Question: Can I Freeze Falafel?
I am a huge fan of falafel, but not a huge fan of making it. I am a busy mom with a full-time job and making homemade falafel is very time consuming for me. I have tried falafel mixes to save on time, but I don't like the taste and consistency of falafel mixes, so I insist on making it homemade. Can you tell me if I can freeze falafel? If so, should I freeze it cooked or uncooked?
Also, will the taste change if I freeze it?
Answer: Yes, you can safely freeze homemade falafel. If you are reading this and have never made homemade falafel, you should know it is a very time-consuming process. Making homemade falafel involves soaking the dried chickpeas, shelling them, then mixing all of the different ingredients, and then frying or baking (baked falafel is delicious, by the way!). There is an easier falafel recipe using canned chickpeas, but in my opinion, it doesn't quite have the same consistency and flavor as you get when using dried chickpeas. The bottom line is that making a huge batch and freezing falafel is ideal for those who are busy and don't have the time to make them homemade often.
How to Freeze Uncooked Hummus
Prepare falafel according to recipe directions, but do not bake or fry. Mold into small balls and place on cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in freezer and allow falafel to freeze until slightly frozen (about an hour so).
Remove cookie sheet from freezer and quickly place falafel balls into a freezer-safe bag or container. Place back into freezer. Frozen uncooked falafel should last about 6 months in the freezer. Any longer, I have found that the taste and consistency is compromised too much.
To thaw uncooked falafel, place in refrigerator the day before you plan to eat it.
How to Freeze Cooked Falafel
Cook falafel according to recipe instructions. You can shape them into balls or patties -- either will freeze well. Allow to cool to room temperature. Place on cookie sheet and allow to freeze for about an hour. Place in single layers in plastic freezer bag. If you wish to place them in an airtight container, place wax paper in-between the layers to prevent sticking. Thaw in refrigerator and then bake or microwave. You can also reheat them directly in the oven from the freezer at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time.
I find that frozen uncooked falafel bake especially well. It's a healthier alternative to frying. I have noticed that the longer I freeze them, the more easily they fall apart when frying.