Crispy and healthy baked falafel with hazelnuts drizzled with creamy lemon-mint sauce: easy-to-make, low-fat and so delicious! Much better than deep fried!
Baked falafel is the discovery of the year for me. No deep frying, no oil, no greasy pans. This simple baked falafel is just as nice and crispy as the deep-fried one. Its health benefits are enormous: high protein and fiber content, blood sugar regulation effect, calcium, iron, phosphate, zinc, magnesium, selenium, potassium, numerous vitamins (B-6, C, K, etc) and very low cholesterol content at the same time! In other words, falafel will keep you full longer and provide key nutrients, minerals and vitamins without unnecessary calories and fat.
If you haven’t tried falafel yet, you should do it! Falafel is the ultimate Middle-Eastern street food, made of chickpeas and traditional spices, which is mostly served stuffed into pita pockets drizzled with a tangy sauce. But there is a dozen of other ways to eat falafel. Savory pies, veggie burgers, pizza, power bowls, vegan hot dogs, stuffed vegetables, wraps, curry, gyros, salads, even Scotch eggs and falafel waffles! Here is an article on different ways to enjoy falafel, which I encourage you to check out. Some of the ways are insanely creative and fun to make at home!
I made this baked falafel out of chickpeas, hazelnuts, garlic and a bit of herbs and spices. It’s very easy to throw together and it comes out nicely textured and moist from the inside, while being nice and crispy from the outside. It has just right amount of spiciness with a little refreshing touch from the lemon-mint sauce. And by the way, this sauce just requires 3 ingredients: lemon, mint and Greek yogurt!
Falafel itself is really easy to make as well. You just have to combine all the ingredients in a blender, pulse until combined and crumbly, form patties or balls or whatever shape you like and bake them in the oven. The whole thing takes less than 30 minutes!
One more thing I need to mention here is that falafel is freezing nicely, so it really makes sense to make a big batch, freeze it and use later for different dishes. I have some recipes coming soon for you, involving falafel, so I recommend you to keep you baked falafel ready! Update: I posted recipes for Spaghetti and Vegan Meatballs and Vegan Falafel Burger, to give you some more ideas!
This time I incorporated it in a very simple salad: raw spinach, avocado, cherry tomatoes, olives and sunflower seeds. I put falafel on the side and drizzled it with creamy lemon-mint sauce. It came out nice and fresh, just what you might be craving in the beginning of spring! Here is the recipe:
Crispy Baked Falafel with Hazelnuts and Creamy Lemon-Mint Sauce
For the falalfel:
- 8 sprigs mint
- 8 sprigs cilantro
- 8 sprigs parsley
- 200 grams or 1 cup chickpeas cooked, garbanzo beans
- 200 grams or 1 cup grated hazelnuts
- 1/2 green hot pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 shallot
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons rice flour
- black pepper
For the sauce:
- 200 grams Greek yogurt
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 5 sprigs mint
For the salad:
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 avocado
- 150 grams cherry tomatoes
- 80 grams olives
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- FALAFEL: Preheat the oven to 200 °C or 390 °F. Combine all the ingredients for the falafel in a blender and pulse until combined and crumbly. Form 24 patties or balls and arrange them on a parchment-covered baling sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
- SAUCE: Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and pulse them in a blender until combined.
- SALAD: Arrange the baby spinach on two plates. Slice the avocado and cut the cherry tomatoes in halves. Arrange 4 falafel balls on each plate, add olives and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Drizzle with lemon-mint sauce Enjoy!
What is your favorite way to enjoy falafel? Leave a comment below!