Baked beetroot falafels 2.0

Baked beetroot falafels 2.0

baked beet falafels wrap

Hope you guys have had a good weekend and your week has started well. We went walking along the Somerset coast with a couple of friends on Sunday and it was a great day full of sunshine, sea air, conversation and banana bread. Despite the beautiful weather, it was quiet, peaceful and very relaxing. We returned feeling very tired yet restored and we vowed to go on day trips more often given how much beautiful nature there is almost on our doorstep.

As the sun is a more frequent guest in our UK skies, I crave more and more salads and generally slightly lighter food like a good baked falafel wrap, for example. I love falafels but I’m fairly oil-phobic, as you probably know if you have been here before, so I have been working on cracking baked falafels since 2015 (!) and me being me, I always find a reason to tinker with my existing recipes to improve on the previous versions. This is what today’s recipe is all about. I’ve made baked beet falafels before and they are delicious, but a little more time consuming as I made them with a baked beetroot. These new ones use fresh beets instead and require much less process – the mixture comes together in no time at all – and I think they are close to baked falafel perfection!

They are healthy yet not cardboard dry, they boast a deliciously crunchy exterior and soft, pink interior. I left my first batch for Duncan to test for his lunch one day as I had an appointment in town. There were 12 of them on the baking tray when I left and he said he will have 5 maximum, but when I got back there were only 3 left for me. His excuse was that they were delicious and he couldn’t help himself. I knew I got played but he was instantly forgiven 🙂 as it’s always a great feeling when a test cook renders the result you were hoping for.

To achieve a crispy shell, I experimented with higher oven temperatures and I brushed the tops with a little extra olive oil, it’s only a small amount but it makes a massive difference. I also decided to make them a little stubbier than my previous versions and all these little tweaks have resulted in my favourite baked falafels yet. They are brilliant in a pitta bread filled with silky smooth hummus, a bunch of veg, some gherkins or pickled onions or as a part of a salad bowl. The uncooked mixture keeps in the fridge for a good few days and freezes well too so that’s handy even if you are cooking for one. I hope you’ll make them and enjoy my healthier take on this awesome, naturally vegan food.

baked beet falafels ingredients

baked beet falafels mixture

baked beet falafels before after

baked beet falafels baked

baked beet falafels pittas

makes
20-21
PREP
20 min
COOKING
24 min
makes
20-21
PREPARATION
20 min
COOKING
24 min
INGREDIENTS
  • 200 g / 7 oz raw peeled beetroot
  • 240 g / 1½ cups soaked chickpeas*
  • 2 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds
  • ½ large onion or 1 shallot
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • a handful of coriander
  • a handful of parsley
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp lemon juice + zest 1 lemon
  • ¾-1 tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • chilli flakes to taste (optional)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 35 g / 4 tbsp rice flour
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp olive oil, for brushing
  • sesame seeds, to coat (optional)
METHOD
  1. Slice your beetroot and grind it up roughly in a food processor.
  2. Add drained chickpeas, ground flax (or chia seeds), onion, garlic, herbs, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, chilli flakes (if using), baking powder and rice flour. Process until the mixture is uniformly and finely chopped.
  3. Set aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. A longer resting time makes it easier to form the falafels.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200° C / 390° F fan (220° C / 425° F if you don’t have a fan setting) and line a large baking tray with a sheet of greaseproof paper.
  5. Brush small circles of olive oil onto the baking paper at regular intervals, keeping ample space around each falafel so that the browning process isn’t inhibited through too much moisture. I recommend baking 10-12 at a time.
  6. Using your hands, form small patties (1 heaped tbsp worth / 28 g each) or balls with your hands or using a small ice cream scoop. I like to shape mine into 2 cm / ¾” tall and 4 cm / 1½” diameter discs. The mixture will be fairly wet so handle it gently, but don’t be tempted to add more flour – it will make the falafels dry. Apply some sesame seeds to the underside of each falafel with your hand before placing it on the oiled area of your baking paper. Apply more sesame seeds to the tops.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes. Take the tray out of the oven, gently lift each falafel off the surface using a spatula. Brush a little oil on before placing the other side of the falafels down. Brush the tops with some more olive oil for extra crispiness and bake for another 12 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
  8. Enjoy them warm, in a hummus wrap or as part of a salad bowl. The mixture keep in the fridge for 2-3 days and freezes well.

NOTES

*Obtained from approx. 130 g / ¾ cup of dry chickpeas soaked overnight. Rehydrated chickpeas will expand, to at least twice their size, so make sure they are well covered in water. Soak for a minimum of 12 hrs and 24 hrs if possible. I like to soak 2-3 cups of dried chickpeas and cook the rest for a stew or curry.

This recipe is based on my previous falafel recipes: this one and that one.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
70
3%
sugars
2 g
2%
fats
2 g
3%
saturates
0 g
2%
proteins
3 g
6%
carbs
10 g
4%
*per falafel
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5.0
3 reviews, 14 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Laana:
Delicious! A bit time consuming but worth it. They held together nicely, I used falafel tool to shape them and it really makes it easier. I made a couple of burgers as well - the mixture worked great for that . Thank you! Congrats on your new website! Looks great, very user-friendly!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Laana! I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed these and thank you so much for your kind words about our new website, so good to hear that you find it user-friendly. x Ania
Thank you, Ania, for these amazing morsels! Made these as part of a picnic meal when it was too hot to cook. I didn't have rice flour so used about half to 3-quarters of the amount of cornflour which worked well. And I used a tin of chickpeas, drained well. I didn't have any seeds and I baked them on paper with no oil and they worked perfectly, crisp on the outside and lovely and moist on the inside. Full of flavour and a beautiful colour. Even my beetroot doubting son raved about these as the flavour is spicy rather than earthy, but the sweetness of the beetroot is a lovely addition. We'll be making these again, simple and delicious and so much better than standard dry and crumbly falafels of any description! My only niggle is that my food processor bowl couldn't cope with the volume so next time I'll mix them up in 2 batches. Just wondering if the mixture is freezable for camping trips? Cheers :0)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Jo, I'm delighted to hear that these were such a success with you and even your beetroot-sceptic son :) Yes, the mixture freezes well! Happy camping - hope the weather shows up for you! x Ania
Melanie:
Thanks! That‘s a relief. I’ve already ordered it, very happy that a basic one is fine. Melanie
Jane Harris:
Just made these using soaked split Fava beans and they came out fantastic xx Thank you
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Jane, I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed them! Ania
Melanie:
Dear Ania, Thank you so much for your great blog! I absolutely love it. Could you tell me which food processor you use? My blender doesn‘t work with dry ingredients like these but if I can have falafels that quick I will buy new equipment!Melanie from Hamburg, Germany
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Melanie,Aw, thanks so much for your kind words and my pleasure. I have a fairly basic blender + food processor combo from Kenwood. An older version of this one, I believe. So I just want to reassure you that really don't need to spend a lot (unless you want to, of course). Good luck! Ania
Ramya:
will be making this soon i never had falafels before perect for my office snacks will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya
    Ania
    Ania:
    Great, I hope you'll enjoy them! Ania
Katie:
Hi Ania! These look so good. I used to work at a restaurant that made the most delicious veggie burgers using beets and lentils. Do you think this would work with all-purpose or whole wheat flour instead of the rice?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Katie,Yes, I am pretty sure AP flour will work fine, but you may not need as much of it. Flour and flax helps the mixture get sticky so that you are able to form the falafels easier. Hope that helps! Ania
Lisa:
Hello 👋 Thank you so much for this recipe.....my chickpeas are soaking as I write. I can hardly wait for them to be ready so I can try this new version. Like you I am oil phobic - or at least the amount of oil a tradional falafel requires. But falafel 's are my favourite food, what would a girl do, without a friend like you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hahahah, I'm happy to be of service! I hope you'll enjoy the end result - just make sure not to make them too flat as they will be more prone to drying out. Stumpy is better :) x Ania
Janet:
These look delicious! Do the chickpeas need to be pre-cooked/boiled before making the patties or is it it enough to just soak them overnight?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Janet! No, only just soaked. At least 12 hrs but the longer the better. Hope you'll enjoy them! Ania
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