Falafel is a cultural icon in Lebanon.
While there are many who can make a tasty falafel, few can match the fresh, healthy and authentic Lebanese version made from chick peas which are soaked, ground and mixed with spices, such as cumin, chilli, garlic and coriander, then deep friend to golden brown perfection.
We all know that falafel is absolutely delicious, but did you know it’s also super healthy?
Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of these golden brown balls of perfection.
Aside from being a delicious snack, falafel is very good for you, though it might be hard to believe how something so delicious can be healthy.
To convince you, let’s take a look at the health benefits of falafel.
High In Fibre and Protein
Like other legumes, like lentils and beans, chick peas are high in fibre and protein, both of which have a multitude of health benefits including good heart health, muscle repair and development, weight management, digestive health and more.
Loaded With Vitamins and Minerals
Chickpeas are loaded with a range of vitamins and minerals crucial for heathy bodily function including calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, folate, potassium, B vitamins and magnesium.
Low in Calories
Compared to other fried goodies, falafel is very low in calories. Similar dishes, such as shawarma or doner kebabs all contain high calorie meats, whereas the chickpeas that falafel is made from offer a much lower calorie count.
Rich In Healthy Fats
Falafel is rich in what are known as “healthy fats” and does not contain any trans fats or saturated fats, which are two of the biggest contributors to high cholesterol.
Good For Blood Sugar Levels
Foods that are rich in fibre also help control your blood sugar levels. Fibre slows down digestion, and lets sugar transfer slowly from your digestive tract into your bloodstream. This means there is no sugar “high” after eating falafel, and no fatigue or irritation from a blood sugar crash.
Low In Salt
Falafel is low in sodium. And maintaining a low-sodium dietary intake is essential for maintaining a low blood pressure.
While there are many who can make a tasty falafel, few can match the fresh, healthy and authentic Lebanese version. If you have fallen for falafel and are looking to indulge your newfound love, stop by Not Just Falafel or order online, we’d be happy to prepare this delicious and healthy lebanese food for you!
Falafel is a delicious, chickpea patty that is flavored with parsley and spices.
You can have it in a gyro, on top of a salad, or on its own dipped in a creamy tzatziki sauce or yoghurt sause.
Falafel is typically deep fried, but our version is fried with extra virgin olive oil and dried so that it still has that delicious crispy texture, absorbing every vitamin from the olive oil but it isn’t covered in it .
Falafel then is a quick, meatless meal, healthy and eatable every time of the day!
IT’S INTERESTING WHAT EXPERTS SAY ABOUT FALAFEL ….
Great news for lovers of the little gold balls, made from soaked chickpeas, parsley, garlic and spices. Rich in plant protein with about 2 grams per ball, falafel stands in handily for red meat.
“I certainly eat falafel,” says Dr. Walter Willett, chair of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. “Imagine falafel with a Middle Eastern salad replacing meatballs and spaghetti made with white flour.”
But the benefits go far beyond plant-based protein. A 3.6-ounce portion of chickpeas—what’s in three falafel balls, roughly—gives you about 26% of the daily recommended fiber.
“As a result, falafel can improve bowel function and decrease the absorbance of both cholesterol and simple sugars,” says Peter Zahradka, PhD, principal investigator in molecular physiology at the Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnepeg.
It’s worth meditating a minute on the benefits of fiber, since most of us don’t come close to the recommended 25 grams a day.
Doing so would do us good, says Phil Chilibeck, PhD, professor at the University of Saskatchewan. “High-fiber foods will help to lower blood lipid levels”—i.e. cholesterol—“reducing your risk of heart disease and also lowering your risk of colon cancer,” he says. A study earlier this year found that people who simply added more fiber-rich foods lost the same amount of weight and showed similar drops in cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation as people who were assigned a low-fat diet.
Foods like chickpeas help fill that fiber gap.
“Our own research has shown that legumes like chickpeas can actually improve the function of our blood vessels,” Zahradka says. “This makes falafel potentially a very good way of reducing the risk of heart disease, especially if the fat content is kept low through baking.”
Here is how you can make your own, easy!!!
Recipe Type: Vegan
Serving Size: 2 falafels
Makes 8 servings
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 small onion
- ½ bunch parsley
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Place all ingredients into the food processor, except the olive oil, and blend until smooth. If needed, add a little water to blend better.
- Transfer to a bowl, then cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. You may skip this step, but they will be a bit more fragile while cooking.
- Take the batter and form into 16 equal, small patties.
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large pan and heat over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot, place the falafel in the pan in batches, making sure there is space between them.
- Cook for 5 minutes or until it is a golden brown. Flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove and set aside. Heat up more oil and cook the remaining falafel.
- Serve the falafel warm in a gyro with your favorite toppings, in a salad, or by itself with a creamy tzatziki sauce.
230 (90 from fat)
29g (7g dietary fiber, 5g sugar)
Cooking falafel is so easy that anyone can do it! Try it for yourself and indulge in the traditional Middle Eastern cuisine at home!
Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds.
It's extremely versatile and can be used in cooking sweet and savory dishes. Even better, it’s packed with essential vitamins and minerals!
There are two main types of tahini: hulled and unhulled. Unhulled tahini is best as it's made from the whole sesame seed, leaving its nutritional value intact. Hulled tahini is stripped of many of its nutrients.
10 Health Benefits of Tahini
- It’s rich in minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and iron.
- It's a good source of Methionine, which aids in liver detoxification.
- It’s one of the best sources of calcium out there.
- It’s high in vitamin E and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15.
- Helps to promote healthy cell growth.
- Prevent anemia.
- Helps to maintain healthy skin and muscle tone.
- It has 20% complete protein, making it a higher protein source than most nuts.
- It's easy for your body to digest because of its high alkaline mineral content, which is great for assisting in weight loss.
- It is high in unsaturated fat (good fat!)
Some great ways to include this amazing food in your daily diet include:
- Make a salad dressing with tahini, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and fresh turmeric
- Mix it into a stir-fry
- Mash it up with some avocado
- Taste it with some garlic and chickpeas to make a delicious hummus
Try it on a falafel wrap for maximum flavor!!!
Homemade shish taouk…yeah!!
We are in love with this recipe.
We have cracked the shish taouk code. And its seriously awesome!
For those of you who are not familiar with shish taouk, according to wikipedia, it is a traditional Arabic and Turkish kebab, which can also be found in Syrian, Palestinian, Jordanian, Lebanese, Egyptian and Iraqi cuisines, but is made in kebab houses in many cities around the world.
A shish, simply put, has its origins in Turkish and means skewer. Taouk, also Turkish, refers to grilled or roasted chicken.
Chicken chunks are marinated in a mixture of yoghurt, lemon juice, ginger garlic, spices and herb.
The yoghurt tenderizes the chicken while the spices and other marinade ingredients infuse it with flavor.
WHAT IS KIBBEH AND WHY DO A LOT OF MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTRIES CONSIDER THIS AS THEIR NATIONAL FOOD?
Kibbeh starts out as a simple ground meat balled and mixed with different spices and herbs.
Sounds plain, right? But that’s where the secret lies—that mix of herbs and spices gives it the wonderful flavor that explodes in your mouth.
Add the sauce that you can dip it in? Yum, yum!
You can never go wrong with this. Because of its convenient shape, it is an easy food to eat when you are on-the-go.