I absolutely loved falafel when I first became vegetarian and finally reduced a lot of the junk soya i was eating. They were the most filling healthy vegan finger food addition to my main meals.
But many of the prepackaged falafel mixes contained wheat flour and a bunch of other unnecessary shelf life extending ingredients, so I stopped using them when the children came along.
For a while I’ve used a simple recipe combining cooked chickpeas, spelt flour, eggs (or more flour when we became vegan) and seasonings, which is still a yummy healthy meal.
I love falafel, humus, lentil soups and spicy bean burgers and we eat them often. But I’ve never liked having an over abundance of any particular food in our diet and I’m always looking for ways to jazz things up so I knew I had to reduce the amount of legumes we were eating somehow .
So when I saw the cauliflower falafel recipe from Diane Sanfilippo’s great new book Mediterranean Paleo I tried it out straight away.
Her recipe called for eggs to bind the ingredients together and keep it gluten free. When I ate eggs I used them, but since we went vegan in February this year, I’ve used spelt flour as the binder but you can also use gluten free flour. (At the time of posting, the organic wholegrain spelt flour and the gluten free flour from Dove’s farm are both widely available in many supermarkets in the UK for a good price).
Vegan Cauliflower Falafel
Vegan (Egg & Dairy Free) – Sugar Free – Wheat Free
Prep Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time ; 15 mins
Yields: 16 Falafel
* 1 medium sized head of cauliflower
* 1tsp of ground cumin
* 1/2 tsp of turmeric
* 1 cup of spelt flour or gluten free flour
* 1/2 tsp of salt
* 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or 1tsp of garlic powder
* 1/4 tsp of chilli flakes or cayenne pepper (optional)
* 1 1/2 cups of coconut or olive oil to fry in (preferably coconut oil)
! . (I know this first bit sounds long but it’s done in no time!!!) Wash and finely chop the cauliflower or chop in a food processor until it resembles crumbles.
2. Steam a pan of boiling water for 3-4 mins until slightly soft, then drain and pat to remove excess water with a clean towel or paper towels (this is just to make sure the mixture isn’t too wet).
3. In a large bowl, combine the spelt flour, cumin, turmeric, salt, garlic, chilli or cayenne if you’re using it and then stir in the cauliflower.
4. In a flying pan, heat up the oil, form the mixture into flatten balls (roughly 2-3 inches wide) and then fry them for 3-4 mins on each side until golden brown.
This recipe made about 16 falafel, which we enjoyed with baby plum tomatoes, cucumber and romaine lettuce leaves (as pictured)
If you make a batch, let me know how they turn out or better still post it up and tag me in!!!
Take care and stay healthy
The Naturally You Coach
About the Author: Leah Salmon, The Naturally You Coach, is a bestselling author, speaker, nutritionist and life coach, on a mission to help 100,000 black women to eat for health, think for happiness and live in harmony by 2020 or what she calls Becoming Naturally You. She does this through her books, programs, coaching, events, workshops, videos, articles and free weekly ezine, which you can join now and get a free recipe book in the yellow box at the top of this page!!!