Recipes & DIY

8-Ingredient Falafel with Canned Chickpeas

We’ve talked before about how healthy following a Mediterranean diet can be. Rich in healthy fats and based on whole foods, it’s known to lower inflammation, reduce the risk of both heart disease and diabetes, and even support better moods! So, inspired by the cuisine’s many health benefits, I’ve created this 8-Ingredient Falafel with Canned Chickpeas. It’s so easy and savory that I can’t wait to share it with you!

Before we jump into the recipe, though, let’s discuss what makes it so unique. First of all, if you haven’t tried falafel before, or if you aren’t really familiar with Mediterranean-style dishes, falafel is traditionally a fried ball or patty made from protein-packed chickpeas. As with most Medterranean food, it also features health-promoting herbs and spices to give it a ton of flavor. 

Now, while most falafel recipes can take anywhere from an hour to several hours to make, this 8-Ingredient Falafel with Canned Chickpeas was designed to be quick and simple, featuring just eight ingredients and taking only 30 minutes, tops! 

So, what makes this 8-Ingredient Falafel with Canned Chickpeas so healthy? Well, as I mentioned above, it’s a staple in the Medterranean diet, which is known for its health-promoting effects. Let’s look at a few examples …

According to a 2013 study, seniors with no history of depression who followed a Mediterranean diet for over seven years experienced significantly less depressive symptoms than those who didn’t follow the diet. Furthermore, the participants who adhered the most to the Mediterranean diet had a 98.6 percent lower annual risk of developing depressive symptoms than those who didn’t adhere as well! [1]

Additional studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet features key nutritional elements that are recommended to treat certain risk factors of diabetes. It’s even been linked to an 83-percent reduced likelihood in developing with diabetes! [2]

Also, a meta-analysis of 17 studies revealed that a Mediterranean diet improved both fasting glucose and A1C levels in people type 2 diabetes. [3

And that’s not all … Studies have also found that adhering to traditional, whole-food diets such as the Medterranean diet decrease the risk of depression by 25 to 35 percent. [4]

When it comes to this 8-Ingredient Falafel with Canned Chickpeas, the featured chickpeas are known to support satiety and help reduce in-between-meal snacking. 

In fact, a 2010 study followed 42 participants and discovered that when they supplemented their diets with chickpeas, they reported eating less junk foods, feeling more satisfied, and having improved bowel function. [5

Speaking of bowel function, the cumin in this recipe has been found to decrease IBS symptoms in as little as two weeks. [6] It’s also known to contain anti-viral and antibacterial properties, which help to fight off infections. [7]

As you can see, you really can’t lose with this 8-Ingredient Falafel with Canned Chickpeas. This recipe even allows for personal preferences with two different types of preparations offered: baked or fried. So, let’s not wait any longer. Here’s the recipe your family’s bound to request time and again!

 

8-Ingredient Falafel with Canned Chickpeas

 

Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 patties

 

Falafel with canned chickpeas - Dr. Pingel

 

Ingredients

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

6-8 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup raw cashews, chopped

1 cup parsley

½ teaspoon Himilayan pink salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon cumin

¼ cup coconut flour

Avocado oil (if frying)

Gluten-free pita bread (optional)

 

Directions

To fry the falafel:

1. In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, garlic, cashews, parsley, salt, pepper, and cumin. Process until the mixture becomes crumbly (not a smooth paste). Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired, remembering the flavor should be bold.

8-Ingredient Falafel with Canned Chickpeas 1

2. Slowly add in the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and process until well-combined. The dough should be formable without being sticky. (Note: If it’s sticky, add more flour.)

3. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of the falafel dough, roll into balls, and flatten into disc shapes. 

4. In a large pan over medium-high heat, heat 2-3 tablespoons avocado oil. Place as many falafels as you can reasonably fit. Fry for 3-5 minutes, flip, and fry for another 3-5 minutes.

5. Serve on gluten-free pita bread or over a bowl of greens with your favorite vegan Tzatziki sauce.

8-Ingredient Falafel with Canned Chickpeas 2

 

To bake the falafel:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, garlic, cashews, parsley, salt, pepper, and cumin. Process until the mixture becomes crumbly (not a smooth paste). Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired, remembering the flavor should be bold.

3. Slowly add in the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and process until well-combined. The dough should be formable without being sticky. (Note: If it’s sticky, add more flour.)

4. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of the falafel dough, roll into balls, and flatten into disc shapes. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Falafel with canned chickpeas - Dr. Pingel

5. Bake for 15 minutes, flip, then bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, watching closely at the 10-minute mark.

6. Serve on gluten-free pita bread or over a bowl of greens with your favorite vegan Tzatziki sauce.

Falafel with canned chickpeas - Dr. Pingel

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