RECIPE – Beetroot Falafel

Falafel is undoubtedly one of my favourite foods. I absolutely love it, to the point that it has become the butt of most jokes about me amongst my friends and family! Whenever I’m anywhere and see falafel, I simply cannot resist and just have to try it. I think it’s fair to say that I’ve become something of a falafel connoisseur, if there is such a thing.

So, I’m very excited that I’ve managed to come up with my perfect homemade falafel. Perhaps surprisingly, I’d never attempted to make falafel myself until I tested this recipe. Of course, it would have been easier to play it safe and follow an existing recipe, but this way not all the flavours I like best would be involved. To make this combination a bit more special I’ve added beetroot, which not only adds a great taste, but colour too. As with any good falafel recipe I’ve also included some amazing herbs and spices to give it that extra burst of flavour!

Naturally, chickpeas are the primary ingredient. They’re a really good source of plant-protein, which is useful as a vegetarian and for keeping you full for longer! Therefore, these falafels work well both as a snack, where I love to dip them into guacamole, or incorporated into a meal. In these pictures I’ve served them with mixed-herb and paprika sweet potato wedges, wilted spinach and smashed avocado. However, whilst creating this recipe I discovered that the base mixture is extremely versatile, and can be made into hummus or a veggie patty!

Here’s how to make them:

Makes 8-10 falafels

Ingredients:
400g tin Chickpeas
150g cooked Beetroot
1 tbsp Tahini
1tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Chickpea Flour*
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Cumin
Handful fresh Coriander

*This works best and is gluten-free, but if you can’t get hold of it then any type of flour will do the job.

For cooking: Coconut Oil

Method:
1. Drain the chickpeas and transfer into a food processor. Add at the remaining ingredients and blend until the mixture is fairly smooth, but still has texture.
2. Place the mixture into a large bowl and mould into balls with your hands (this can get messy, but it’s the best way!). Put the falafels on a plate.
3. Heat a little coconut oil in a frying pan on a high temperature. When the pan is really hot transfer 4-5 of the falafels and let them fry off.
4. Keep turning the falafels until the outside is crispy, adding more falafels to the pan as the others cook.
5. When all the falafels have cooked, either enjoy them immediately while they’re still warm, or keep in the fridge for a later date.

MIX IT UP:

For these recipes, do not add the chickpea flour to the initial mixture.

Hummus
If you have a strong food processor, you can continue blending the mixture until it’s really smooth. This way, you can enjoy delicious beetroot hummus!

OR

Veggie Burgers
The mixture can also be moulded into patties, which should then be left in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm-up. After this time, coat with the flour and fry them with a little coconut oil on a high heat (flipping halfway) until the outside is crispy. Serve in a bun with your chosen accompaniments (I like avocado and rocket) to enjoy as a beetroot and chickpea veggie burger!

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