Monday, June 12th is International Falafel Day!
I have to be totally honest. Before Veganism, I had no idea what a Falafel was. I had never experienced the flavor or learned of its origin prior to my new phase of dieting.
One great thing about a plant-based diet is that as you close the door on animal and animal-by product proteins, you open another door that exposes you to cultural cuisines that you would not have otherwise introduced to your taste buds. Because we Veganites rely heavily on beans and legumes to supply the iron and protein our bodies need, the idea of a new and delicious way to enjoy chickpeas sparked my interest.
Falafels are just that – chickpeas on steroid-flavor! This Middle Eastern delicacy is a matrimony of mashed chickpeas and an aromatic mix of herbs and spices. And did I mention that Falafels are typically deep-fried? I’m a Southern girl with “deep-fried” roots. “Deep-fried” is tattooed on my back (no, not really but it should be).
My very first Falafel reminded me of a crunchy, well-seasoned hushpuppy. They’re crispy, fragrant, textured, and very addictive.
My recipe for Vegan Falafels & Avocado Aioli is my take on this old, international favorite.
I‘ve made different varieties of this dish but this recipe is my best creation. The use of fresh (not canned) chickpeas makes all the difference. Patience in preparation is key.
I’ve incorporated chia seeds in the recipe to add even more fiber and protein. My plant-based falafels have a little flavor kick with the addition of a little heat.
My creamy, tangy Avocado Aioli topping is perfect for dipping or using as the spread in a vegan falafel wrap and adds another layer of heat.