pepita fauxlafels!

This one goes out to all my vegans and (potentially) raw foodists.  And yes, I know, I made regular falafel a bit back, but I couldn't contain myself.

A couple weeks back, I was traipsing around Manhattan, moseying my way up to Organic Avenue on Lex & 73rd to check it out.  I wasn't planning on purchasing anything because I have all the means necessary to make my own refreshing juices.  Alas, I was sucked in as I am in a vast array of places. Date Cashew Hemp Mylk Smoothie for breakfast the next day since I never have any time to make anything anyway? Check.  (It was delicious.)  Raw sunflower seed falafel with tahini sauce? CHECK MATE! I don't know why I got the urge to buy these, and also save them for lunch at work, but I did.  And let me tell you, I am glad that I did, because these little puppies were absolutely delicious! All the amazing flavors of street falafel, but a heck of a lot healthier for you.  Frankly, they were so delicious that I was craving them and talking about them for days after the fact. 

So, on that note, I had to make my own version - except I used raw pepitas - tasty, shelled pumpkin seeds.  I've been adding them to a lot of salads and having them as little snacks as of late.  Having a good quantity on hand, I figured I'd attempt to make falafel using these as opposed to sunflower seeds! The pepitas have a sort of smoky, earthy flavor to them to being with, so they definitely seemed like a good option.  So, if you have some of these sitting around, or any kind of seed for that matter really, give this recipe a shot - just be sure to soak the seeds overnight, or at least for eight hours.

Pepita Fauxlafel (makes about 20 tiny falafel)
1 1/2 C raw pepitas, soaked overnight
2 T fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 T mint, roughly chopped
2 T scallion or spring onion, roughly chopped
2 T tahini
1/4 C fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, smashed
1 t ground cumin
1 t sea salt
1/2 t fresh ground black pepper
Paprika, for sprinkling

If you're baking these, preheat the oven to 350F, and line a baking pan with parchment paper.  

Throw EVERYTHING but the paprika into a food processor, and whir away.  Scrape down the sides a few times and continue pulsing to ensure that everything is evenly distributed.  Take a taste and smile. Try not to eat the whole thing.  At this point, you could probably use this as a spread for a multitude of things.  Maybe even a crust on seafood? Who knows - maybe I'll try that in the future!  Make little falafel balls with an ice cream scoop, or just by using your hands to roll them out, finishing each by sprinkling a bit of paprika on top. 

If you're going to use this as a raw food recipe and have a dehydrator, go ahead and throw them in there using the machines instructions - this will help crisp them up a bit so they don't remain solely as a spreadable paste.  Otherwise, pop them in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the outside is crispy.  

Once they're ready, prepare a plate for yourself and chow down! I had mine with a delicious white bean hummus, arugula, and sweet pea shoots.  You can absolutely serve it with a tahini sauce, and maybe even a light slaw! Anyway you have it, they are sure to be a hit.


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