Is Falafel Vegan or vegetarian?
In order to fully become a vegan without backtracking on the decision, one has to perpetually become aware of the variety of vegan foods that exist and also juxtapose them with the non-vegan foods they replace.
In a lot of cases people desire and intend to make that leap into an all-vegan lifestyle, whether it is the clothes they wear or the food they consume.
One may therefore find themselves wondering, “Is Falafel vegan or vegetarian?”
Falafels are nick-named the vegan version of meatballs because in a similar fashion they are deep-fried (hopefully in vegan cooking oil) to create a crunchy exterior.
These mouth-watering delicacies are usually made of ground chickpeas or fava beans. Other variants may be made from other types of beans.
The crunchy exterior encapsulates a rather softer interior, which may sometimes be spicy.
So indeed by this definition, we can safely say that falafel is vegan and vegetarian.
Falafel is a rich repository of vegan protein and fiber known to lower the levels of bad cholesterol.
Not only does it have rich nutritional benefits, but it also has a rich history as well, which we will brief on in the next section.
How Vegan Falafel Can Be Served?
A common question that may arise may be, “What can vegan falafels be served with?”.
There are various ways and vegan dishes in which one can include falafels. The common thing is to serve it with hummus or tahini sauce.
They can also do well, sandwiched between different types of vegan bread, perhaps with lettuce to mimic a burger.
You may also serve them with potato mash and sprinkle, dash a little soy sauce, and sprinkle a pinch of chopped-up onion shallots to give it that Instagram photo-friendly aesthetic a meal deserves.
The Vegan Origins Of Falafel
Legend has it that this vegan delicacy has its roots in the dusty lands of Egypt.
The story has it that Copts in Egypt for religious purposes has certain holidays where they would practice vegetarianism and falafel was born as a result.
They made use of fava beans initially and the recipe gained popularity beyond the region, with its magnificence spreading it to more people beyond and across the Middle East.
The dominant narrative is that the recipe then spread northwards to the Eastern Mediterranean, and when it did chickpeas then became a more famous alternative to fava beans.
So whilst most falafel is indeed from chickpeas, it started off with fava beans.
Chickpeas are the popular agent even in present-day across the globe – however, in many sections of Egypt, there are varieties of falafel that still use the original fava beans recipe as the main ingredient.
How to make Falafel?
In this section, we will look at how falafel can be traditionally made.
All ingredients we will recommend are also vegan in nature and one should not hesitate to try this out. The traditional process does take quite some time but it is worthwhile and fun.
The basic process of making falafel begins with immersing dry chickpeas in water, allowing them to soak for approximately 8 hours. During this phase, the bowl should not be covered.
After this, they are then rinsed and allowed to drain.
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The drained chick-peas are then moved to a food processor or blender, where they can join chopped pieces of garlic, onion, salt pepper, and other herbs and ingredients the cook prefers to have in the mix.
At this stage no water must be added, however, this mix should be processed until it has a coarse texture.
If all things are done properly, one must be able to pinch a handful of this and mold a ball.
If the mixture binds very well that’s a good thing. A mixture that has trouble binding will tend to disintegrate at the frying stage.
Blending it again may allow it to bind better. You may also use parchment paper to perfectly shape it.
The next stage is to take these well-bound vegan balls and refrigerate them. One can then wait for about an hour before taking them out of the fridge.
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After this stage, the falafel balls can then be deep-fried in olive oil so that they become as crunchy as we love to have them.
They can be flipped around the pan till they are evenly brown to one’s desired consistency.
Apart from deep frying, falafels can also be baked, by being placed neatly in a tray and allowed to absorb the heat. A recommended temperature is 350°F for more or less than 15 minutes.
3 Vegan Falafel brands to crave for!
Perhaps you are too busy to make your own falafel after all the processes mentioned above can be very time-consuming.
A lot of people prefer to just buy falafel in the store. We will list a number of vegan brands you can consider if you decide to buy.
Regardless of our brief reviews, it is also wise for everyone to read the contents and ingredients in case there are changes to these products after the time of publishing.
Ziyad Premium Falafel Mix
These heartwarming and mouth-watering vegan delicates are a blessing to the family dinner table. They offer rich fiber and plant protein and are 100% vegan.
Yves Veggie Cuisine Falafel Balls (Vegan)
Rich in plant protein, these falafel balls are pre-made for you to save you time.
All you have to do is to fry them when you are ready to have a scrumptious meal. They are ideal for busy vegetarians.
You can add a good vegan sauce to them to enjoy the fusion of the flavors.
Gosh Mediterranean Falafel
High in plant protein and fiber, this is yet another vegan option if you are shopping for a spicy and warming easy to prepare falafel that does not get in the way of your busy life.
They of course can be enjoyed with other vegan meals and a friend to your taste buds.
Falafels are a great gift to the vegan community and have a vegan history, regardless of which source one takes it from.
They make the vegan journey easier by reminding us that there is a lot of choices and there is no need to dread the transition into veganism.
The food is far healthier, fulfilling and saves a lot of animal lives in the process.
Please feel free to share this write-up with friends and family and do not hesitate to read other comprehensive articles on foods you could add to your shopping cart.