I am glad to admit that I am not a purist. There is something a bit more personal and exciting about bending the norms a little. At least in the food we enjoy! Think about it…if you always followed the same cake or casserole recipe, won’t you be bored? That’s when we get creative with tossing in a little bit of this and that or “wing it” along the way.
These falafels are the result of going with the flow and keeping my fingers crossed that they won’t be a crumbly or horrible tasting mess. Inspiration for this recipe, which uses cauliflower, sweet potato and black beans came from watching the recent trends with cauliflower everything, including pizza crust! PIZZA CRUST! If cauliflower could be a pizza crust, it better be a darn good falafel. And it delivered!
Honestly, these falafels are a winner not not because they have a good doze of veggies, but also because they are oven-baked with a light drizzle of oil and not deep fried like the traditional ones. What is not to love about it, right?! These delicious bites held their shape, stored well for few days refrigerated and made a perfect match as a salad topper or filler for a pita. So, go ahead and make a batch! You can drop a thank you note later! 🙂
Blackbean and Veggie Falafels
Note about Prep Time: Prep time is about 20 min, refrigeration for about 30 min and cook (bake) time about 45 min.
1 1/2 cups grated cauliflower
1 1/2 cups grated sweet potato
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 heaping teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
Salt to taste
1 14.5oz black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Dry roast coriander and cumin seeds for 5 min over low heat and grind to a powder in a dry grinder or in a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
- In a saute pan, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and saute the vegetables, including onion and garlic. Add the ground spices, salt, paprika and cayenne. Let cool.
- In a medium bowl, mash the drained blackbeans. Add the vegetable mixture and chickpea flour and thoroughly mix in. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Take the refrigerated falafel mixture out and form into about 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls.
- Arrange on a parchment lined baking tray and drizzle with remaining olive oil.
- Bake for about 25 min. Turn over and continue to bake for another 20 min till firm and golden.
- Serve immediately in a salad or as a wrap. Refrigerate remaining falafels.