How to Make Falafel Recipes Healthier

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Falafel is a delicious Middle Eastern food that has been made and enjoyed for centuries. Falafel is made of ingredients that have even been mentioned in the Bible, so it's safe to say falafel is an ancient and delicious food. Plus, falafel is a perfect dish for a Meatless Monday since it is meat-free, filling and delicious. Falafel is so popular around the world that even Subway launched its own falafel sandwich.

Falafel Ingredients

Falafel is traditionally made of chickpeas, garlic, onion and spices like cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper. Once the chickpeas are mashed in a food processor, you add the other ingredients and form the final mixture into patties. Then, you fry them! They can be served inside a pita as a sandwich, over a bed of lettuce as a salad, or next to some hummus for dipping!

Baked Falafel

Since frying foods (even vegetables) isn't the healthiest cooking method, many people enjoy baking falafel. Mark Bittman recommends soaking the chickpeas overnight, so that they are more easily mashed in the food processor. Add the spices and lemon juice and place the patties in a 375-degree oven on a cookie sheet for 10 to 15 minutes on each side. Try to use oils like sunflower oil, safflower oil or olive oil, because according to Fit Day, they are lower in saturated and trans fats.

Falafel Calories

Falafel is made out of healthy ingredients like chickpeas, spices and lemon, but once the dish is fried, it's not as good for you, which is why many people stick to baked falafel. According to FitDay, one small falafel ball is 50-60 calories, but can add up to 350 to 450 calories in a medium-sized falafel sandwich with toppings.

Image Credit: Getty Images

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