Baked Falafel w Hemp
Falafels are a Levantine and Egyption dish made from ground chickpeas and or fava beans with herbs and spices, traditionally formed into balls or patties and deep-fried. They’re delicious with an accompaniment like hummus or tzatziki, in salads or in pitas. As you can imagine, I’ve come up with my own version, which I’m sure all my Arab friends will laugh at, for the times that you want to avoid the excess oil. Trialled and taste tested by my housemates, however, and we agree that these baked falafel with added nutrition from hemp are the closest thing you’ll get to the real deal.
Hemp seeds, also referred to as hemp hearts are technically a nut. They have a mild, nutty flavour, in my opinion, reminiscent of a pine nut combined with a sesame seed. They are a rich source of essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). Hemp hearts are also a great source of high-quality protein.
I love Hemple, an amazing Australian company for all my hemp products!
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Getting enough protein is incredibly important for you moods, as protein is required for the synthesis of neurotransmitters. L-tryptophan is the amino acid essential for making serotonin. Furthermore protein is essential for it’s role in the regulation of blood sugar as hypoglycemia is linked to depression. It’s important to include protein with all your meals and snacks.
Evidence suggests that the consumption of foods containing Omega 3, including oily fish, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds and spirulina is associated with reduced incidences of depression. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are significantly lower in people, they are important as the brain relies on essential fatty acids both functionally and structurally. Omega 3 works as an anti-depressant by exerting an anti-inflammatory effect.
Makes about 35 falafels
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed
1/3 cup Hemple hemp seeds
1/3 cup chickpea flour
2 cloves garlic
1 brown onion
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin
1 cup chopped parlsey
½ cup mint leaves
1 flax egg (1 tbsp and 3 tbsp water formed a gel)
2 tbsp olive oil
Serve with Tzatziki and salad of choice.
Preheat oven to 180C. Using a food processor combine chickpeas, hemp seeds, chickpea flour, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, parsley, mint, flax egg and tbsp 1 olive oil. Mixture should be combined but not completely smooth. Form balls with the mixture and press to create patties about 1 1/2 inches wide and 1/2 and inch high, assemble on a lined baking tray. Brush each falafel with olive oil and back for 20 minutes. Remove falafel from the oven carefully flip each one and brush with olive oil. Bake for a further 15-25mins, until golden. Falafels should be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.