Baked Falafel with Creamy Tahini Sauce

Beans and lentils are incomplete proteins (they do NOT contain all nine essential amino acids), they contain a lot of lectins and they are very high in carbohydrate. All that being said, this does not mean that we must eliminate them from our diet altogether. As long as other animal sources of protein are taken regularly and the beans or lentils are cooked in a way that destroys lectins and we carefully manage other sources of dietary carbohydrate consumed that day, there’s no reason why we can’t enjoy a falafel or lentil soup every once in a while!  

Soaking beans and lentils will break up some of the anti-nutrients and enzyme inhibitors they contain (thus lessening their gut-irritating effects) but it won’t destroy the lectins. Boiling them won’t do that either. In order to break apart lectins, and render them inert to our digestive system, beans and lentils must be cooked in a pressure cooker.

Start this recipe at least 1 day before you want to eat the falafel. The chickpeas have to soak overnight and then be pressure-cooked and cooled before you can start making the falafels.

Baked Falafel Ingredients:

2 cups dried chickpeas

1 onion, roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

1/2 cup loosely packed coarsely chopped parsley

1/2 cup loosely packed coarsely chopped cilantro

1/2 cup melted ghee, divided

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons coriander

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons Himalayan sea salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 Tbsp coconut flour

Method:

Place dried chickpeas in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit on counter overnight.

Next day, drain chickpeas and place in pressure cooker. Cover with fresh cold water and pressure-cook 10 minutes, according to manufacturer’s directions.

When chickpeas are cooked, drain and allow to come to room temperature before continuing with the recipe...

Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the parchment with 2 Tbsp of melted ghee.

Add the chickpeas, onion, garlic, 1/4 cup melted ghee, parsley, cilantro and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor. Sprinkle the cumin, coriander, pepper and salt over top.

Pulse the food processor 10-15 times, until the chickpeas are chopped and all the ingredients are mixed.

Sprinkle the baking powder and coconut flour over the mixture.

Continue to mix the chickpeas in pulses, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture forms a ball when you squeeze it in your hand.

Using your hands, scoop up some of the mixture and form it into a ball in your hand. The exact amount doesn’t matter — just make sure that all your falafel balls are roughly the same size so they bake at the same rate.

Transfer the falafel balls to the baking sheet and gently press into patties roughly 1/2-inch thick. If the patties break a little as you press them, just pat them back into shape.

Brush the tops of the patties with the remaining 2 Tbsp ghee.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, carefully turning the falafel patties over halfway through. If one does fall apart while turning, just press it back together with the back of your spatula. When finished cooking, the falafel should be golden brown on both sides and feel dry to the touch, but still give a little when you press the middle. Serve with creamy tahini sauce.

Creamy Tahini Sauce Ingredients:

1 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)

3/4 cup lukewarm water, or more for consistency

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice

1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt

pinch of ground black pepper

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)

Method: Place all ingredients in bowl of food processor. Blend. After a few minutes of blending, sauce will turn into a rich, smooth paste. If mixture is too thick, slowly add more water until it reaches the consistency of low fat yogurt.