The natural sweetness of the sweet potato is offset by the aromatic spices in this unusual variation of falafels. Enjoy this sweet potato falafel in warm pitta bread with hummus or in a colorful salad, drizzled with tahini and lemon. YUM!
Who doesn't love sweet potato falafels? (If you don't then you're on the wrong page, my dear). What is there not to love? These little balls of deliciousness are packed with tons of protein and will for sure keep you full all day. We are sweetening things a bit with this recipe by adding the sweet potato for extra vitamins and complex carbs, and the sesame coating which will make these falafels CRISPY even if they are oven-baked WITHOUT a drop of oil!
What are Falafels?
Falafels are usually deep-fried balls, or a flat or doughnut-shaped patty, made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Spices, herbs, and onion are usually added to the dough. It's a very famous Middle Eastern dish, that most likely originated in Egypt.
Falafels are popular, there's no doubt about it. They made their way into a vegetarian diet a long time ago, and they came to stay! (no complaints hehe). Made out of chickpeas (which are packed with protein, complex carbs, and lots of fiber) can easily substitute meat on a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle.
How to make sweet potato falafel?
I'm really sure that you can find falafels almost anywhere. It's a quick, cheap, and very popular street food option. Served with tahini and hummus in warm pitta bread. It's a dish that for sure will satisfy your hunger and will delight your taste buds.
The downsides of getting falafels ready-made are
- They are usually deep-fried in oil. This is a ton of extra fat that nobody needs in their diet. If you can find baked falafels (rarely) go for it! Even if the fried ones may sound more delicious, I promise you that the baked ones taste as good if not better + you can achieve crispiness by coating your falafels with sesame seeds (like in this recipe).
- Homemade food is better than any take out. You know what ingredients you put in there. You can control the freshness & the quality much better. And also it's FULLY customizable (you can basically make it taste however you want).
- Falafels are so easy to make and they don't require long hours in the kitchen. You can also make them in big batches and freeze them for whenever you are short on time and need a quick lunch or dinner. Just pop them in the oven for 15 minutes, chop some salad or warm some pitta bread, add your favorite toppings and DONE!
The classic falafel recipe calls for chickpeas, spices, herbs, and onions. But we are going to spice things a little bit more with this (not so boring) falafel recipe by adding the -drum rolls, please- SWEET POTATO! YES.
Sweet potatoes are a great addition to this recipe, making the falafels creamy. They are also a rich source of fiber as well as containing many minerals and vitamins including iron, calcium, and selenium. They are also high in an antioxidant known as beta-carotene. Being also low in calories this sweet spud is making a great addition to a healthy diet, either you are trying to lose weight or make better food choices.
How to serve the sweet potato falafels
You can serve them in warm pitta bread or make a big delicious salad, drizzle some tahini + half a lemon on top and ENJOY!
Enjoy these falafels guilt-free because they are:
- baked NOT fried.
- packed with fiber & protein to avoid overeating.
Looking for more delicious salad recipes? I've got you covered!
I love to see all your yummy creations! ♥️
Baked Sesame Sweet Potato Falafel Balls
- 800 grams sweet potatoes, around 2 big sized ones
- 200 grams chickpeas, 1 can drained
- 100 grams chickpea flour, or normal flour
- juice from half a lemon
- roasted garlic, see notes (optional)
- 1 cup sesame seeds, for coating
- a handful of fresh parlsey, or cilantro, chopped, plus a few sprigs to garnish
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt, pepper and chilli powder to taste
- Preheat oven to 200ºC, 400ºF. On a baking sheet prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork.
- Bake until tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the skin.
- Mash the sweet potato roughly in a bowl (or in a food processor) and stir in the flour, the chickpeas, the spices, the lemon juice, the parsley and the roasted garlic (optional).
- Let the mixture half an hour in the fridge to cool (easier to shape)
- Divide into 25 to 30 small portions and shape each one into a ball. Then roll into the sesame seeds and place them on the baking tray.
- Bake in the oven at 200ºC, 400ºF for 15 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
- If you don't have any gram flour (chickpea flour), use plain (all purpose) flour instead.
- For a crunchy texture, add a few cumin seeds to the falafel mix.
- The roasted garlic is totally optional but will intensify the flavor of the falafels. It's very easy to roast garlic and you can put it in the oven at the same time with the potatoes. (Check out how to make perfect roasted garlic here)