Falafels are an Egyptian recipe consisting of bite-sized balls made with chickpeas and a mix of herbs and spices. They are an excellent addition to wraps or one-bowl salad meals, but because they are deep-fried, it's best to eat them sporadically. We love falafels, and we wanted to build on the classic recipe to make it healthier. So here's our easy recipe for oven-baked black bean and sweet potato falafels.
We choose black beans and sweet potatoes as these ingredients have richer nutritional profiles than chickpeas alone. Moreover, instead of deep-frying the falafels, we baked them in the oven. The curious can read more about what makes these falafels so wholesome; the hungry can skip straight to the recipe below!
Our objective was to make falafels with fewer carbs and more proteins than the traditional ones. We also wanted more vitamins and antioxidants, and more fibres, to make our falafels suitable for a weight-loss diet.
So we started by replacing chickpeas with black beans. Black beans have almost 15% more fibres than chickpeas, and they have just as many proteins but fewer carbs. Moreover, chickpeas have nearly 25% more calories than black beans, making the black legumes more nutritious in terms of proteins and fibres.
To reduce the number of carbs even further, we swapped half the beans with sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes pack a lot of nutrients in very few calories. They are an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamins. Imagine that 100g of sweet potatoes gives you almost 400% of your RDI for vitamin A! Plus they have good traces of other vitamins as well, especially C and B.
All these wholesome plant-based ingredients make our black beans falafel both vegan and gluten-free. So almost everyone can enjoy them!
Go ahead and follow our recipe below. It's so simple you'll be munching on these goodies in no time. And if you are after more diet-friendly meals, take a look at our Smart-Search tool.