Recently I posted this low carb hummus recipe, and in the post I mentioned having an idea for a cauliflower-based falafel. Well I had so much caulifloqwe in my fridge that I finally decided to start testing it out this afternoon.
I wasn’t really sure how I was going to go about it, just had a few theories on what might work and what wouldn’t. I figured I’d at least start today but never dreamed that it would turn out as well as it did on the first try!
It’s so good that I think it’s my best low carb creation to date. It was all I could do not to burst into song like a Disney princess when I took the first taste of it.
I wanted the crunchy texture of a chickpea-based falafel so I started with raw cauliflower, chopped, and then ground in the food processor. I was worried that it would be too mushy still when it cooked, so to keep the chickpea-like texture, I thought maybe ground almonds might do the trick.
I used the slivered almonds you can buy in the baking section of most grocery stores and ground them to a still slightly chunky texture in my magic bullet. To that I added the classic flavorings of falafel, a little heavier on the cumin to hide any cauliflower flavor.
To help bind it I used coconut flour and eggs. When I formed them they held together well, but I never dredged them and I worried that they wouldn’t brown. As you can see by the picture they DID and perfectly!
Super crunchy like falafel should be! And the interior texture was so good – the slight crunch of the nuts mimicked the chickpeas unbelievably well! The real test though, was whether or not I could get them by my husband and four year old son. Hungry Jr. pronounced them “delicious” and Mr. Hungry never even tasted the cauliflower!
This is a major win for me because he HATES cauliflower and can sniff out even a hint of it like a cadaver dog in a cemetery. So when he got home from work I’d already cleaned up the evidence and had him taste one. He thought they were great except for the slight crunch of the nuts which is a weird thing he has.
Never caught the cauliflower though and was surprised when I told him. YYESSSS! In your FACE!!! (LOL, just kidding! I didn’t really say that but I did think it and do a mental victory dance!) They really are THAT good!
I can’t wait for you guys to try them and tell me what you think! If you like falafel, I think you’ll really enjoy them. If you’ve never tried falafel, then you’ll really REALLY enjoy them! Heck if you have a mouth, you are going to enjoy them!
1 cup raw cauliflower, pureed
1/2 cup ground slivered almonds
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1/2 Tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp coconut flour
For the cauliflower you should end up with a cup of the puree. It takes about 1 medium head (florets only) to get that much. First chop it up with a knife, then add it to a food processor or magic bullet and pulse until it’s blended but still has a grainy texture. You can grind the almonds in a similar manner – just don’t over grind them, you want the texture.
Combine the ground cauliflower and ground almonds in a medium bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well blended. Heat a half and half mix of olive and grapeseed (or any other light oil) oil until sizzling. While it’s heating, form the mix into 8 three-inch patties that are about the thickness of a hockey puck.
Fry them four at a time until browned on one side and then flip and cook the other side. Resist the urge to flip too soon – you should see the edges turning brown before you attempt it – maybe 4 minutes or so per side. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
Serve with tahini sauce and a tomato & parsley garnish if desired.
2 Tbsp tahini paste
4 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
Blend all ingredients in a bowl. Thin with more water if you like a lighter consistency.
Approx nutrition info per 2 patties with sauce: 281 calories, 24g fat, 5g net carbs, 8g protein