From being a special Middle Eastern dish to something that is now eaten globally, Falafel has become very popular among vegetarians. It consists of fried patties that are made from chickpeas, herbs, spice, onion, and dough. Often times, people take it as a stand-alone dish as it is served in a flatbread but sometimes, it can also be part of an assortment of appetizers called a meze.

Falafel became a very common fast food in the Middle East and during Ramadan, the falafel balls are sometimes eaten as part of iftar (the meal that breaks the fast after sunset). We all aware of the fact that Falafel is a delicious meal but are we also aware of the wonders it can do to our health? Let’s take a good look at how healthy the falafel can be to you and your family.

The popularity of Falafel has caused people to try and make it in their homes, leaving them in total control of what they make and how they make it. The consumption of fried foods usually leaves people with high risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problems and according to a recent study published by BMJ, women who regularly consume fried foods live with the risk of dying from heart disease.

Falafel as we all know is a deep-fried ball that’s made from ground chickpeas but there are different ways you can stay clear of risks by making healthy falafels right in your home.

Falafel Nutrition Facts

Each serving of falafel contains a high amount of calories and fat and that’s because it is typically deep-fried. However, it is very rich in nutrients that include manganese, copper, folate, iron and magnesium. 3.5 ounce serving of falafel has the following nutrients in it;

  • 3 milligrams pantothenic acid
  • 333 calories
  • 32 grams carbohydrates
  • 18 grams fat
  • 5 grams protein
  • 7 milligrams manganese
  • 26 milligrams copper
  • 93 micorgrams folate
  • 4 milligrams iron
  • 82 milligrams phosphorus
  • 5 milligrams zinc
  • 294 milligrams sodium
  • 1 milligram niacin
  • 585 milligrams potassium
  • 13 milligrams vitamin B6

Additionally, falafel also contains small amounts of vitamin B5, vitamin C, calcium, and selenium.

Falafel Health Benefits

The fact remains that falafel is deep-fried in oil and that can make it very high in fat and calories and buying at restaurants might even make it worse because they make it generally not really putting into consideration the differences in their customers’ health. However, falafel is high in many micronutrients and several qualities that will greatly benefit your health in various ways. Let’s take a look at them.

  • Falafel is made from chickpea and studies have shown that the chickpea fiber helps manage blood sugar levels by slowing the carb absorption which promotes steady rises in the blood sugar.
  • Falafel is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, making it a good option for most diets.
  • Baked falafels are great source of protein and fiber which both help reduce the production of hunger hormones such as ghrelin, while increasing the production of fullness hormones like glucagon like peptide-1 and peptide YY.
  • Falafel is loaded with vitamins and minerals important for healthy bodily function including calcium, folate, iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, B vitamins and magnesium.
  • Falafel is loaded with vitamins and minerals important for healthy bodily function including calcium, folate, iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, B vitamins and magnesium.
  • Falafel is rich in healthy fats as it does not contain any trans fats or saturated fats, which are two of the main culprits of high cholesterol.

NB: making your own falafel at home can help you minimize your exposure to fat-related diseases.

Falafel Ingredients

One of the reasons why people make their own falafel at home is that they get to bake them instead of deep-frying which in turn cuts back on excess oil, fat and calories. The following ingredients are very important when making your own falafel;

  • Rinsed chickpeas
  • Fresh garlic
  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Ground coriander
  • Cumin

Once you have these ingredients ready, you’re on course to make the healthiest falafel you’ll ever have.

Falafel Preparation

Like we’ve mentioned earlier, baking your falafel instead of deep-frying it helps you cut down the fat and calories content, and it has proved to be the healthiest way so far. We’ll now be looking at a step-by-step guide that’ll help you make your own falafel in your house without much stress.

STEP 1: Apply the olive oil to your baking sheet and preheat your oven to about 200 degree Celsius.

STEP 2: While you’re preheating your oven, use that time to combine all the ingredients we have clearly stated up there and do that for about a minute.

STEP 3: Scoop your mixture into smaller pieces and place each of them on the baking sheet.

STEP 4: Bake the falafel for about 25 minutes with your oven set at exactly 200 degree Celsius. Once they start to turn gold and crispy, you already have a well-baked healthy falafel.