Speedy Sweet Potato Falafel Balls

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on January 4, 2010


January is always a difficult time of year.

The last hoorah of the holiday is now over and that can be hard to accept.

We have to pack up our Christmas decorations and try to fit them into the impossibly small boxes that they came in. Glitter is everywhere, Fluffy just chewed through expensive LED lights, someone threw a fruitcake through the car window, and we are cold.

Bone chilling cold. So cold in fact, we become accustomed to ice cube toes, randomly cold butt cheeks (not that I’m speaking from experience!), and our partner yelps in pain when our icy limbs should venture onto their side of the bed.

This is January for many of us.

For those of you in Florida, I’ll expect a drink come March. ;)

Despite the baggage that Mother Nature unloads on us this month, I am here to offer some relief. A cheery and sunny spot to brighten up those impossibly cold and dreary days. Healthy recipes and heart-pumping workouts to warm your soul and speed through the long winter season.

Speedy Sweet Potato Falafel Balls

After baking all day in the kitchen, I need dinner recipes that can be prepared in lightening speed. Last night I was craving falafel. Not just any falafel though, healthy falafel balls. Unlike its’ traditional counterpart, these falafel balls are not deep fried, which is always something to smile about. The base is also made from sweet potatoes instead of chickpeas. If you are looking for traditional falafel balls, you won’t find it here.



  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 t ground coriander
  • 1 heaping cup spinach, chopped
  • 1.5 T lemon juice or Juice or half a lemon’s juice
  • Just less than 1 cup of chickpea flour
  • Oil for pan
  • Chia seeds and chia flour for garnish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 400F. Pre grease a baking sheet with oil or spray. EASY method: Cut a few slits into the sweet potatoes and then microwave on high for 9-11 minutes until tender. [LONG method: Bake sweet potatoes in the oven for 45-60 minutes at 350F]. Let cool for several minutes and carefully peel away the skin. Alternatively, you might be able to peel the potato prior to microwaving to save time. While the potatoes are microwaving, in a medium sized bowl mix together the cumin, chopped garlic, coriander, and chickpea flour. Stir well. Add chopped spinach and lemon juice and mix well with a fork. Chop up sweet potatoes into small chunks and hen mash with a fork. Add potatoes to the other ingredients. Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place mixture in the freezer for a few minutes to cool. Wet hands and form falafel balls and then roll the balls in chia flour, ground almonds, or spelt flour (optional). You can also sprinkle the balls with chia seeds or sesame seeds. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until slightly golden.

Yields: Approx 17 balls

Recipe adapted from Leon: Ingredients and Recipes as seen on 101 Cookbooks.


I made some with a coating and some without.


I am on the fence with these falafel balls. When I tried them right out of the oven I loved them in a major way, but when I tried them the next morning I wasn’t a fan. Maybe it was because they weren’t heated up though. At any rate, I think these are best served straight out of the oven. I paired mine with some homemade ketchup (tomato paste, agave nectar, and sea salt).


Have you ever had falafel balls?


I got some fun Christmas gifts yesterday at our family get together!

A bird feeder, serving bowls from Costco, and some Clinique makeup:


A Costco hairdryer (works like a DREAM so far!!!) and a Kitchen Aid timer from my dear friend Laura.

IMG_8942 IMG_8944

All very useful gifts and things that I have been needing for a long time. Love that!

In Other News:


I have a 12 hour baking day ahead of me…I also need to find a way to squeeze in a workout, whittling and get caught up on paperwork and emails. Going to be a busy one.

Have a great start to your week! :)


Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Ameena January 4, 2010 at 10:56 am

I really love falafel but I don’t like their greasiness. This recipe is great because they aren’t deep fried! Thanks so much, I can’t wait to try this.

Try to stay warm!! I do miss Canada but not the long long winters. It would be great though if we could have some more winter-like temperatures here in LA. Warm weather in January just depresses me!


Deloris January 8, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Can’t wait to try these! Ameena, where in Canada are you from? I’m in Québec, and could sure use some warm LA weather right about now! ;)


Diana January 4, 2010 at 11:02 am

I’ve never had falafel – perhaps I shall try this recipe!
Thanks! Extended Christmases are the best! Love the gifties!


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is January 4, 2010 at 11:09 am

Those look delish – I’ve never had falafel! Have a great (long) day of baking chica. :)


alex January 4, 2010 at 11:34 am

I hear you on the cold front- my apartment heat can’t cope with the chilling temps and so it isn’t heating properly at all!
Will definitely have to try these falafels- I usually do the chickpea version, but baked as well… Watch out, sweet taters!


Estela @ Weekly Bite January 4, 2010 at 11:48 am

I LOVE falafels! Never had them with sweet potato before. These look great!


kara January 4, 2010 at 11:49 am

Hi Angela- Just wanted to say I am going on day 4 of Whittle My Middle 2 and love it so far. Each day I get a little bit stronger. Thanks for setting up this challenge! I love it :)


Tracey @ TropicalHappiness January 4, 2010 at 11:49 am

I watched your interview… great job! You look so SUCCESSFUL and PROFESSIONAL! :)


Lauren @ Eater not a runner January 4, 2010 at 11:52 am

Loved the interview, you looked GREAT!


Danielle (Coffee Run) January 4, 2010 at 11:53 am

I’ve only tried falafel twice- once fried and once baked. I liked the baked one so much better (not just because it was healthier, but it tasted better!) Yours look really good :)


skinnyrunner January 4, 2010 at 11:57 am

ive never tried a falafel ball but i sure do love sweet potatoes!


Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place January 4, 2010 at 11:59 am

You always have the best looking recipes! I’ll have to try those Falafel Balls out!


Jess @ Jessica is Getting Fit January 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I love falafel but hate how greasy it can get. I’ll have to try these!

I can’t wait to whittle my middle tonight – it was SO tough yesterday!


Kristen @ Change of Pace January 4, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Those falafel balls look great. I’m wondering if they are mushy in the middle though? I am definitely going to try them. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)


Lily @ Lily's Health Pad January 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Loved watching your interview yesterday!

I’ve never tried falafel. I’ve always wanted to though. These look great.


Mae January 4, 2010 at 12:40 pm

It’s soo cold here too. I hate the winter- I can’t even fatham a salad or smoothie right now!! haha I love your new goodies-so perfect!


Denise January 4, 2010 at 12:41 pm

I loved your interview! You looked AWESOME on t.v. The Old Navy lacey tank looks nice. I have the same one in a bunch of colors and wear them with EVERYTHING!!!!!


Jo @ SeekingHealthyBalance January 4, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Love the look of the sweet potato falafels – what a creative idea!


Tracey January 4, 2010 at 1:05 pm

You got some great gifts. I think I might have that hairdryer (or maybe something similar) and I love it!


Leah @ Simply fabulous January 4, 2010 at 1:15 pm

I make falafel all the time! I love it! Glad you found a recipe you like :)


Courtney January 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I am looking for a new hair dryer! I may take a look at the one from Costco if you like it! :]


Bridget January 4, 2010 at 1:19 pm

HAven’t had falafel in ages :( Definately interested in that recipe…YUMMY!!!


Carolyn January 4, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Love the cartoon. I’m sure that’s what it’s gonna be like getting rid of ours. We left it up on vacation and now it’s so droopy the ornaments are falling off.


Bronwyn January 4, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Those do look yummy. I love falafels. What’s the nutrition stats in comparison to regular falafels?
Now I’m totally craving chickpeas, they are my favorite bean. :D


Rachel January 4, 2010 at 1:29 pm

I haven’t ever had falafel balls, but those look delicious. You know you’re an adult when useful Christmas gifts trump special purchases ;) I’d much rather have the things I need than the things I just want, though I’d like those, too haha.


misti January 4, 2010 at 1:30 pm

As one of Eliana’s good friends, I can speak that she and the Cat Network work tirelessly to do good for stray cats in the Miami-Dade area. They are constantly setting up spay and neuter days for people at a low-cost, often working overtime throughout the week, sometimes forgetting to take days off while they manage the business aspect of the Cat Network.

It’s cold here in Florida, though. BRRR! Ok, 40’s is cold for us!


Lauren January 4, 2010 at 1:37 pm

I picture your life of working out, playing with your husband, baking away, and blogging as so romantic. I hope it really is; don’t even tell me if it’s not!


Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen January 4, 2010 at 1:38 pm

These looks so great! Though I would seriously think about avoiding the mircowave bit. Eeekers- definitely not a positive for keeping in nutrition.


Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg January 4, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Ugh– these next two months are definitely the worst :-(

These falafel balls, on the other hand, look like the best!


Chelsea January 4, 2010 at 1:45 pm

This is great that they are baked! Reminds me of Rhodey Girls!

Someone sure likes Costco in your family-I can’t say I blame them.

12 hours of baking. OY. I hope you have some mats in your kitchen to help your poor knees and back!


Gena January 4, 2010 at 1:48 pm

These look absolutely amazing, Angela!


Erin January 4, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Never tried a falafel quite like yours, I’m sure. Can’t wait to try it! So glad your interview aired, too! You look so relaxed and yet poised! Hope your toes warm up soon!


Leah January 4, 2010 at 2:23 pm

These look so good! Im looking forward to trying them out.


maggie January 4, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Those look soooo good. I must try them!



KRISTEN'S RAW January 4, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Those falafel balls sound wonderful. Hhmmm!

Cheers and Happy New Year,
Kristen :)


Karla January 4, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Those falafel balls look amazing! I’m a huge fan of falafel and sweet potato! I’ll give this a try!


Heather January 4, 2010 at 3:01 pm

oh how i love thee…
“For those of you in Florida, I’ll expect a drink come March”


Anne [email protected] Weigh of Life January 4, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I’ve never had Falafal balls, but I’d love to try some.


Jenny January 4, 2010 at 3:48 pm

You’ve described January chills to a tee, Angela. I’m sitting fireside as I type this!

Those Falafel balls sound great, I’ve actually never tried the real thing before.


lindsay January 4, 2010 at 4:07 pm

thanks for the great falafel recipe!


Katie January 4, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I love sweet potato falafel. I have made the recipe (and blogged about it) off of fatfreevegan. Mine were flattened, and are really good cut up on a salad or stuffed into a pita. The recipe has been on my to-make list for a month or so now; thanks for the reminder!


Lindsay January 4, 2010 at 4:21 pm

I adore falafel but sometimes you don’t want all the fat. Great compromise here :) And sweet potatoes are great in pretty much anything!!


Lisa January 4, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Love falafel! Epicurious has a wonderful recipe for it that is super yummy and healthy too. I pan fry them in a small amount of oil and drain on paper towels. If the oil is the right temp, falafel shouldn’t absorb much oil. We are actually having a COLD spell here in Florida right now and we’re all complaining and moaning about it…we’re totally spoiled! Stay warm!


::christine:: January 4, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Angela is coming to Florida ~ ~ Angela’s coming to Flo-ri-dah!!!! (sung to Happy Aniversary Flintstone style)

I’m a happy girl :D I KNEW I’d meet you one day, I just knew it. I’m the girl who learned to run because of you. Can’t wait til March for you to see how far I’ve come along ~ ~ ~ ~


Chrysta January 4, 2010 at 5:46 pm

I love falafel!! I lvoe the fact you used sweet potatoes too. This just sounds amazing. Keep warm too!! Have a wonderful monday and good luck with the baking!


Paige @ Running Around Normal January 4, 2010 at 5:55 pm

That’s such a cute little cartoon! And you’re right – it’s BONE chilling cold here in Illinois…and the forecase doesn’t look purty.

Those falafel balls look delicious! Do you buy the chickpea flour or do you make it?


Cindy January 4, 2010 at 6:36 pm

not only do I love falafel, but I bake a lot of yams and always have leftovers. So far I have made yam bread and yam muffins with the leftover puree. I am way going to make these…and perhaps for our next “card” night.

great appetizers.

Thanks Angela!
and SHEW what a day!


Meghan January 4, 2010 at 6:36 pm

We are a bunch of freezing Floridians right now. It was about 20-30 last night. Brrrrr!


Kristine January 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm

That recipe looks great!! I don’t know how you do it with all your baking and working out! I am impressed!


Mary :: A Merry Life January 4, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Healthy falfel balls? Oh my goodness. That looks great!!


Hillary @ Nutrition Nut on the Run January 4, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Yes, I have had falafels, but not with sweet potato – sounds delish!


Kristin (whimsyville) January 4, 2010 at 9:49 pm

I’ve officially been banned from venturing to the other side of the bed with my “death feet”. Stupid January – how many days until summer?!?! :)


Gracie January 4, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Those look absolutely delicious! How do you find time to find/cook such amazing recipes? I always feel like I’m too busy, but I know that you’re probably 10x busier than I am during the day. I really want to start experimenting with new recipes but I have no idea where to begin :/


*Andrea* January 4, 2010 at 10:38 pm

cute cartoon! i’ve never had homemade falafel balls but i always see the mix at wholefoods and have been dying to buy it! yours look great :) Mediterranean food is the bomb


Kristy January 4, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Okay, am I the only one who is annoyed cause they called you “Andrea”?? Your “balls” look good! I will have to try them :)


Janice @ O.S.M.B. January 4, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Those falafel balls look an awful lot like my mom’s favorite ice cream balls…

Except that if you bit into one expecting to find ice cream you might be a bit surprised!


Heidi January 5, 2010 at 12:04 am

Yessss!!!! I love all your gluten-free recipes. Thesse are wonderful little balls of heaven and can’t wait to try them! Thanks for posting! Time to go WMM2 now.



EatingRD January 5, 2010 at 2:45 am

mmm those sound wonderful! We actually had falafel tonight with roasted veggies. I like to bake mine too or saute them with a bit of olive oil in a non-stick pan :) Hope you had a good baking day and were able to stay warm! I think my fingers and toes would just freeeeeze right off brrr


Lisa January 5, 2010 at 4:16 am

ooooh I love falafel – and LOVE your adaptations :) Will have to give these a try for sure.


[email protected] January 5, 2010 at 9:41 am

That recipe looks awesome! Have to try it.


Heather (Where's the Beach) January 5, 2010 at 11:55 am

Thanks for sharing this recipe (and the ketchup). They look and sound tasty. Will definitely give these a shot!


jayme January 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm

no way! i bought the same serving bowls for my mama for christmas haha.
she told me she wanted ‘these serving bowls from costco that look like a pie’ for christmas, it caused a lot of confusion.
and the recipe looks awesome.


Michal January 6, 2010 at 6:44 pm

I love that recipe! Sweet potatoes and falafel in one tasty creation :) I am so trying this out soon!


Jolene January 6, 2010 at 10:48 pm

I have never had falafel balls, but they look really good.


Caroline January 21, 2010 at 9:25 am

This recipe is great! I’ve been wanting something easy like falafel balls a lot recently but my husband is allergic to legumes so it never seems fair to make them! I’ll definitely have to try this soon.


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