They’re the kind of food I’ve always thought tastes better when bought. Which is difficult for me, because I’m totally nuts and seem to want to make everything myself and from scratch. It was a pleasant surprise trying these gluten-free baked butternut falafels with pea protein (for healthy heart, hair and nails) to find they were a delicious hit.

Oooh, yay. I’m already planning the next batch; different herbs and spices, and tasty dipping sauces. They are going to make the best lunchbox snacks! (Eek. I hope I haven’t jinxed myself with Emily’s unpredictable toddler taste buds.) They’re great for supper, too. We had it in a salad this time, but next time I’d love to make gluten-free wraps. I’ll let you know if I do.

One tip: to save serious amounts of time, the day before you make the falafels, soak the chickpeas, bake the butternut, and mix the dry goods together in a sealed container. It takes almost no time to do and turns making falafels into a task that needs only half of your attention. Great at the end of a long day.

Falafel, falafel, falafel… (it’s fun to say!)
Candice

P.S. This lovely recipe is by Ania of Lazy Cat Kitchen .

Gluten-Free Baked Baked Butternut Falafels with Pea Protein

INGREDIENTS

PUMPKIN FALAFELS:

  • 1 cup pureed cooked butternut* (roast roughly 1 med-large butternut)
  • ½ cup chickpeas, soaked overnight with 1 tsp lemon juice*
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Drasanvi Organic Pea Protein (optional nutrition boost)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper (optional, to taste)
  • 2-4 Tbsp chickpea flour
  • small bowl of sesame seeds, to coat*
  • olive oil for baking

TAHINI SAUCE:

  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

TAHINI SAUCE:

  1. Mix tahini and lemon juice.
  2. Stirring all the while, slowly add drizzles of water until you reach a pourable consistency.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.

PUMPKIN FALAFELS:

  1. Rinse and drain chickpeas and grind them along with the garlic and pea protein in a food processor until quite fine (see above image).
  2. Scrape into a large mixing bowl and add the butternut, salt, spices and 2 Tbsp flour. Mix until combined. Only add more flour if you are unable to form patties; the mixture should be very wet.
  3. Refrigerate for about two hours, or freeze to get them to firm up faster.
  4. Form the falafels: we used one dessert spoon to scoop up equal amounts of mixture, and a second spoon to shape the mixture into balls without getting our hands sticky, and then rolled the balls in sesame seeds, pressing them in with our fingers before placing the falafel balls onto a greased baking tray.
  5. Bake at 200° C / 390° F for 10 minutes on each side until golden.
  6. Serve in a salad or a wrap drizzled with tahini sauce, or as lunchbox snacks with the sauce for dipping.

Here is the original recipe by Lazy Cat Kitchen.

*It’s important to soak legumes, grains, nuts and seeds to remove phytic acid which binds to essential minerals in your gut like iron, zinc, copper and calcium, making it hard for your body to absorb them. Soak in bulk and dry in the oven on the lowest setting, or in the dehydrator, and store tightly sealed until use.

Read more about the why and the how to soak effectively here.