Product: Nature’s Earthly Choice Roasted Garlic Falafel with Quinoa – $2.99+
One of the healthiest and best diets out there these days is the Mediterranean diet. There is little question as to why. Largely plant-based and focused on seafood and lean proteins, the Mediterranean diet offers a whole lot of health benefits without giving up delicious tasting foods.
But I am no Greek and the Mediterranean diet seems almost Greek to me when it comes to figuring out foods to prepare and the best way to do it. That being said…thankfully there are shortcuts out there. One such shortcut is to pick up a box of Nature’s Earthly Choice falafel varieties. I have previously tried some quinoa products from Nature’s Eartlhy Choice, so trying out falafel (which I love and ate a whole hell of a lot of before going gluten-free) seemed like the next step. I purchased a box of Nature’s Earthly Choice Roasted Garlic Falafel from The Raisin Rack in Columbus, Ohio…quite a bit ago. This once again fell prey to my use of my fresh produce rather than processed and packaged goods…which is not a bad thing. But this past week and this week ahead, I have no CSA bin for my fresh produce, and trying to keep the budget in check, I am using up foods that I have in my fridge, freezer, and pantry. Out with the old…and hopefully not replacing the highly processed foods with more in the future.
That being said, Nature’s Earthly Choice is not a bad option when it comes to foods that come packaged. In fact, Nature’s Earthly Choice was created in 2005 and founded on the principles of creating healthy products. Originally, this company launched products that were made of quinoa (for the gluten-free), farro and wheat berries, with the expectation of living up to their mission to provide healthy and wholesome products to the public and consumers. Since then, they have added wild rice, chia, hemp, basmati rice, a continent grain blend, and other grains to their list of products, continuing to maintain the healthy aspect of their foods and expand their line to allow for new and delicious items. Their products are easy to prepare and hassle free as far as cooking. No matter the dietary needs (they offer products that are gluten-free, rich in omega 3’s, high in protein, offering alternative grains), Nature’s Earthly Choice is passionate about the products they create and are committed to delivering the best tasting and highest quality products to support everyone’s unique healthy lifestyle.
So with my past love of falafel, I decided finding a mix for a gluten-free falafel, a flavered one at that, would be something worth checking out. It takes time for me to get around to these things at times…but I do get there. And tonight, after yesterday’s long ride home from Birmingham, Alabama, and my upcoming trip on Thursday to New York City…I needed something easy and something delicious to cook up for dinner. This week was going to be a short, but busy one. My meals needed to fit into my time…I didn’t have time to linger in the kitchen over a hot stove, babysitting something that needed constant stirring and such.
Nature’s Earthly Choice Roasted Garlic Falafel was so easy for me to make after a long day of physical therapy appointments and work. Seriously. I came home, poured the mix into a bowl, mixed it with 3/4 cup water and let it sit for 10 minutes. After it has sit (make sure not to let it sit too long), I formed it into 10 patties and set it in a skillet with 1/3 cup vegetable oil. Giving each patty a chance to cook for about 4 minutes on each side, letting it brown up evenly and beautifully and get crispy on the outside. I served mine with lemon hummus…because I had it in my fridge, believe it or not.
As for how it tasted…well…I’m ambivalent. On its own, I wasn’t impressed. It was bland and a little…dry(?), I suppose. There was a small hint of garlic flavor, but nothing that really stood out. Now, when I paired the Nature’s Earthly Choice Roasted Garlic Falafel with the lemon hummus…magic. It worked. The hummus brought it out. True falafel…nope. Nowhere near it. A passing acquaintance…definitely. Would I purchase it again…eh…probably not. It wasn’t bad…it just didn’t blow me away. It didn’t make me reminisce about the days of falafel from the nearby Mediterranean restaurant. It just made me long for those days all over again. It just wasn’t everything I hoped it would be.
Let’s talk ingredients, shall we? The Nature’s Earthly Choice Roasted Garlic Falafel is made from fava beans, chickpeas, quinoa, potato starch, garlic powder, spices, onion powder, and salt. This mix is gluten-free, cholesterol free, and dairy-free. There is also an option for baking the falafel, but I always find a pan fry seems to work best on such products.
A serving of Nature’s Earthly Choice Roasted Garlic Falafel is 1/4 cup dry mix, or about 2.5 small falafel patties. As I was making a dinner out of this, my roommate and I split the entire box, making 5 falafel patties for each of us. One serving, however, would give you 150 calories and 1 gram of fat. A serving will also provide you with 150 mg sodium and only 1 gram of sugar. Loving that. One serving will give you 8 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein, making this a very filling and long-lasting meal choice. You won’t be hungry immediately following your meal. Trust me.
While this ended up being quite a filling meal, the lack of taste and proper texture just sort of left me half empty. When paired with a dipping sauce or spread…this was amazing. But on it’s own, there was nothing that stood out or made me wish I had more boxes of this in my pantry. Decent…but not a favorite.