita and falafel. I can't wait! Thank you so much.

Jan 19, 2013 9:55pm | report
 
AnnaSward

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AnnaSward

Haha sweeeeeet! Happy to hear :-)))

Jan 20, 2013 11:41am | report
ajmigliacci

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ajmigliacci

Oh, what about chicken pot pie!

Jan 19, 2013 10:16pm | report
 
infamousmarv

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infamousmarv

Yummy that is a go for me

Jan 20, 2013 12:46am | report
 
mynameisfashion

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mynameisfashion

OMG That's great! definitely going to try!! :)

Jan 20, 2013 8:09am | report
 
MaineMom76

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MaineMom76

This sounds delicious and I LOVE falafel! I've never used pea protein before - do I have to use this or can I use regular whey protein? I'd rather not buy a huge tub of protein for 3/8 cup.

Jan 20, 2013 12:21pm | report
 
AnnaSward

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AnnaSward

Hmm no, whey won't work. You know, if you get pea protein you'll use far more than 3/8 of a cup! I have dozens and dozens (if not hundreds!) of pea protein recipes at proteinpow.com so get some and use it ;-D

Jan 21, 2013 5:56am | report
Rozen30

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Rozen30

What can pea pair with to form complete protein? Or does the completeness matter?

Aug 6, 2013 7:33pm | report
AskBigFrankB

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AskBigFrankB

I am DEFINATELY going to try this! Without a doubt! I do equal protein, equal carbs and this meal is a perfect ratio for me! I've never had falafel or even heard of it until Batman Begins (yes I am a nerd for saying that) but the picture makes them look so good and with the ingredients? I totaly can't wait to try them! Thanks for posting this!

Jan 20, 2013 4:58pm | report
 
AnnaSward

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AnnaSward

Hahaha that's awesome! :-D

Jan 21, 2013 5:55am | report
madskizzls

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madskizzls

can you make this without the pea protein? obviously it would take away the protein content but it would still be a low fat/carb version

Jan 20, 2013 5:59pm | report
 
AnnaSward

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AnnaSward

Flavor-wise it'd be a bit tricky since falafel don't usually feature any dairy (or dairy flavors). The only one that may remotely work would be casein but, seriously, pea protein is amazing :-)

Jan 21, 2013 11:44am | report
ChristopherLom

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ChristopherLom

I think I love you! Being a bodybuilder and a hobby chef I loooove to see other people combine those two things!

Jan 21, 2013 2:02pm | report
 
AnnaSward

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AnnaSward

Hahaha thanks!

Jan 25, 2013 9:42am | report
JellybabyUK

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JellybabyUK

I'm guessing the flour is there to add bulk to stick things together. Would upping the amount of pea protein work? I've got a great recipe for fishcakes which involves no flour at all but instread uses pea protein and ground almonds (quit high fat - not ideal for cutting, but perfect for a clean bulk).

Jan 30, 2013 7:00am | report
 
osama2707

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osama2707

amazing recipe , this is recipe very famous in egypt but here it better and very healthy

Apr 17, 2013 5:16pm | report
 
Tanya77

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Tanya77

Fantastic sounding recipe! I've never tried falafel before so am very keen to give this a go. I've just started a lifting programme this week (first time) and it's been quite exhausting keeping track of my proteins and carbs and even more exhausting figuring out my meal plans for the week...I'm having to re-educate myself on food!

Aug 15, 2013 8:00am | report
 
Showing 1 - 24 of 24 Comments

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