I’ve really been craving something savory and hearty recently since Chicago weather has decided to so generously stick us back into below freezing weather. Even worse: more snow is coming this weekend! Now hear me out, I love snow and all, but after the holidays I’m ready for shorts and flip flop weather. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem like it’ll be happening anytime soon, so it’s a good thing I found this perfect recipe!
Anyway, I was thinking of going out for some delicious falafel at a restaurant a few miles away, but I faced two problems:
- I wasn’t in the mood to eat something deep fried and greasy.
- I can’t drive.
So, that pretty much narrowed down my options to one choice: homemade falafel! I mean who doesn’t want their kitchen smelling like fresh herbs and wonderfully seasoned chickpeas? I was on board.
Just as I thought I knew exactly what the star of my dinner would be, I spotted a glorious sweet potato out of the corner of my eye! BAM. The Ultimate mashup was born.
Sweet Potatoes and falafel are perfect for crisp fall weather, or chilly winter nights. Not to mention, they’re both loaded with good-for-you vitamins and antioxidants. Sweet potatoes are packed with Vitamin A (yay good eyesight!), Vitamin C (strong bones!), and they’re an excellent source of the B vitamins (which many vegetarians are deficient in). Falafel is high in fiber, loaded with protein, and a great source of iron and manganese! Together, these two foods form a fiber-fueling, protein-punching, vitamin-victory team!
The best part is these falafel require absolutely no oil! That’s right, these are much healthier than your typical fried, greasy, restaurant falafel. The high temperature of the oil used when deep frying foods changes the starch of the food into carcinogens (cancer-causing substances). This is why the baking method is so great! By baking your falafel, they’ll be free of all that bad stuff. Now, before you freak out at me and vow to never eat fried food again, realize that it’s okay to consume some fried food, just try not to eat too much of it :).
Oh! And did I forget to mention that these falafel are also vegan, gluten free, and have no added sugar?! I know what you’re thinking: This is the best recipe ever. You’re right.
Anyway, you’ll soon realize that sweet potatoes and falafel are my favorite winter foods. They’re both so warm and soft, but crispy and savory at the same time. If someone were to come up to me tomorrow and tell me that I could only eat five foods for the rest of my life, I would first ask, “What the heck is going on?!” But after befriending the aliens, you can bet that these two foods would make it on my list.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! I’m so glad you’re still somehow interested, and you definitely deserve some delicious food for all your hard work. When I first tasted these balls of food heaven, my mouth was dancing with the flavors! These work perfectly on top of buddha bowls, salads, in pita pockets, or even just dipped in hummus! Make sure to tag me @myplantedplate or send me photos of your falafel, so I can see all of your delicious creations! Enjoy!
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Baked Sweet Potato Falafel
Yield 12 falafel
This healthy Sweet Potato Falafel contains no oil, dairy, flour, eggs, or sugar - just simple, real, whole ingredients! Savory, crunchy, and soft on the inside, these falafel are perfect for anyone who's vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, or just wants a delicious bite of food!
- 1 baked sweet potato (medium)
- 1 can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1/2 cup of parsley
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup of red onion
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF
- Blend the sweet potato with a little bit of water - make sure to leave the skin on! The skin is where most of the nutrients are in the sweet potato, and it won't change the taste (plus you won't have to worry about peeling the sweet potato)!
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend. Make sure not to overblend it, you should have a somewhat chunky mixture.
- Line a flat baking tray with parchment paper and and scoop out balls of the mixture about 2 tablespoons in size. I used an ice cream scooper, and then molded the mixture with my hands to create a more "homemade" and natural look.
- Bake the falafels for 30-35 minutes. They should look golden and slightly cracked on the top when you take them out. After taking them out, let them cool for 10-15 minutes to ensure that they stay together.
- Eat these on top of your favorite buddha bowl, in a salad, in a pita, or just on their own! I used these in my buddha bowl recipe, and they were beyond delicious!
- I used a Vitamix blender for this recipe, but a food processor or any other blender should work great too!
- You don't have to add in the water with the sweet potato, but it makes the blending process easier. Only a small amount of water should do.
Serving Size 1 falafel
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 1.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Sodium 9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Sugars 1.4 g
Protein 1.6 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.