These tasty Beetroot Falafel are zero Smart Points on Weight Watchers Freestyle plan. Eat as a low point Weight Watchers snack or alternatively, serve them with some Zero Point Tzatziki, some green salad and flat bread for a filling and easy vegetarian Weight Watchers lunch.
My favourite way to eat these Beetroot Falafel is to place them into a folded flat bread with a little salad and a generous spoonful of creamy tzatziki. The earthy, sweetness of the beetroot works well with the other falafel spices and topping it with a big dollop of creamy, garlicky tzatziki makes this a really indulgent and filling low point lunch.
What is Falafel?
Falafel are balls or patties that are traditionally made from ground chickpeas mixed with chopped onion and assorted herbs and spices. They are then deep fried until golden brown and crispy.
They tend to be served warm and are commonly eaten in pitta bread or flat bread with shredded lettuce and sauce drizzled over the top.
More and more nowadays you can find recipes for baked falafel.
When baked, the outer layer of the falafel aren’t quite as crispy and crunchy as those that are deep fried.
However, they still taste exceptionally good and what is more they are much healthier cooked this way than their deep fried counterparts.
These Beetroot Falafel are a mixture of chickpeas, onion, garlic, coriander and cumin with added beetroot to give them this wonderful colour and an earthy, sweet taste.
They can either be baked in a conventional oven or alternatively can be cooked in an air fryer.
Both ways of cooking this falafel recipe are outlined in the recipe card below.
Minimal oil is needed to cook them making them a very healthy, Weight Watchers friendly recipe.
I use tinned chickpeas to make these falafel, although many recipes suggest that you use soaked, dried chickpeas instead.
However, I have found that using tinned chickpeas works out just fine and is so much less time consuming than using dried ones.
For this recipe I added beetroot to a traditional falafel mix.
According to the BBC Good Food website, beetroot is of exceptional nutritional value. They are a great source of fibre and also have good health uses. You can read more about them here.
In this recipe I used pre cooked vacuum packed beetroot for ease of use. Don’t use the pickled ones but you could use canned baby beets if you are unable to find ones that have been vacuum packed.
Alternatively, you could roast your own beetroot / beets for this recipe.
The addition of beetroot gave the falafel a unique taste. They are sweet and earthy but still have a bit of a ‘kick’ from the spices that have been added.
Other Falafel recipes!
Tips for making Falafel
- Place all the ingredients minus the beetroot into a food processor (Picture 1)
- Pulse until the ingredients have broken down into a coarse mixture that is just beginning to bind together (Picture 2)
- I like a bit of texture in my falafel so I tend to only process to a coarse mix. However, if you prefer you can process for longer for a smoother falafel.
- I used vacuum packed pre cooked beetroot for ease of use. Chop it into cubes and add to the processor (Picture 3)
- Blitz for a further few minutes until the binds together (Picture 4).
- Remove a heaped dessert spoon of the falafel mix and use the palms of your hands to shape into balls a little larger than walnut size.
- Your hands will turn a nice pink colour having done this but it does wash off easily with soapy water.
- You should get 12 falafels out of this mix.
Oven Baked Falafel
Once the falafel have been shaped into balls, place on a non stick baking sheet or a baking tray with a non stick silicone mat.
Spray the falafel with a little calorie controlled spray oil and bake in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, turn and return to the oven for a further 5 – 10 minutes or until they have crisped up and are baked through.
Air Fried Falafel
If you are cooking these Beetroot Falafel in an air fryer, mist with a little calorie controlled spray oil and cook for 10 minutes.
Turn the falafels and cook for a further 5 – 10 minutes until the outsides are crispy and the falafel are baked through.
Why does my Falafel fall apart?
Baked falafels are less prone to falling apart than falafels that are deep (or shallow) fried in oil.
The addition of beetroot in this recipe should bind these falafel together well but they do need to be handled gently before baking as they can be a little delicate.
If you do find the mixture doesn’t bind together enough to form into balls then you can add a touch of water or lemon juice and blitz for a further minute. Alternatively, add a little more beetroot.
What should I serve falafel with?
These beetroot falafel are perfect eaten just as they are as a low point snack. They are also delicious served with a little salad.
My favourite way of eating these falafel are putting a couple of them in a pita bread or flat bread with a bit of salad and topping with some Zero Point Tzatziki.
How long can I store Falafel
These Beetroot Falafel can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 – 4 days.
- 400g chickpeas (1 can drained and rinsed)
- 1/2 onion (chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (minced / crushed)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp fresh coriander / cilantro (chopped)
- 300g ready to eat beetroot (chopped)
- Calorie controlled spray oil
- If you are using a conventional oven to cook the falafel, preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C fan / Gas Mark 6.
- Place the chickpeas, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander (ground and fresh), cayenne pepper and sea salt in a food processor. Pulse until it forms a coarse mixture which just begins to bind together.
- Add the chopped beetroot and blitz until the mixture combines.
- Use your hands to shape the mixture into 12 balls (each ball will use approx 1 heaped dessert spoon of mixture and will make a falafel a little bigger than a walnut).
- Spray the falafel with a little calorie controlled oil.
- If you are cooking the falafel in a conventional oven, place them on a non stick baking sheet (or on a baking sheet covered with a sheet of non stick silicone) and bake for 10 - 15 minutes. Turn the falafels and return to the oven for a further 5 - 10 minutes until the outside has become crispy and they have baked through.
- If you are cooking the falafel in an air fryer, place them in the fryer for 10 minutes. Turn the falafel and cook for a further 5 - 10 minutes until the outside has become crispy and they have baked through. Air fryer temperatures do vary so keep an eye out on the falafel to make sure that they don't cook burn.
Please be aware that the nutritional information below has been automatically generated and does not account for variations in product brands and types, weights of individual ingredients etc. It should therefore be considered as an estimate.
PointedKitchen.com has calculated Weight Watchers Smart Points based on the individual ingredients used to make this recipe and not from the following nutritional information.
PointedKitchen.com is not responsible for any loss or damage relating to your reliance on this nutritional information.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 69Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 119mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g