Falafels the Raw Food Way

by Susan on February 26, 2010

I love food. I love flavor. I love falafels! There is a great little restaurant in Boulder where you can order your falafels and choose from all kinds of sides to put with them. It is quick, yummy and there is a wonderful outside patio where you can sit, eat and watch the traffic on Pearl Street go by. Desperate for a raw food recipe that recreates these tasty little favorites, I sprouted chickpeas and got to work. Paired with a raw recipe for “sour cream” and a mango salsa, this raw food recipe completely hits the spot!

Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans are a great way to add a complete protein to your raw food diet. They are full of fiber and trace minerals. They are low glycemic and are a good source of iron.

Falafels with Mango Pineapple Salsa


  • 3 C Sprouted Garbanzo Beans (chick peas)
  • 1 C Chopped Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 C Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/2 C Ground Flax Seeds
  • 1/4 C Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 C Parsley
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 2 t Coriander
  • 3 t Cumin
  • 1 T Nama Shoyu
  • Alfalfa sprouts (for serving)

1. Sprout Garbanzo Beans. Place 2 C dry beans in a jar, cover with water and let soak for 24 hours. Make sure there is plenty of room in the jar as these will expand quite a bit. Drain off water and rinse 3 times a day until little sprouts appear. Usually 2-3 days.

2. Place sunflower seeds in food processor and grind until fine. Place ground sunflower seeds in large bowl.

3. With food processor running, drop 2 cloves of garlic in. Let run until garlic has been chopped.

4. Place sprouted garbanzo beans in food processor with garlic. Process until a mash is achieved. Remove to bowl with sunflower seeds.

5. Chop onion in food processor, pulsing until a very fine chop in achieved. Place in bowl with garbanzo bean mixture.

6. Chop parsley and add along with remaining ingredients to bean mixture. Combine well.

7. Shape into golf sized balls and dehydrate, beginning at 140 degrees for 1 hour and then reducing heat to 116 for 4 to 6 hours. You will want to check as they dehydrate. They should be crispy on the outside but still a little soft on the inside. Information on dehydrating can be found here: Dehydration for Raw Foods

Mango Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 C Chopped Pineapple
  • 1 C Chopped Mango
  • 1 C Chopped Jicama
  • 1/2 C Chopped Onion
  • 3 T Finely Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 Lime (juice from)

Mix all ingredients together. Let sit to marinate.

Sour Cream:

  • 1/4 C Cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours)
  • 1 Young Coconut (flesh from – about 3/4 Cup)
  • 2 T Lemon Juice
  • pinch sea salt

Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth. Can add water to thin out if needed.

To Serve:

Create a bed of alfalfa sprouts, place falafel on top of the sprouts. Top with “sour cream” and serve with salsa.

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie Kalivretenos February 26, 2010 at 9:57 am

How YUMMY! I love falafels too :) I’ve tried several different raw renditions n will have to try yours too. Thanks for sharing! xoxo (P.S. I use the same knife)


Denise Walden February 26, 2010 at 10:17 am

Well, here is another one I have to try. We live in a very small town and the only produce available is Wal-Mart. I have found a Whole Food Market in Tulsa and that is about 2 hours from me. So, tomorrow morning (Saturday) we are headed to Tulsa and I hope to have enough smarts to buy enough of what I want to last a month. Now comes my question. How long does something like the Falafels keep in the refrigerator?

So love your site! I am learning.


Susan February 26, 2010 at 10:23 am

They keep for at least a week, maybe two.


Dawn Hutchins February 26, 2010 at 11:06 am

This looks tastier than most traditionally cooked versions I’ve seen! Still looking on ebay for a dehydrator….


Alberta February 26, 2010 at 2:22 pm

When sprouting chick peas in a jar,should the lid be screened or solid ?
I’m new to making my own sprouts,but this recipe is the impetus !
Do you remember the falafel joint on Pearl St.? I visit Boulder often.
Thanks for the best recipes on the web!


Susan February 26, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Screen so you can rinse.


Antony February 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Wow! These look DELICIOUS! I love falafels :-)


Christine February 26, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I love falafels and pineapple salsa! Couldn’t have picked a better combination. They look so yummy!


hihorosie February 26, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Those look so amazing and perfect! Seems like the perfect summer food. thanks for sharing!


Lauren February 26, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I am definitely making these falafels next week! These will be the 3rd raw ones I have made, they look to yummy to pass up!


Damon February 26, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Hate to say I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a falafel…. looks like it’s time to try! Nice work!


Pure2raw twins February 26, 2010 at 9:10 pm

Beautiful! The salsa colors just make this dish! I have not made raw falafels in so long!! They sure look yummy!


Raw Candy February 26, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Cool idea to use the sprouted chickpeas. For some reason I’ve never done anything with them other than eat plain, but this looks great. Love falafel!


Erin @ Living and Loving In L.A. February 26, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Where do you live? I’m from Boulder!
Your Falafel looks amazing by the way!!!


Susan February 28, 2010 at 12:55 am

I am in Minneapolis but my heart (along with my daughters) is in Boulder!!


Audey February 26, 2010 at 10:09 pm

This seriously looks and sounds amazingly beautiful and delicious!


sioux February 27, 2010 at 2:43 am

Perfect timing! I’d sprouted some chickpeas when we soaked them for a cooked hummus recipe my son was making, and wasn’t sure what to do with them. now I know!

Do you find raw chick peas difficult to digest at all? This is the reason I haven’t experimented with this particular sprout yet.

They look so yummy and pretty with the pineapple-mango salsa — I never think to make fruit salsas, but I always drool over pics of them when other people do! I don’t suppose you can suggest a replacement in the sour cream for the young coconut, can you? Thanks so much for sharing this!


Susan February 28, 2010 at 1:00 am

I am find with them but every one is different so you will have to experiment. As far as the coconut goes, I don’t, as of yet, know of a good replacement.


Heather February 27, 2010 at 3:04 pm

What an awesome recipe! This sounds pretty fun and easy to make, I haven’t sprouted garbanzo beans before. I love falafel, it all sounds perfect!


Elizabeth February 27, 2010 at 10:04 pm

I made ’em and they are yummy! I was skeptical at first because I had tried another falafel recipe from a different raw book and didn’t care much for it. But it’s funny, I’ve been craving them for weeks, even sprouted some chick peas a week ago and had then in the fridge. Then you posted this recipe -perfect! I love the jicama in the salsa, nice touch.
I had your banana crepes for breakfast and now your falafels for dinner!
I look forward to more.
Thanks, another fabulous recipe.


Susan February 28, 2010 at 1:00 am

Wonderful to hear!!


Carol G. February 28, 2010 at 11:18 am

Susan, when your heart brings you on visit to Boulder, remember I lead the raw group up here. Last night’s rawluck was packed out with tons of people. Lots of food–lots of people. Everyone feels welcome first time too. Let me know and will see if I can schedule something when here!


Elaine February 28, 2010 at 7:53 pm

I just took a raw foods ‘cooking’ class and was told that nuts contain an enzyme inhibitor, and that dehydrating breaks this down. Are the nuts in these and other recipes dehydrated?

Thanks so much!



Susan February 28, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Yes…nuts do contain an enzyme inhibitor. You can also soak your nuts to release that. I have not heard that dehydrating them releases the inhibitors. The inhibitors are there so that the nuts and seeds do not sprout prematurely. They need to be in the correct environment. Soaking them provides that environment. I am not sure how dehydrating them would provide the correct environment. I soak nuts about 98% of the time before using. If I need them dry, I soak and dehydrate them. You will have to look at each individual recipe to see what the preparation was. You can read more about nuts and seeds and soaking here: http://www.rawmazing.com/articles/raw-food-soaking-nuts-and-seeds/


Elena Lipson February 28, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Well done!!! I am totally getting a dehydrator for my b-day!!! Then 100% raw for me 😉


Melissa February 28, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Susan these look awesome! The cooked falafels are just so greasy and so these look like a much better alternative:) Thank you for sharing!


jess gonacha swift March 1, 2010 at 7:31 am

Falafel is one of my favorite foods ever. I’ll have to try this version. AND, I grew up in Boulder! I’ve been missing it a lot lately, so it was nice to have the reminder of Pearl Street this morning. :)


Maurie Kirschner March 2, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Love falafel and this recipe sounds really interesting. I too have been wanting to know a substitute for young coconut. I live in Seattle, a large city with plenty of natural food and specialty food stores but I have yet to find organic young coconuts, and that’s the only way I would buy them. This keeps a lot of raw recipes out of reach. I look forward to trying this recipe without the cream, though – I think it will still be yummy.


Catherine March 15, 2010 at 11:51 am

Oh my! Oh my! I made the falafels and they turned out great!!! My husband even loves them! I did add a bit more cumin and coriander to mine and a pinch of sea salt for taste, but over all it was wonderful. I also did my own take on a mango salsa that had tomatoes in it and it was all good. Thanks so much for the recipe!!!!!!


Svetla Zibin March 16, 2010 at 9:15 am

Those are awesome, taste much better than regular falafels! Love your recepies


carrie March 18, 2010 at 8:46 pm

these look amazing!!! I can’t seem to ever get my chick peas to sprout, though. This recipe makes me want to try it again!!!


Jessie R April 5, 2010 at 10:23 am


I made this last night and it was AMAZING!!!My huband and I LOVED it. So far its our favorite dish.. Thank you so much for sharing your talent.

Jessie R


JAK April 23, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Made these on my lunch break! Can’t wait to see how they turn out… It’s going to be a rough weekend – I’ll neeeeeeed some comfort food. Thank you!


Stephanie July 14, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Hello Susan,

I have been raw for a month now and feel amazing. I am still learning a lot (actually going to start a site on the journey, discoveries and pitfalls of the transition, but I am loving every minute of what I’m doing because I feel great). One thing I am still unsure of is the use of beans…I do not see many recipes with them, so it’s great that you’re sprouting garbanzos for this one.

Do you use beans much?

Secondly, I’ve seemed to read that ~110 degrees is where you should keep things to keep the heat from actually cooking out the enzymes. I have not, until now, seen a recipe to use a dehydrator at 140 degrees. How does this sit with you?

I love your site. I have been to many raw food sites, and yours far surpasses the rest. Of course, using Thesis as your WP theme helps 😉 (I am a web developer).

A million compliments on RAWMAZING, your cooking skills and your communication with readers.



Susan July 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Stephanie: You need to keep the FOOD temperature under 116 degrees to keep enzymes intact. Starting the dehydration higher shortens the dehydration time, pulls water out faster, keeps food from fermentation and since the food temperature never gets that high, your enzymes are completely intact. You must remember to turn down the heat after the initial period. Many raw foodists, including Gabriel Cousins recommend this method.


Valerie November 6, 2010 at 6:42 pm

I made these and they are truly amazing!! Full of flavor and fiber to boot!!! Thanks again Susan for all your wonderful recipes. I look forward to trying many more as my raw lifestyle evolves. P.S. my word for the calendar would have been “evolution”, because that is what is happening to me.


Kaila January 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm

I just finished making these and they are AWESOME! The texture is just what you’d expect from a fried falafel, but of course these are a MUCH healthier choice. My kids are going crazy over these. Thank you!


Rainbow Jackie March 10, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Wow these are the best falafels (raw or not) I’ve had. I made them with a raw almond tzatziki and they were incredible! Thank you for the recipe!


jacque July 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I just used the falafel recipe today and WOW was it the best one ever or what?? thank you so much – a definate repeat recipe at my house. xxxx


Sarah October 11, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Props! These were SO GOOD! And they felt good in our bodies afterward. We used papaya instead of mango and pineapple for the salsa, a tahini-based tzatziki instead of the sour cream, and served it all on a bed of onion sprouts – YUM YUM YUM! Something to note: our 2 cups dry beans yielded over 5 cups sprouted beans! So we doubled the recipe and stored some falafels in the freezer for later (yet to see if this is a good idea). We sprouted for a week, so maybe the beans grew in size.


shaj December 4, 2011 at 5:46 am

made these, they are soooo good, my friends enjoyed them. I’m going to make more and store them in the freezer also. thanks for the recipe


sara December 27, 2011 at 11:40 pm

susan, these were absolutely FANTASTIC!!! perfect flavor and texture and the mango salsa was SUPER yummy!! :) i forgot to soak the cashews so i’ll try the sour cream next time :) this meal is for sure on our rotation!! i can’t wait for leftovers already :):) thank you for another incredible recipe! xoxoxo


PJ January 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I’m not sure what I did wrong, but these came out VERY bitter and nearly inedible. Made for a very disappointing Thanksgiving dish this past year. I guess it must be me, because everyone else seems to have had success. Any reason you can think of why they would be so bitter? I followed the recipe to a T.


Susan January 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm

The only thing I can think of is you had bad garbanzo beans. Or somehow you fermented them in the sprouting process. :-)


tatiana May 23, 2012 at 10:54 pm

can’t wait to make these. i looove falafels and anything with chickpeas really. thanks so much for posting this! :)


Brendan O'Brien August 23, 2012 at 7:18 am

Susan, I just found your site. Congratulations, it is a beautiful thing.
I spent 8-10 months as a raw vegan a couple of years ago, and it was amazing, even though I had no dehydrator or food processor…I made killer salads! Then I fell off the wagon and didn’t get back on. it had been 18 months and I decided to juice fast after “going to shit” (putting on weight, eating lots of junk food, etc, etc, etc). I’m only 16 days from the end of my 100-day juice fast (though I like to call it a juice feast), and I will buy both a processor and a dehydrator before that day comes. And I’m excited about all of the beautiful meals I’ve been reading about, even if I’ll have to find out what some of the foods are you mention, as you Americans use different names for some things that we do in Australia.
These falafels look amazing..and I’m glad they last so long in the fridge, as making a big batch will be a pleasure…can you tell me roughly how many these will make, following this recipe?


Z viav Egypt December 10, 2012 at 9:07 am

I live in Egypt where this is a principle food at breakfast with fava beans and tahnini ..

Very delicious


Iman March 26, 2014 at 6:27 am

Sounds like a good recipe, but the only thing missing is a recipe for tahini, which is the best part IMHO :-(


Marlene August 1, 2014 at 9:07 pm

I’m a little confused. Is this recipe for 3 cups sprouted garbanzo beans or 2? I want to make this recipe as my fiance keeps talking about going raw and I want to ease into it. We love veggies and have mostly cut out dairy. I’m happy to find your website! We also love falafels!


Susan August 21, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Hi, Marlene…2 cups of dried chickpeas will give you 3 cups of sprouted. Cheers!


Marlene August 1, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Oh and we have a dehydrator, only it has no setting. Just plug and play. Not sure what temperature it runs at. We’d have to experiment with timing I’m sure.


Susan August 21, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Hi, Marlene, You have to be careful with a dehydrator like that. Many times it dries very hot. You might want to look for a dehydrator with a temp control. Cheers!


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