Why You Should Eat More Falafel (Plus A Recipe)
Falafel is probably something you’ve tried or seen on the menu if you’ve ever eaten in a Middle Eastern restaurant. This vegetarian-friendly cuisine is incredibly delicious and available everywhere in nations like Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Lebanon.
Even though falafels don’t exactly have a reputation for being healthy or nutritious, a few small adjustments to your recipe can significantly improve the nutritional value and health advantages of this mouthwatering dish.
For all the details on this flavorful fritter, keep reading.
Falafel: What Is It?
What precisely is in your falafel sandwich and what ingredients makeup falafel? A typical Middle Eastern food, falafel is created from pounded chickpeas or fava beans that are then formed into a ball-like patty and either deep-fried or baked. Herbs and spices like cumin, coriander, and garlic can also be added.
Falafel can be eaten on its own, as a collection of small meals or appetizers, or nestled into a pita, sandwich, or wrap. It also tastes great in vegan pasta meals, tacos, pizzas, and waffles.
The roots of falafel are a little debatable depending on who you ask, like most things pertaining to the Middle East. It is thought that Christian Copts originally brought the dish to Egypt.
It then expanded into Israel and then throughout the Arab world. Curiously, chickpeas, which are packed with nutrients, are used in place of the traditional fava beans everywhere else.
Is Falafel Healthy?
Although traditional falafels are created with a range of nutritious ingredients like beans, herbs, and spices, deep-frying them in oil greatly raises the amount of fat and calories in the finished dish.
A recent study suggests that women who regularly consume fried foods may have a higher chance of dying from heart disease. According to other studies, eating fried meals may increase your risk of getting chronic diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiac problems.
Additionally, a different study from the University of Navarra in Spain discovered a connection between regular consumption of fried meals and a higher risk of weight gain and obesity.
Thankfully, there are several ways to make falafels a little bit healthier. They can even be baked rather than fried to drastically reduce their calorie and fat content.
Baked falafels are a fantastic source of protein and fiber, both of which can accelerate weight reduction by keeping you feeling full for longer between meals and lowering levels of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for triggering feelings of hunger.
Risks To Be Aware Of
Although eating falafels as part of a healthy diet is typically harmless, there are a few disadvantages of falafel to take into account.
To begin with, it’s crucial to use caution while eating out if you have an allergy to any of the ingredients in falafel. Sesame seeds, a common ingredient in the sauce that goes with falafel burgers and wraps, can cause some people to have severe allergic responses.
Also, remember that not all falafels are created equal and that some may be significantly healthier than others. Falafels that are deep-fried, heavily processed and loaded with harmful components have a far worse nutrient profile than falafels cooked with whole food ingredients like chickpeas, herbs, and spices.
Making your own falafels at home will give you more control over what goes on your plate and will maximize any potential health advantages of your meal.
A Recipe For Making Falafel
Start with a can of chickpeas and stir in fresh parsley. Stirring in cardamom, cumin, cayenne, and cilantro will give your falafel a ton of flavor too. Add all of your ingredients into a food processor. Adding flour as necessary, blend on high until everything is thoroughly blended.
Give the mixture an hour in the refrigerator to rest. Add avocado oil to a large frying pan and heat it over medium-high heat. Use a tablespoon to scoop out the falafel “dough” and shape it into little discs as it warms up. Flip after 4 minutes of cooking and cook for an additional 4 minutes or until golden brown.
Add the falafel to your favorite salad, or pizza, or put it in a wrap and enjoy.