COMPLETE PROTEIN FALAFELS
When creating the concept of Miss Bliss Whole Foods Kitchen (MBWK) I wanted to be able to provide a wide array of people with different dietary requirements diverse food options to nourish their bodies.
My first concept was an on-the-go cabinet full of fresh salads, breakfast pots and other items. To compliment the salads, I wanted to provide protein options, and most importantly complete protein options for vegans and vegetarians.
Let’s break this down – what is protein? And what role does it play in our body? Protein in food provides the body with amino acids used to build and maintain muscle, bone, enzymes, and red blood cells. Not to forget that the body also uses protein as a source of energy!
There are nine amino acids which must be consumed through diet, you may of have heard of “essential amino acids” – these cannot be made by the body. Then we have “non-essential amino acids” which the body can manufacture from other amino acids, however we should not think that these amino acids are less important, the body is simply capable of creating them on its own.
Besides soybean and quinoa, most non-animal protein sources lack one or more of the nine essential amino acids. If we combine different sources of non-animal protein sources, we can create a “complete” protein which provide the body with the full range of amino acids.
Different combinations include:
Grains + Legumes
Nuts + Seeds with legumes or grains
After looking into this I realized my standard falafel recipe didn’t provide all the amino acids to provide a complete protein profile, it would have to be eaten with a wholegrain to complete it. This is where the experimenting started.
(Before any experimenting in the kitchen to re-create a healthier version of a food I jot down my main rules)
This recipe must be:
Moist and flavorsome – no one likes a dry falafel
BAKED not fried – keeping it within the MB ethos
Must be a complete protein – this is what I’m talking about!
Vegan – I am personally not vegan, but I wanted something my fellow vegans would love as much as I do
THE FAMOUS MB FALAFELS
You will need:
3 cans chickpeas – rinsed well
2 cups cooked quinoa
½ bunch coriander
½ bunch parsley
¼ red onion
¼ cup tapioca flour
1-2 cloves garlic
1 lemon - juiced
¾ cups olive oil
½ tablespoons ground cumin
½ tablespoons ground turmeric
½ tablespoons ground coriander
What to do:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Pulse chickpeas in blender – just break them up, no need to turn them into a paste. Set aside
Blend the parsley, fresh coriander, onion, garlic, lemon, olive oil
In a large bowl, combine together pulsed chickpeas, blended herb mix, quinoa, spices and tapioca flour – use your hands! Get messy!
If you find the mix isn’t holding together – you may need to add a teeny tiny bit more tapioca flour
Roll falafels into ball shapes, approximately 40 grams. Place on a lined tray and gently flatted to create a patty shape
Bake in over for 15 min or until lightly golden
Healthy hormones tip:
Did you know that what you fuel your body with can help you curb the cravings around your menstrual cycle and reduce your PMS symptoms! Complex carbohydrates like quinoa, oats or sweet potato are high fibre, rich in protein and will help keep you fuller for longer – destroying those nasty mood swings and reduce your carb cravings. Quinoa is rich in tryptophan – which is a precursor to that feel- good neurotransmitter serotonin. This means adding foods like quinoa to your diet will help increase the absorption of tryptophan, which in turn stimulates serotonin production.
There you have it!