Ask The Protein Powder Chef: Can You Make Protein Falafel?
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)
Make Fluffier Falafel
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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!
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.
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.
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
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!
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).
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!