Nutrient-Dense Falafels For Optimal Athletic Performance

When you are an athlete in the midst of training season, it is important that you are getting all the nutrients you need to fuel your workouts. Pro Athletes usually have assistance from a nutritionist or dietician to help them meet their macro goals, but that option is obviously not available to everyone.

Well, we’ve got a recipe for you today that is great for fueling your training! Carbs, fats, and protein — this recipe has it all! I love making falafels from scratch since they are not only delicious & nutrient-dense, but they also hold up really well in the fridge or freezer.


Carbs in a Falafel Sandwich

A regular falafel sandwich (or wrap) is filled with delicious carbs! From the pita wrap, to the chickpeas and hummus, you are loading up on all the good carbs that will give you the energy you need for your training! There are about 35 grams of carbs in just a 1 cup serving of chickpeas. Another plus is that the carbs in chickpeas are mostly fiber & starch and they contain very little sugar.


Falafel and Fats

Fat is important to include in your diet, but you want to try to stick to healthy fats. You can cut out some of the “bad” fats when making falafels by baking them instead of frying them in oil. In general, there are actually not too many grams of saturated fats in falafels, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. If you want to add more healthy fat to this recipe, try adding some kalamata olives to your falafel wrap!


Protein in Falafels

Homemade falafels are a great source of protein and fiber which are two key things to keep you feeling fuller, longer. Since falafels are low in saturated fats, a meal of homemade falafel is actually a great meal before or after a workout. This is also a great meal to get more plant-based protein into your diet. Since protein is essential to repair and rebuild your muscles after an intense workout, you can also up the protein game with a side of roasted sweet potato or a spinach salad to go with your falafel wrap!


Falafel balls in a white bowl next to a bowl of hummus

Nutrient-Dense Falafels For Optimal Athletic Performance

Fuel your workout with this delicious plant-based meal!

SERVINGS: 8 falafel balls

CALORIES: 216 Kcal per serving



1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight

2 shallots

2 garlic cloves

1 cup fresh parsley

1 tsp cumin

pinch of salt

pinch of pepper

1/2 tsp cardamom

2 tbsp chickpea flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

vegetable oil for frying

(optional) Pita wraps, hummus & veggies for falafel sandwiches/wraps



1.) Soak 1 cup of chickpeas overnight in a large bowl with water, make sure the chickpeas are covered fully. They will expand.

2.) Drain the soaked chickpeas and let them drip dry.

3.) In a food processor, add chickpeas, shallots, garlic, parsley, all spices, chickpea flour and baking soda and pulse until all ingredients are combined and chopped up.

4.) Put mixture in fridge and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

5.) Heat a pot with oil for frying (or preheat your oven to 350F if baking).

6.) Form falafel balls, size of a golf ball (or however big you like them) and fry them until all sides are golden. (If baking your falafel balls, place them on an oiled baking sheet & bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown, flipping halfway through).

7.) If you’re making falafel sandwiches or wraps, simply fill your pita wraps with your falafel balls, hummus, and your favorite vegetables!



Serving Size: 2 falafel balls

Calories: 216 kcal

Carbohydrates: 36g

Protein: 11g

Fat: 4g

Saturated Fat: 1g

Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g

Monounsaturated Fat: 1g

Sodium: 162mg

Potassium: 612mg

Fiber: 10g

Sugar: 7g

Vitamin A: 1306IU

Vitamin C: 24mg

Calcium: 88mg

Iron: 5mg

About the Author:

Joyce Leung

Joyce is the founder of the Joyce of Cooking blog, where she provides recipes, writes about her food adventures, and reviews local eateries. She has worked in the food and beverage industry for over 10 years, in every position from dish washer to general manager. Now retired from the restaurant world, she is a marketing manager for a greenhouse.