How A Waffle Iron Can Make Falafel Healthier

Falafel is a popular street food found in almost every Eastern Mediterranean and Arabic-speaking country. This fried snack is made of flavorful balls of chickpeas or fava beans and herb goodness. Nice and crispy on the outside, warm and herbaceous deliciousness on the inside — a delicate balance that makes this dish irresistible. Naturally vegetarian and vegan, these fried fritters are often served on their own or along with pita bread, sandwich, wrap, and salad. It's no wonder the crunchy texture and the rich taste of this Middle Eastern "fast food" have helped it make a name for itself in America. 

There is no denying falafel is an excellent source of protein and fiber, making it a viable meat alternative for vegans and vegetarians. This nutrient-dense dish packs iron, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, and other micronutrients (via Healthline). It can help support healthy blood sugar, improve bowel movement, suppress appetite, and reduce the risk of chronic disease. However, this traditionally deep-fried dish has questionably high-fat content, making consumers worry if it is healthy. 

Depending on how you make falafel and the amount of toppings you add, you might be consuming food high in fat, sodium, and calories. A study has shown that deep-fried foods pose a higher risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. However, you can prepare falafel at home to cut back on excess fat, oil, and calories to make this dish healthy. One such method is using a waffle iron

Falafel waffle is a healthy and delicious culinary mashup

It's super easy to take the rich and savory flavors of falafel and transform them into a light and crispy waffle. The best part is that a falafel waffle is effortlessly easy to make, highly nutritious, crazy flavorsome, and, most importantly, oil-free. You'd be using traditional falafel ingredients; the only change will be in the cooking method.

Add chickpeas, garlic, egg, onion, and seasoning to a food processor and pulse until the mixture is combined. Preheat the waffle iron, and make sure to brush the grids with olive oil. You can place falafel balls onto an iron to make small patties or simply pour the entire dough to make a cute waffle-shaped falafel. Cook falafel waffle until evenly browned, about six to eight minutes (via Daily Burn). If you don't want to end up with sad-looking, sticky falafel dough, do not raise the lid before four minutes. Instead of going all in, it would be best to try cooking one falafel ball first to see how it turns out. Serve it alongside tahini sauce to enjoy a delicious and crunchy meal.

You can also bake falafel, but make sure not to use canned chickpeas as they have far too much moisture content (via Cookie and Kate). Or you could try the quick but insanely delicious air fryer falafel recipe.