Baked cashew cauliflower falafel are crunchy on the outside and pillow soft on the inside. These healthy falafel are perfect for a falafel pita or wrap.
This is not a traditional falafel recipe by any means. Though it is inspired by the best falafel I have ever tasted. Made by an Egyptian restaurant in Dubai, discovered when I went on a Dubai food tour. They were seriously delicious. An exquisite crunch followed by a soft and flavourful centre.
Instead I have devised an alternative recipe for falafel that does not use chickpeas. The main ingredients are cauliflower, cashews and almonds. There is also steps to make this a gluten free falafel recipe in the recipe card at the end of this post.
I was originally trying for an all nut falafel, but they lacked the soft innards I desired, and the results were more like rock balls.
Thus, the introduction of cauliflower. It added a softness to this easy falafel recipe.
These are baked, but if your heart desires, they could be fried. In fact, if you decide to fry them omit the spelt flour and they would be gluten free falafel.
The other inspiration for these cashew cauliflower falafel was Affordable Wholefoods.
I tend to purchase quite a lot of my household staples on line. I head to the farmers’ markets for my fresh produce. Preferring to support local farmers and small business owners, instead of the major two supermarket chains.
One of the great things about Belly Rumbles is I get approached by businesses I have never heard of before. Affordable Wholefoods is one. A friendly family run business in Lismore, NSW.
Mark and Denise opened their first bricks and mortar store in Lismore. This was followed by their store in Coffs Harbour, and more recently they ventured online.
They believe in running their business in a fair and ethical way. Respecting the environment, land, farmers, the produce. This also extends to their staff, customers, friends and family.
These guys are a pretty chill and happy mob to shop with. Plus, they strive to provide their customers with the best quality wholefoods at affordable prices.
All the ingredients for these cashew cauliflower falafel, except the cauliflower and water, were sourced from Affordable Wholefoods. I also made some spelt pita pockets and quinoa tabouli to accompany the baked falafel. Again, everything but my fresh herbs, vegetables and yoghurt were sourced from them.
Ordering is painless on their website. And the range of products offered is rather extensive, I was quite impressed. Loved the packaging when it arrived, a bit more personal than a generic cardboard box.
Your products will arrive with tips on storage. It is also good to note that the zip lock bags they come in are reusable, simply wash them out with soapy water and let them dry.
Recipe hazard zones
The mixture is sticky. Make sure you use wet hands when rolling your falafel balls for baking. I roll the balls near my sink, leaving the water running at a trickle to re-wet my hands every few rolls. If you don’t wet your hands the mixture will stick to you like chewing gum to a shoe!
By leaving space around and between the falafel on the baking tray this allows for even baking and browning. Don’t be tempted to over crowd the tray. Bake your balls in a couple of batches.
Equipment for this recipe
You will need a food processor, stick blender or a bullet style blender for this recipe.
Special ingredients for this recipe
Believe it or not, the special ingredient for the falafel is the baking powder! Do not omit it. The baking powder is the key ingredient to keeping the cashew cauliflower falafel moist and soft, but crunchy on the outside.
What to do with leftovers?
They will store in an airtight container for a few days. Leftovers make a perfect school or work lunch with the quinoa tabouli and spelt pita pockets. Pack all the items separately and let the lucky recipients assemble their own pockets at lunch time to save the pita from going soggy.
Any leftovers can also be frozen in a zip lock bag (oh hello Affordable Wholefoods reusable bags!). Simply defrost and warm in the oven when needed.
Serving cashew cauliflower falafel
You can eat these delicious mouthfuls a multiple of ways. Simply serve as they are with a dipping sauce, tzatziki would be perfect. Make up a falafel plate with dips and salad.
Or serve them the way I highly recommend and love, with spelt pita pockets and quinoa tabouli. Place all the elements on the dining and table and let your tribe construct their own falafel pita pockets for dinner.
Belly Rumbles created this recipe in partnership with Affordable Wholefoods. As always Sara’s opinions and views remain her own.
Other recipes you will love
Easy Spelt Pita Pockets – why buy when you can make super easy pita at home?
Quinoa Tabouli Salad – gluten free tabouli salad that is scrumptious
Cauliflower Feta Balls – you won’t be able to stop at just one, be warned
Oven Baked Popcorn Cauliflower – super delicious vegetarian version of popcorn chicken
Cashew Satay Sauce – peanut free satay sauce for the win
Zucchini Pizza Base – a tasty gluten free alternative
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Baked Cashew Cauliflower Falafels
- food processor, or stick blender/bullet blender
- 300 grams cauliflower (cooked until just tender)
- 150 grams (1 cup ) cashews
- ½ bunch (1 cup) parsley chopped
- 2 green onions scallions, sliced
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 55 grams (½ cup) spelt flour
- 120 grams (1 cup) almond meal
- Spelt Pita Pockets
- Quinoa Tabouli
Cucumber & Yoghurt Sauce
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers deseeded and finely diced
- ¼ cup (handful) fresh mint
- 200 ml (? heaped cup) yoghurt
- Pre heat oven 180°C (350°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place cauliflower, cashews, parsley, green onion, garlic, cumin, coriander and salt in a food processor. You can also use a stick blender or bullet style blender.
- Process on high speed until all ingredients are smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are processed.
- Scrape ingredients into a medium size bowl.
- Mix through spelt flour and almond meal until well combined.
- Using wet hands roll tablespoons of the falafel mixture into balls and place on the lined baking tray. Leave 2cm (1 incbetween the balls.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
- Serve falafel with spelt pita pockets, quinoa tabouli, cucumber & yoghurt sauce, and wedges of lemon.
- Cucumber & Yoghurt Sauce
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill in the fridge until use.
- Gluten free option
- Omit spelt flour and use gluten free baking powder.
- By omitting the flour, the mixture will not be able to be hand formed into balls and baked. But the mixture is perfect for frying.
- In a deep fryer, wok or pot heat oil to 150°C (300°F).
- Scoop ball shaped tablespoons of mixture into the oil and fry for around 10 minutes until brown and cooked through.
- Suggestion: Test a couple of balls first to make sure you are happy with the oil temperature, size you are making the balls and that they are cooking through.
- Once balls are cooked remove from oil and place on kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil.