These tasty little falafels are a perfect option for a quick lunch or dinner. You can make a batch ready for the week to add to your favourite eczema friendly salads, or wraps. For this recipe, we trialled both sweet potato and beetroot mash. Our favourite was definitely the sweet potato (which gave a lovely flavour and texture), however, the beetroot falafels look so beautiful and are also quite tasty (if you are not able to tolerate sweet potato). So, whatever vegetable you choose, you can’t go wrong!
Chickpeas are packed with protein and provide a great source of insoluble fibre which helps to keep your gut healthy. Chickpeas are also a rich source of folate and minerals for healthy collagen formation in the skin including iron, manganese, copper and zinc.
If following the FID (Food Diagnosis Program), potato or swede could be trialled instead.
Makes: about 13 patties
Prep time; 40 minutes (longer if the refrigerator is required to help set mixture)
Cooking time: 16-20 minutes
½ cup sweet potato OR ½ cup beetroot mash (to make the mash, place ½ cup of peeled cubes of sweet potato or beetroot into a pot of boiling water until soft. (about 15 minutes for sweet potato and 20 minutes for the beetroot).
1 400g can of organic chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1-2 cloves of fresh garlic (depending on taste)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder (optional)
2 tablespoons of fresh chives
4 tablespoons of chickpea flour (or more depending on texture)
2 teaspoons of rice bran oil or sunflower oil
¼-½ teaspoon of salt (depending on taste)
Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F)
Lightly oil a baking tray with rice bran or sunflower oil
Place vegetable cubes in boiling water until soft. Leave to slightly cool, then roughly mash with a fork and measure ½ cup of mash
Add to the food processor, the chickpeas, mash, salt, chives, garlic, oil and pulse lightly until combined, scraping the sides as you go along. Continue pulsing until the mixture comes together but is still lumpy with some small chunks of chickpeas (as we found this texture was best once cooked). You can blend until smooth if this is your preference. Taste and adjust if needed, this is where you can also add the garlic powder to give an extra hit of flavour if needed.
Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and add chickpea flour 1 tablespoon at a time. How much you add will depend on how soft your mixture is (the beetroot mixture is usually sloppier than the sweet potato so may need extra chickpea flour ). Add enough chickpea flour to bring the mixture together so it holds and can be shaped into patties. The mixture can be placed in the fridge for at least half an hour if time permits to help firm before forming into patties.
To make the patties, scoop a heaped teaspoon of falafel mixture and using your hands, form a pattie about 4 cm wide and 1.5 cm thick. Place in neat rows on the baking tray, keeping a distance between them. Bake in the oven for about 16-20 minutes, turning halfway through at about the 8-minute mark.
The cooking time will vary depending on the type of oven used and the consistency of the mixture. We used a fan-forced oven and cooked the patties for 18 minutes. The patties do continue to cook a little after removing from the oven so be sure not to overcook them as they could end up a little dry. Leave to slightly cool.
Keep in a well-sealed container in the fridge and add to salads, meats or our favourite served in an oat wrap with cashew cream and lettuce or caramelised leeks.