Delicious and healthy, these baked falafel with fresh herbs, sweet potato and crunchy walnuts are perfectly moist and full of flavor. You can serve them either hot or cold, and they freeze really well, too!

Baked Sweet Potato and Walnut Falafel [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups soaked and cooked dried chickpeas (do not use canned chickpeas – see recipe note)
  • 1/2 a packed cup cooked sweet potato, skin on is fine (I recommend baking or steaming not boiling as they might become too wet)
  • 1 small onion chopped (mine was just slightly bigger than a golf ball)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large bunch of parsley (stems as well)
  • 1 large bunch of cilantro (stems as well)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha or other hot sauce (substitute ketchup if you don't like chili)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • Oil for brushing before baking (optional)
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Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a large baking tray with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  3. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor except the water and the walnuts.
  4. Process until well combined but leave a little bit of texture.
  5. Add just enough water to bring it all together but not so much that you are unable to shape it. Test with a piece in your hand if you are not sure.
  6. Add the walnuts and pulse until just combined. You want to keep some crunchy texture there.
  7. Shape into patties (or balls if you prefer) and place on your prepared tray.
  8. Brush with oil (optional but gives them a slightly better crust)
  9. Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes.

Notes

Traditional falafel are made with dried chickpeas/garbanzos which have been soaked but not cooked then they are deep fried. I have chosen to use soaked and cooked garbanzos because I want a healthier version and do not want to fry them. If the garbanzos were uncooked then without the very hot oil they might not cook through well. I tried this recipe twice with tinned chickpeas/garbanzos and it did not work. They were too wet and did not hold their shape. When you soak and cook your own garbanzos they are drier and work much better. Because of this I highly recommend you buy dried chickpeas/garbanzos and soak and cook them yourself. If you forget to soak your garbanzos but want to make these falafel then add them to a pan of water and bring to the boil. Boil for 10 minutes then turn off the heat and leave for 1 hour. This has kind of the same effect as soaking. You can then cook them as usual.

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