Sprouted quinoa falafel

Apparently sprouting grains makes them easier to digest and allows their nutrients to be more easily absorbed. Apparently quinoa has superpowers. So that means these sprouted quinoa falafel have super powerful superpowers.

The earthy heat of the cumin and coriander bring out the nuttiness of the sprouted quinoa and the fresh coriander, lemon and carrot give the falafel a delicious freshness. I also kept back some of the sprouted quinoa and made it into a salad. The gentle fire from the fresh chili, the fragrance of the coriander leaves, the sharpness of lemon marinated onions and the crispness of the cucumber in the salad all compliment the flavours of the sprouted quinoa falafel. This recipe is vegetarian and also happens to be gluten free.

Sprouted quinoa falafel and salad

For the sprouted quinoa

100g or three and a half oz quinoa

Method

To make sprouted quinoa falafel, you need to start by sprouting your quinoa. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly with cold water. Place the quinoa into a large glass jar and fill the jar to the top with cold water (about 500ml). Leave the quinoa to soak for about six hours. Once the quinoa has had it’s soaking time, place a square of muslin over the opening of the jar and secure it using an elastic band. Use this muslin as a strainer to drain the water from the quinoa. Set the jar upside down in a bowl to catch the excess dripping water.

About every six hours or so (or whenever you have time or remember), carefully take off the square of muslin, fill the jar with cold water, replace the lid (changing it for another clean, dry square of muslin if you can) and then pour off the water again. Between rinses, rotate and tip the jar to try to spread the quinoa around the sides of the jar and again, leave the jar upside down in a bowl to catch the excess water. Spreading the grains around the sides of the jar should improve ventilation and hopefully prevent mould forming.

After a day or two, you should see little-thread like sprouts forming. Once the grains have sprouted, place the sprouted quinoa onto a tray or plate, away from direct sunlight and cover with a cloth or parchment to keep away dust.  Allow the quinoa to fully dry out before storing in a sealed plastic bag or sealed glass container in the fridge to keep cool and ensure freshness. The sprouted quinoa will keep for about two weeks

Sprouted quinoa

Makes 10 sprouted quinoa falafel

two cloves of garlic
two carrots
two spring onions
a generous bunch of fresh coriander
a 400g tin of chickpeas
juice of half a lemon (about two tablespoons)
one teaspoon ground cumin
two teaspoon ground coriander
65g or two and a quarter oz sprouted quinoa
two eggs

Method

Place the garlic, carrots and spring onions into a food process and pulse until coarse. Cut the bunch of coriander in half and place the stalks into the food processor, together with the drained tin of chickpeas and again pulse until coarse. Add the lemon juice, cumin, coriander, a generous pinch of salt and a healthy grinding of pepper. Pulse to mix and adjust the seasonings to taste. Tip the mixture into a bowl and mix in the quinoa and the eggs. Allow the sprouted quinoa falafel mix to set in the fridge for an hour, or even overnight if you feel like it.

Preheat your oven to 190°C (fan oven)/ 210°C/ 400 Fahrenheit/ Gas Mark 6. Grease and lightly grease a baking tray with olive oil. Shape the chilled falafel mix into 10 balls. Press these balls together to make sure the falafels are well adhered, slightly flatten them and place onto the greased baking tray. Drizzle the tops of the shaped sprouted quinoa falafel with a little olive oil. Bake for twenty to thirty minutes or until crisp and golden.

Sprouted quinoa falafel mix

For a the coriander salad

half a large onion
juice of half a lemon
the leftover fresh coriander leaves
about 10cm cucumber
a small red chili
the remaining sprouted quinoa
olive oil

Peel and slice the onion as finely as you can. Spread the sliced onions out on a plate, sprinkle with flaked sea salt and cover with the lemon juice. Leave the to one side to marinate. This will calm down some of the harshness of the raw onions. Roughly chop the coriander and cut the cucumber into thin batons. Finely slice the chili and then mix all of the salad ingredients. Dress with the lemon juice from the onions, together with extra virgin olive oil, flaked sea salt and pepper. Serve the coriander salad with the sprouted quinoa falafel and maybe cold beer.

Sprouted quinoa falafel tops salad

 

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