These incredible vegan cauliflower falafels made with wholesome spelt flour and almond meal are a party-stopper. Always make extra as these disappear very fast and everyone asks for the recipe. Served with a made-in-minute beetroot dip and salad greens, these falafels make the perfect canape platter.
Falafels are the next big thing, I tell you. With recipe enthusiasts getting more creative with plant-based, time-tested classics; I predict that this is the year of the falafel – whatever is left of it. At least for me. After binging on this incredible green falafel recipe for many weeks, I started experimenting with different beans, nuts and veggies to create amazing flavour combinations for the mighty falafel. The inspiration for this can-it-be-more-delicious cauliflower falafel came from a recent Donna Hay magazine. After deciding that the recipe stated would be quite bland in terms of taste and would not hold its shape while frying, I put my falafel thinking cap on and got falafel-ing.
I have used organic wholemeal spelt flour (my flour of choice at the moment). It adds a degree of wholesome rustic to the falafel. You could substitute with regular plain flour or buckwheat flour (I have tried this as well!) for a gluten free end result. I have a small 1.2 litre capacity Scanpan saucepan half filled with oil ready for my frying needs. If oil is kept for too long and repeatedly used for frying, it develops harmful trans fats. If used a maximum of 2-3 times, you wont have that problem. The deep frying is mainly to create that lovely crust and it is my belief that a deep fried treat once in a blue moon never harmed anyone. Having said that, only one in four of my falafel escapades are deep fried. I usually bake them in the oven the rest of the time. Baking them is healthier and produces almost similar results – almost.
The beetroot dip is a version of a gorgeous roasted garlic and beetroot dip from my book, this being the even more express version. It literally comes to “dips” in 5 seconds. And it is the most perfect accompaniment to the falafel. I serve this with greens or my raw broccoli tabouli or this classic pantry tabouli. Don’t forget to rate the recipe below when you leave a comment and tag me with #cookrepublic if you share on social media. Cheers!
- 300g cauliflower florets
- 400g can butter beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup (35g) flat leaf parsley
- ½ cup (60g) almond meal
- 80g wholemeal spelt flour
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt flakes
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 can (450g) whole baby beetroot, rinsed and drained
- 1 garlic clove
- 50g toasted pinenuts
- sea salt flakes and black pepper to taste
- Place cauliflower, butter beans, parsley, almond meal, spelt flour, garlic, chilli, cumin, salt and baking powder in the jug of a food processor and process until coarsely chopped and mixed.
- Shape the mix into 20 golf ball sized balls.
- Heat sunflower or vegetable oil in a small saucepan on high (oil height in pan at least 5-6 cm).
- Carefully drop 3-4 falafel balls in the oil and fry for a minute or two until cooked and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat for remaining balls.
- To make the beetroot dip, place all ingredients in a small food processor and blitz for a few seconds until smooth.
- Serve falafels on a bed of greens with beetroot dip and/or tabbouli.
For a healthier version, preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place rolled uncooked falafel balls on baking tray. Spray with cooking oil and bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes turning the balls once to ensure even baking. Falafels are done when they are dark and golden all over.
Cooked falafels will freeze well in a freeze safe container for up to a month.