Falafels have always been one of my favourite grab-and-go foods to indulge in when in search of a cheap and cheerful lunch option (or after a big night out) and although they are delicious, it’s no secret that deep fried falafels smothered in garlic sauce and wrapped in a tasty pita bread aren’t exactly the best “beauty food“ option out there. Since I’m always looking for ways to make my favourite comfort foods a little healthier, I often like to make my own (non fried) falafels at home, especially for a weekly meal prep because they keep well in the fridge and are so easy to throw on top of a salad or grain or bowl.
After an email landed in my inbox all about American Sweet Potatoes, I started thinking about some interesting ways to use sweet potatoes (one of my favourite root vegetables!) and Sweet Potato Falafels instantly came to mind. These delicious gluten-free and vegan alternatives were inspired by some of the amazing falafels I’ve had in London, UK, and I love that they’re not only super yummy, but good for you too!
Did you know that sweet potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, and are a good source of potassium, magnesium (the relaxation and anti-stress mineral!) and dietary fiber? If you’re wondering why I’m highlighting American Sweet Potatoes here, it’s because due to the short growing season here in Canada, American Sweet Potatoes are the most commonly available sweet potatoes that you can find fresh in stores all year-round.
So if you’ve got some sweet potatoes in your kitchen, or you’re ready to pick some up at your local grocery store, don’t miss out on trying this recipe! Not only is it super easy to make, but all you really have to do is throw everything into a food processor which, personally, always makes me happy because, well, it makes things easy when you’re tired and lazy.
See below for how to make my crazy good (as Gwyneth Paltrow would say) Gluten Free Vegan Sweet Potato Falafels recipe:
Gluten Free Vegan Sweet Potato Falafels Recipe
For The Sweet Potato Falafels:
What You Need:
- 2 medium sized American Sweet Potatoes
- 19 oz can chickpeas
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- ground pepper
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- Avocado oil (or another quality oil) for brushing
- Sesame seeds for coating
What To Do:
– First, bake your America Sweet Potatoes (whole, with skin on) in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately one hour. Once they are super soft, let them cool completely before scooping out the flesh. You can do this the day before or earlier in the day if needed.
– Once your sweet potatoes are ready to go, drain and rinse the chickpeas and place them into a food processor. Pulse a few times until they’re coarsely ground.
– Next, add in the baked sweet potato flesh and all remaining ingredients except for the avocado oil and sesame seeds. Blend until everything has mixed together completely. Give it a quick taste and adjust any seasoning as desired.
– Remove the mixture and place into a large bowl, cover, and place in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up.
– Once the mixture is ready, heat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make sure your hands are clean, grab a table spoon, and scoop out the mixture by the spoonful before rolling it into individual balls.
– Lightly brush each falafel ball on your baking sheet with oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Flip them over and repeat before placing them in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes.
– Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.
– Note that these can be enjoyed on their own, in a wrap, or in a bowl as pictured here. This bowl includes quinoa, red cabbage, cucumber, fresh coriander and spring onions topped with a Lemon Tahini dressing (recipe below!)
For the Lemon Tahini Dressing:
What You Need:
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp zatar spice
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Water to loosen
What To Do:
– Place all ingredients into a small jar before putting on the lid and shaking well
– Add water as needed to loosen the dressing until you’ve reached a consistency you’re happy with.
– Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
– Serve and enjoy!
(Story and recipe by Editor-in-Chief, Gracie Carroll)