Millet and Bean Gluten Free Vegan Falafel
I created this gluten free vegan falafel recipe as I really like falafel and find them a versitile food. They can be served in pitta bread with salad, with chips and veg, with salad or even in a sauce as you would meatballs. Unfortunatly I have a mild allergy to chickpeas and so rarely eat them. They also often contain wheat flour, especially when bought. I started out making this gluten free vegan falafel and then decided I could boost these delicious balls some more with the addition of millet. I chose the healthier option of baking rather than frying the falafel and squished them flat a little but you can leave them the more traditional ball shape if prefered.
Health and Nutritional Benefits
Millets are a group of grasses that are grown as cereal crops for animal and human foods. Millet can be eaten as a grain and is also available as flour. Millet is rich is iron, copper, manganese and phosphorus and has a similar protein content to wheat. However it does not contain gluten so is a useful choice for anyone who wishes or needs to avoid gluten.
Millet has a good level of B vitamins, especially niacin, B6 and folic acid. Millet can be used in a similar way as rice and can be eaten hot or cold (cooked and then cooled). Millet is easy to digest and can help prevent constipation.
These beans are also known as navy or Boston beans and are generally very easy to find in the United Kingdom and USA. Haricots are a small, oval white bean and contain a high percentage of protein as well as other nutrients including carbohydrates, fibre, calcium, zinc, potassium and iron. They are low in fat and 1 half cup of cooked beans contains approximately 100 calories.
Onions have a great range of nutritional and health benefits. They are high in chromium which can help to maintain good hormone levels and be effective in treating pre-menstrual tension symptoms. Studies on diabetes have also shown that chromium can also be helpful in decreasing fasting blood glucose levels, improve glucose tolerance, lower insulin levels and decrease triglyceride levels. Eating raw onions also encourages the production of good cholesterol (HDL) which can help to keep your heart health.
There are also many natural remedies that use onions. One of these is too apply onion juice to bee stings in order to reduce pain and the sensation of burning. Rubbing a raw onion on mosquito bites is also said to help relieve the itching and any allergic reaction. This is due to the anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties contain in the onion.
Garlic has been long valued for its culinary use and health benefits. Sanskrit records show that garlic was used it remedies as far back as 5000 years ago and stories suggest that a daily garlic ration was given to the pyramid builders in Ancient Egypt in order to help keep them fit and strong. Garlic contains many vitamins and minerals including manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, selenium, phosphorus and calcium.Garlic is useful for fighting bacterial and fungal infections as well as viruses. Allergies and adverse reactions to garlic are rare though some people may experience indigestion, intestinal gas and diarrhea when eating or using large doses of garlic in remedies.
Gluten Free Vegan Falafel Recipe
- 1 400g (15oz) can haricot beans, drained
- Olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup millet, cooked
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp millet flour
- Preheat the oven to 180C/360F/Gas Mark 4.
- Pulse the beans in a food processor until there are no more whole beans.
- Fry the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until they are soft and cooked through.
- Combine the pulsed beans with the onion, garlic, millet, millet flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Shape heaped tablespoons of the mixture into balls and flatten slightly.
- Place the falafel onto a greased or lined baking tray and cook for 10 minutes at 180C/360F/Gas Mark 4.
- Once thoroughly cooked serve the falafel with salad and gluten free pitta bread or wraps.
Other gluten free flours can be used to replace the millet flour if you wish.
The water content of the beans and other ingredients can vary so if you find that the falafel mixture is too wet to shape stir in more flour a little at a time. If the mixture is too dry add more water a teaspoon at a time.
Beans other than haricot can also be used in this recipe but may change the final taste. Dried beans can also be used but will need to be soaked overnight and then cooked first.