When we think of falafel — and believe me, we do — we typically imagine the mouthwatering deep-fried fritters made with chickpeas. Of course to keep things healthier, you can bake them for equally delicious results. Falafels were originally made with fava beans, and still are in many countries, including Egypt. This got us thinking of other ways to make them. And wouldn't you know it? We came up with these ten recipes just in time to celebrate International Falafel Day. Enjoy!
What better place to start than with this recipe for fava bean falafel by Olives for Dinner? These rich, buttery beans are not everybody's cup of tea. But the results are light, fluffy and perfectly crisp on the outside. Olives for Dinner skipped the traditional tahini dressing for a Sriracha-Vegenaise sauce that gives the falafel a spicy-garlicky kick.
Lab@56 used a cauliflower and broccoli rice base, and added some beans, gluten free flours and turmeric and other spices to make these falafels. The texture was perfect: slightly crunchy outside and soft inside.
101 Cookbooks warns readers that these aren't your typical falafel. These babies are made with a mashed sweet potato and chickpea flour base, plus spices, garlic and cilantro. Their texture is not crunchy, although the sesame seeds do offer a bit of crunch. Serve these with chopped tomatoes, pickles and aioli.
Cooks Joy added grated zucchini to chickpeas and combined with spices to make these baked, and therefore healthier, falafels. She warns that they aren't binding enough to deep fry.
Tinned Tomatoes used kidney beans instead of chickpeas for a darker and less traditional bite.
Allyson Kramer came up with this falafel recipe by combining her favorite vegan fritter with her favorite hummus flavor. After you roast the pepper and garlic bulb, you're ready to get to the fun part. The results are absolutely scrumptious.
Coconut and Berries tried this unusual recipe from the Choosing Raw cookbook. The falafels are made with a sesame seed and carrot base. You can then dehydrate them or, if raw is just not for you, bake them. These falafels can be paired with hemp-seed tabouli with yellow tomatoes and mint.
Soup Addict combines chickpeas with split peas and serves with traditional tahini sauce or tzatziki with avocado.
BBC Good Food featured this gorgeous recipe, which jazzes things up with vibrant beetroot. Go meta and serve not just with tahini sauce but also with pickled beets (which are only the best thing ever).
The First Mess wanted a healthier falafel. She lightened her falafel mix with cooked millet, lemon and scallions. If you don't like millet, The First Mess recommends you substitute with quinoa or any other small, fluffy grain. Just make sure all the water is cooked out, she warns, and the grain is as dry as possible when you go to mix it with the chickpea base. Yum!
Another great thing about falafel is that you can make each ball into a burger patty for a pretty yummy vegan burger.