Kidney Bean Falafel

 

We eat a lot of falafel in our house, especially since Graham turned vegan. It's a great replacement for cheese in sandwiches, wraps and pitta. I particularly like it in wraps with salad or in a toasted bagel with hummus and mango chutney.

So here comes the puzzler. I never make my own. WHY?

I make my own hummus to serve with falafel, but I always buy ready made falafel. I don't know why I've never made my own. It's one of those things I always mean to make but never get round to like homemade pasta. I thought they would be difficult to make, but it turns out it's super simple.

Why have I waited so long to make falafel at home?




Olive Oils from Spain



I was finally spurred on to make my own falafel when Olive Oils from Spain got in touch and asked if I could develop a recipe for their Taste Our Lifestyle Campaign.

Olive Oil Facts



  1. Almost every second bottle of Olive Oil sold has olives from Spain in it.
  2. Spain is the world leader in production and export of Olive Oil.
  3. Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils to use when cooking or for making dressins.
  4. When frying at high temperatures, Olive Oil creates a thin golden and crisp layer that prevents food from absorbing the oil.

Falafel made with Kidney Beans



For my recipe I decided to use kidney beans instead of chickpeas for a darker and less traditional bite and I added lots of lovely cumin to flavour them.

Of course my first thought was "Can I make this in my Optimum 9400". You know the answer is going to be yes, don't you? I'm continually amazed at how many things it can tackle and how much time it saves me. This blender is really worth every penny.




Blending Falafel



Making falafel in a blender couldn't be simpler. just throw all the ingredients in and pulse until you have a thick paste. Roll it into balls with a little flour and chill until you are ready to cook the,. You can bake them, but you will get the crispest results from shallow frying.

If you like things spicy, do feel free to add more chilli to the mixture. I made mine mildly spicy with my little boy in mind.


Kidney Bean Falafel Calories and Nutrition



These falafel are 92 calories each. This would be lower if you baked them, but still nice and low calorie if you are watching your weight.

For a lower calorie lunchtime meal, cut two falafel in half and add to a wrap with lots of salad (generous handful of salad leaves, 4 slices of cucumber and 1 medium tomato, seasoned with black pepper) for only 264 calories. 

Perfect if you are doing the 5:2 Diet. The new 5:2 diet allows 800 calories per day.




Yield: 8-10 falafel

Easy Kidney Bean Falafel

Dark red falafel made with kidney beans instead of the more common chickpeas in a blender. Super quick to make and tasty to eat. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
prep time: 36 MINScook time: 10 MINStotal time: 46 mins

ingredients


  • 400g can kidney beans, rinsed
  • ½ onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • a handful of fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp hemp seed powder (optional)
  • 2 tsp flax seeds (also known as linseeds)
  • 4 tbsp & 1 tsp olive oil
  • a good grinding of salt and pepper

instructions


  1. Whizz up all the ingredients, but only 1 tsp of oil and 1 tbsp flour. Reserve the rest of the flour and oil. I blended my ingredients in my power blender, but you could use a food processor.
  2. Fold the other 2 tablespoons of flour into the mix and then pop in the fridge for half an hour to firm up.
  3. Heat the 4 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan or wok.
  4. Roll the falafel mix into balls with floured hands and lightly fry in the olive oil until golden. You can bake these, but I wanted them ready quickly and to be super crisp.
  5. Enjoy!

notes

Nutrition and calories per falafel.
calories
92
fat (grams)
6.3
sat. fat (grams)
0.8
carbs (grams)
7.6
protein (grams)
3.1
Created using The Recipes Generator


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Disclosure: I developed this recipe for Olive Oils from Spain. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

50 comments

  1. I love falafel too - I made some with fava beans a few weeks back from a recipe that came with the box of beans! I'd love to try ones made with kidney beans too!
    (http://messintheness.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/egyptian-falafels/)

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    1. Oh that sounds good too. I do like fava beans. I must try that!

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  2. That looks so tasty and you make it sound so easy. I love anything with pulses in and must try to convert the rest of my household!

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    1. It was super easy. You could make them in your vitamix Sarah.

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  3. I've only made falafel once, was a sweet potato version and was incredibly messy but delicious! I love the idea of using kidney beans to make them, maybe I should try again, though I lack a food processor but I have a jug blender, hopefully do the trick!

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    1. I think the jug blender would do it Anne and sweet potato falafel sounds heavenly!

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  4. Love it! I'm eating much less meat now (not quite vegetarian yet as I still eat prawns) and I'm always looking for something new to try out :) Bookmarked for next weeks meal plan!

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  5. What a fabulous recipe! I've never had one with red kidney beans before but I can't wait to try it... Mmmm!

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    1. Thanks Kevin. It actually worked really well and you could do the same with other beans.

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  6. Phwoaar! Your falafels look seriously good. I'm the same - love falafels but have never had a go at making my own. Really think I need to give your recipe a go though...

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    1. Thanks Vanesther, that a lovely comment. And yes you should give them a go, they are so simple.

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  7. Always have cans of kidney beans and canelloni beans in the cupboard - they are so useful and a great way to get protein.

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    1. They really are and they are such good quality. Time saving too Heidi :)

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  8. I don't make my own falafels because we live in a middle eastern section of melbourne and a local store makes the best falafels ever - I just don't have a hope of competing with them - which probably means I should buy locally made hummus but I just buy the supermarket on that sylvia likes - have tried home made for her with no success but would need to make a lot to keep up with the amount we go through

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    1. Ahh well I think you pick and choice what works for you as shortcuts. I vary, sometimes I make my own falafel and hummus and sometimes I just buy it. It often depends on how much time and energy I have.

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  9. Falafel are such a great invention, especially for keeping the vegetarian in my life happy and sated ;-) I'll have to have a go at your recipe! My favourite ever falafels were from Shepherds Bush Market... used to treat myself during lunch breaks on a Friday... happy memories.

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    1. They are rather good and they keep the vegan in my life happy too :)

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  10. The kidney bean is one of the unloved beans in our house, only used in chilli and in one bean dip I make. What a great idea to put it in falafels. I like that you have skipped the whole chickpea thing even with the binder, using flax and hemp. Clever. Many of us aren't great with chickpeas and steer clear of falafels for that reason. No more!

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    1. I didn't actually use the flax and hemp as a binder, there was no soaking. The beans were a great binder on their own.

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  11. I very rarely make my own falafel but when I do I tend to use sweet potato or butternut squash. I love the idea of using kidney beans instead of chickpeas, I really need to try that!

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    1. Oh and I like the idea of sweet potato or butternut squash :)

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  12. Lovely idea, pretty colour too x

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  13. That's a brilliant idea Jac. I've played around with a few falafel creations and even make quinoa falafels on occasion. Delicious.

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  14. I love kidney beans - as a toddler I would go daft for them! And I love falafel as an adult - so these are win win for me :)

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    1. Ha, I've never heard that from anyone before Stuart. It was French mustard for me though. Maybe you should try these.

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  15. I am not sure I have ever made falafel fro scratch either. I have had many a good one from falafel stalls in London. They really are a top veggie dish and now I have seen you making them in your Froothie, I will be following suit!

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  16. These look great, thanks for posting! My husband and I are always looking out for quick, clean recipes! Can't wait to try them! Cheers!

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  17. I love homemade falafel, but I love that you have used kidney beans in yours.

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    1. The kidney beans work really well Dannii :)

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  18. These look super good! I'm just trying to figure out what kind of sauce you topped them with? Looks yum :)

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    1. Oh well I whizzed up some avocado with some olive oil, coriander and a little lemon juicer.

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    2. haha! awesome! Thanks for the info - sounds REALLY good - can't wait to try it! :)

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  19. I've never had falafel made with kidney beans before but these look amazing! Great idea!

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  20. Glad you finally got around to it Jac, homemade falafel is soooo much nicer than anything I've ever bought. I am surprised though as you are the queen of veggie burgers. Your version sounds delicious - I love good falafel.

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    1. I know, I know Choclette, I'm not sure why it took so long either And thank for the kind words, we do love our homemade burgers :)

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  21. This looks utterly amazing ~ I must try this

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  22. I really like this. Guess not only beans, but using potato or yam to make these patties will be very good. Just thinking what dipping sauce will be nice to serve with. :)

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    1. Yes potato or yam would be great too. Good suggestions!

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  23. i tried these tonight, i didnt have flax seeds on hand so i just left them out and turning ball shaped things in a frying pan is tedious to me so baked them at 375 for 30 minutes, flipping half way through....they did not hold together but still tasted good in a wrap.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed them but it's a shame they fell apart. I wonder if they would hold their shape better if chilled before baking?

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  24. Wow, I can't believe I have only just discovered your blog! So glad I did, these sound amazing! Can't wait to try out some of your recipes. x

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x

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