These falafel-inspired patties are full of flavor and spice but are lighter and easier to make as they aren’t deep fried. The largest certified blue zones community in the United States, Fort Worth started on its Blue Zones Project journey in 2014. More than 300 businesses and organizations have signed on to improve the health of their employees and customers, and nearly 90,000 residents are involved in the movement.
Since 2014, Fort Worth has seen dramatic improvements: a 31 percent decrease in smoking, a 17 percent increase in people exercising three times a week, and important gains in overall well-being and life satisfaction. In the past five years, Fort Worth has moved from 185th to 31st healthiest city in the nation.
2 cups dried chickpeas (or four 15-ounce cans, drained)
5 garlic cloves
1⁄2 sweet onion, sliced
1 cup cilantro
1 cup parsley
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
1⁄8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon baking powder
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
Lemon wedges, for serving
If using dried chickpeas, place them in a large bowl.
Cover with at least 6 cups of water.
Allow to soak for 18-24 hours.
If using canned, skip this step.
Place the chickpeas and the remaining falafel ingredients (except olive oil and lemon) into a food processor.
Grind until the mixture begins to hold together, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Take a handful of the mixture and form a ball.
If the mixture holds together, it’s ready to be formed.
If it doesn’t hold together, grind it further.
Don’t add water, as this will make the dough too wet and it won’t hold together.
Form the falafel into 1⁄4-inch-thick patties.
Heat a medium skillet over high heat.
When the skillet is hot, add enough oil to generously coat the pan and create a thin layer.
When the oil is hot, gently add the falafel patties to the skillet.
Cook for a total of around 4 minutes, 2 minutes on each side or until browned.
Remove to a paper towel–lined plate to cool.
Serve in a sandwich or on top of a sturdy salad with a squeeze of lemon.
The Blue Zones Kitchen fuses scientific reporting, National Geographic photography and 100 recipes that may help you live to 100. The Blue Zones’ food tradition is going the way of the dodo bird, thanks to the encroachment of the American Food Culture.Learn More