Changing over to a gluten free plant-based diet has been one of the hardest challenges of my life.  I like food.  And the truth is, I really enjoy(ed) eating meat.  I find it very satisfying to both my taste buds and my physiology.

So, finding gluten free vegan foods that satisfy in the same way is a mission of mine.

I learned a very long time ago that when it comes to eating I need to listen to my body.  Cravings are often driven by a physical need, even if we misread what that is.

Lately, I’ve been craving falafel.

I live in Israel, so there’s practically a falafel stand on every corner if you live in a city.  And if like me, you live in a small village of about 250 families, there’s still a falafel place only a 5-minute drive away.  In Israel, falafel is *the* fast food.  Its also incredibly affordable.

The problem is that while it is naturally vegan, its not usually gluten free.  The original, authentic falafel is gluten free, but today its so much cheaper to add wheat flour than chickpea flour and so most of the falafel in Israel is not gluten free, even if you don’t have it in a pita.

On top of that, my local falafel joint, which doesn’t use wheat flour in their falafel, doesn’t seem to understand that a customer might want falafel with a salad without a pita, so I decided that if I’m going to get my falafel fix, I’m going to have to make it myself.

I found a few “authentic” recipes online, and I gave them a shot.  Most of them were either too much work or fell apart in the frying pan – or both.  Not that I’m opposed to a recipe being work, but sometimes you just want something to come together quickly and easily.

Enter the recipe that I’m sharing with you today.

I have a friend who writes a blog called pennilessparenting.com and she’s got a lot of really useful stuff on there.  Most of her recipes (it may even be all) are vegan and gluten free, so its worth having a look around.

Anyway, this recipe is quick and easy and very tasty.  It doesn’t have the same texture that falafel from whole chickpeas has, but its close, and did I mention that its easy?

I fried my falafel, but Penny says you can bake them, so if you are following a no oil way of eating, this recipe will work for you, too!

So, here’s the version that I made, but you can click on the link to the original recipe below.

Ingredients:

2 cups garbanzo bean (chickpea/besan) flour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon parsley or cilantro flakes
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
Oil for frying (if you are frying them)

Instructions:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
  2. Add the boiling water and mix until thoroughly combined into a soft dough/thick paste
  3. If the mixture is too dry, add another tablespoon of water. If it is too sticky to make into balls, add a little more chickpea flour.
  4. If you are frying, prepare frying pan with oil and heat. (I used coconut oil for this)
  5. Using wet hands (you have to use wet hands or you won’t be able to form the balls nicely), form small balls and carefully drop into the hot oil.
  6. When the bottoms are brown, turn the balls over to cook on the other side.
  7. Remove from oil and allow to cool on a paper towel.

If you want to bake your falafel, you can find the instructions on the original recipe, here: http://www.pennilessparenting.com/2013/01/homemade-gluten-free-vegan-falafel.html

Serve with cucumber and tomato salad and tahini

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