DIY Baked Falafel (gluten free)

The husband is doing an elimination diet, so I needed a gluten free falafel recipe, and ideally one that was healthy-ish and not fried. I never keep tahini in the house, and I want to actually bake these puppies (as opposed to babysit them over the stove).  I love zatar so of course that is going in here too.  I like how falafel brighten up a salad with vegan protein, and are less boring than plain beans, so I think I will be making more soon!

Apparently baking soda is optional- use with an acid like lemon juice... I suppose it makes it fluffier? So in the end I combined two recipes (one and two) and played with it a bit.

NOTE: my early attempts were good tasting but the end result was really crumbly, especially if you tried to re-warm in the microwave. I can see why falafel are usually deep fried or use a binder flour. 

UPDATE: my new method adds up to 1/4 C garbanzo flour (or use another gluten free flour) which helped bind the falafel balls together.  I added this down below too!

Pulse in a food processor until chunky:
1 red onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 C parsely
1/2 C cilantro

Now add 3 cups cooked chickpeas (I soak mine overnight, then slow cook; but I've read about people just soaking and not cooking prior to making falafel. Maybe I will try that shortcut next time).
Pulse the food processor to combine.

Transfer to a bowl, and stir in:
zatar seasoning
1 TB lemon juice
1/2 tsp baking soda
up to 1/4 C garbanzo flour

Roll the dough into balls with olive-oil greased hands. Bake on cookie sheet at 375 F for 15-20 minutes, flip them over using a spatula (they brown on the side that touches the cookie sheet, so they'll look not browned at all on the top. Sneaky sneaky).  Then continue baking on the other side for 15-20 more minutes or until done all the way through.

Eat hot or store in the fridge for a salad or sandwich.  Falafel are typically dry so serve with a dipping sauce like avocado based green goddess (I'm fond of Healthy Happy Life's recipe, see #5 on her blog post) or a cucumber tatziki.

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