Plant-based proteins

11 March 2019

Health Canada recently updated Canada’s Food Guide, for the first time in 12 years. The much-anticipated release moves away from the four well-known food groups and incorporates several new healthy food choice recommendations. The food guide also focuses on where, when, why and how we eat, not just what foods we eat.

Some of the new recommendations include:
  • Have plenty of vegetables and fruit (half your plate)
  • Eat protein foods (a quarter of your plate) and choose plant-based proteins more often
  • Choose whole grain foods (a quarter of your plate)
  • Limit processed foods
  • Make water your drink of choice
  • Be mindful of your eating habits
  • Cook more often
  • Enjoy your food
  • Eat meals with others
Try incorporating more plant-based proteins into your diet by making some delicious sweet potato falafels. You can add them to a pita or salad and pair them with cucumber, tomatoes, onions and some hummus on the side. They are a great way to add more veggies and plant protein sources to your diet!

Sweet Potato Falafels

  • 1 medium sized sweet potato
  • 1 can of chickpeas (540 ml) rinsed and drained
  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut in quarters
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp of flour*
  • 1 cup of fresh cilantro or parsley
  • ½ tsp of turmeric
  • ¼ tsp of cumin
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Cut your sweet potato in half and place it on a pan face down. Cook until tender (about 45 minutes depending on the actual size of the potato). Let it cool and then peel the skin off with your fingers or a knife.
  2. In a blender or food processor place all your ingredients and blend until everything is chopped down equally but not until it’s completely blended. The mixture should be sticky but not wet. If your mixture is too wet, add some flour to help you mold into patties.
  3. Form little patties with your hands, about the size of a ping pong ball.
  4. Cook the falafels for 25 minutes or until they look golden. They will last about 1 week in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer.
* You can use chickpea flour or lentil flour for a gluten free version.
This recipe is courtesy of Half Your Plate.