5 In Lunch/ Recipes/ Sides/ Snacks/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Paleo Falafel

Ok you already know that I have Middle Eastern roots, and that I am an absolute addict when it comes to hummus – so much so that I just had to Paleofy it. But what is hummus without its falafel I have to ask?! Well it’s still pretty good but it is even better when you add some falafel into the equation.

For those of you that don’t know what falafel is it’s basically a traditional Middle Eastern deep fried delight made with either chickpeas or fava beans – either served in ball or patty form. I’ve gone for the traditional Arab version (only right considering that’s where falafel originates from) which you would of course found in Israel and I have also made this not only grain and legume free but also vegan. A lot of the Paleo Falafel recipes that I have seen online seem to use eggs. If you’ve got a nut allergy though I’m really sorry as these are made pretty much from nuts!

These Paleo Falafel taste just like the real thing and are also 100% fluffy, crispy on the outside and soft on the outside, and so melt-in-your-mouth gorgeous. They’re also perfect for little fingers – my little Anya (who is 2 this Sunday) gobbled about 6 of them in total. Although they are light in texture these will fill you up fast and are far more nutritious than the real thing.

So enough of my rambling – here’s the recipe!

(You’ll need a food processor and a frying pan with a lid to make these bad boys.)

Yields: Roughly 18-20 falafel

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8-10 minutes


1 cup ground almonds
1/3 cup boiled and peeled sweet potato (cooled to room temperature)
1/3 cup cashew butter
1/2 onion
6 cloves garlic
1 large handful of fresh parsley (leaves only)
2 tbsp coconut flour
1.5-2 tbsp cumin powder
2 tsp light tahini paste
2 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp Himalyan pink salt (if coarse grind until fine)
1/4 cup mixed nuts
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp water
Roughly 4 tbsp coconut oil (to fry them in)


  1. Start by adding all of your ingredients (except for your mixed nuts, bicarbonate of soda, water, and coconut oil) to the bowl of your food processor and pulse a few times until blending for about 30 seconds max.
  2. Next pulse in the mixed nuts until you get a slightly more paste like bread crumb looking mixture. Leave to sit for around 10 minutes.
  3. Mix your bicarbonate of soda and water together until nicely dissolved and gently knead it through your mixture.
  4. Lightly wet your hands and roll your falafel into balls roughly no bigger than the size of a fresh apricot. If you prefer patties just flatted the falafel balls out with the palm of your hand.
  5. In a large frying pan (that comes with a lid) heat 1 tbsp of your coconut oil until fully melted. Place about 5 of your falafel into the frying pan and cover with a lid. Cook for 2 minutes before rolling with a spatula to brown another side and cover and cook again for another minute. Repeat until all sides have been browned. Remove from the pan and place on some kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil.
  6. Add another 1 tbsp of coconut oil and cooking another 5. Repeat the process until all falafel are cooked.
  7. Enjoy hot or cold and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and some Paleo Hummus.

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  • Reply
    27th September 2015 at 1:56 am

    question about the almonds. Are they raw almonds, roasted…. Can almond flour be substituted?

    • Reply
      27th September 2015 at 6:57 am

      Hi Dena, thank you for your comment. You can use either raw or roasted but raw is best. The almond flour/ground almonds cannot be substituted – hope this helps.

  • Reply
    14th November 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Nuts should always be eaten raw. There is nothing healthy is roasted or fried nuts, especially nut flour where the surface of contact with the air is augmented.

    Regular falafels made with chickpeas are perfectly paleo (gosh I detest this word) provided you prepare them properly (soaking overnight). The main concern of pulses is typically saponins and phytic acid, both are eliminated in 12-18 hours with water.

    Nuts contain very fragile polyunsaturated fats that become rancid and oxidised with exposed to heat, especially extreme heat like in this case. They also contain high amounts of phytates (more than wheat and pulses, I guess if paleo-dieters know about this). Of course you can get rid of them by soaking but who is gonna bake anymore with soaked nuts? Nuts are not meant to be a flour replacement.

    • Reply
      16th November 2015 at 7:08 pm

      Hi Alex and thank you for your comment.

      You may or may not know this already but nuts are not a staple of ones diet, legumes, grains, and pulses are. So although nuts may contain higher levels of phytic acid and lectins they will be eaten in moderation and in small amounts. Phytic acid can and lectin levels can be drastically reduced with soaking in salt water, fermenting, and then roasting at a low temperature. I myself do cook with activated nuts without any problems and it’s actually pretty simple.

      The main issue with beans, legumes, and grains is that they are a main nutritional staple in many countries – eating a lot of these foods without a source of fat will actually lead to a nutritional deficiency as your body cannot absorb the nutrients without them. That’s why eating nuts is a whole different scenario. Beans and legumes also contain galacoligosaccharides which can cause digestive upset to some people, another reason they are excluded on the ‘Paleo’ diet (yes that word that you very much hate). Again grains and legumes contain lectins, saponins, and protease inhibitors which can leady to leaky gut, causes inflammation within the body, and also exacerbate any existing autoimmune problems that you may have (like I do myself).

      And let us not forget aflatoxins which are essentially carcinogens.

      You can however sprout, ferment, and cook pseudograins etc. A sprouted and fermented grain becomes a completely different entity and should still only be consumed in moderation.

      You are right about fat oxidation, but again this is a recipe to be consumed by those that want to eat something a little different, as a treat. Nuts in general are high in polyunsaturated fats and so you should keep intake to a minimum – say a small handful a day. At the end of the day this is not a nutrition blog, this is a recipe blog and so I find it rather amusing that you took the time to essentially bad mouth a recipe upon its nutritional value, I hope that you endeavor to take this amount of time in other aspects of your life rather than trying to quash ones creative ability. The Paleo diet is about eating a plate that is half full of lightly cooked veggies, a moderate source of protein, and a high amount of fat with a small to moderate amount of carbohydrates – we ALL know this and recipe sites don’t reflect day to day diets.

      I wish you all the best in the future and please do not attempt to bad mouth my blog again unless you would like to comment upon how disgusting my recipes taste of course, or maybe how fat I am and how poor my athletic ability is.

      • Reply
        17th November 2015 at 6:29 pm

        I see you agree with me which is good. The only thing I don’t understand is where exactly am I badmounthing you, I only wanted to prevent people to start baking nuts thinking that “they does a body good”.

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