Chickpeas come two ways, in a can or dried from the bulk section of your grocery store. If you are an overachiever (you know who you are!) then maybe you have grown your own and harvested them fresh from your garden! If you're like me, you hit up the bulk bins and load up on dried garbanzo beans to keep on hand in your pantry. About a year ago, I had my first experience with how wonderful chickpeas are to sprout. If you've never sprouted before, chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) are a lovely introduction to the ease and enjoyment of home sprouting. Since they are large and quick to sprout, this makes for easy rinsing and quick sprouted tails which are ready to go in 1-2 days. They last about a week in the refrigerator and sprouted chickpeas can be used in all the same ways as cooked chickpeas: in hummus, stews, salads, and of course, as a raw falafel ball!
Falafel is a Middle Eastern dish that is usually deep fried and made of chickpea flour. I have a delicious Baked Falafel which is amazingly delightful with flat bread, Vegan Tzatziki Sauce, and Quinoa Tabouli. If you're up for a collard wrap, then I highly recommend preserving the raw integrity of the meal and opting for the delicious, easy, and colorful Raw Falafel with Cashew Tzatziki Sauce and Tabouli. Tzatziki is a cool and creamy garlic, cucumber yogurt sauce that is heavenly! You can make this with a soy/hemp/almond yogurt and have a more traditional tzatziki or you can keep it totally raw, preserve the full flavor and try this satisfying and fully raw Cashew Tzatziki Sauce with your raw wrap. I have a recipe for tabouli included below because c'mon, what is falafel without the tzatziki and tabouli?
Falafel is not only delicious and a great ethnic addition to your culinary repertoire but adding chickpeas to your diet is a great way to add protein and iron! Since iron absorption is increased when consumed with Vitamin C, this iron rich dish is classically paired with lots of lemon juice for optimal yum factor. Chickpeas are rich in fiber and when they are sprouted, chickpeas are a wonderful source of natural and vivacious enzymes which will help rev those cellular catalytic functions keeping you full of beauty and energy! If you want to learn more about sprouting, check out my Sprouting 101!
~ These raw balls need 5-7 hours to dehydrate and the chickpeas take about 2 days to sprout meaning this meal takes a little planning but once you've got the hang of it, sprouting and dehydrating times will become second nature :)
Let's get started:
Raw Falafel Ball Ingredients:
- 3 cups sprouted chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup sunflower seeds, ground to flour
- 1/2 cup flax seed, ground to flour
- 1/4 cup curly parsley, chopped
- 2 TBSP. olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh
- 2 tsp. coriander
- 3 tsp. cumin
- 1 Tbsp. Nama Shoyu or Tamari (optional or use a dash of sea salt)
- a dash of love and patience
- To a food processor fitted with the "S-type" blade, add the sunflower seeds and process into a flour and then place sunflower flour in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- To your food processor add the chopped garlic and chickpeas and process until they are mashed. Remove the chickpea mash and add to the bowl with the sunflower flour.
- To your food processor, add the onion and process until very finely chopped. Add parsley and process again until the parsley is chopped fine as well. Add to the bowl of chickpea mash.
- Add the remaining ingredients to your chickpea mash and mix well.
- Roll chickpea mixture into 1" size balls and lay on a dehydrator sheet lined with parchment paper. Dehydrate for 5 to 7 hours.
Cashew Tzatziki Sauce (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free)
- 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp. salt
- Peel the cucumber and slice in half lengthways. Use a spoon to remove the seeds then slice into half moons.
- Into a blender, add the cashews, water, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add the cucumber and pulse slightly until the cucumber is in small pieces. This will keep covered in the refrigerator for about 4 days.
- 2 cups minced parsley
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1/4 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled (option to use sprouted quinoa* to keep it raw)
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 2 cucumbers, diced (peel if your cucumber is not organic)
- 2 Tbsp. organic olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. sea salt
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and toss. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavor to develop.
To assemble: *coming soon! How-to wrap a collard green blog!
Add the falafel ball, tabouli, tzatziki, and chopped romaine lettuce to a large collard green and wrap it. Great for a lunch to go and really great with a side of my Garlic Kale Chips! Enjoy!
After we ate all of the falafel balls, we used to the leftover tzatziki, tabouli and collard to make veggie wraps the next day. Just as yummy!