Buns away: gluten-free falafel burger
Bread choices these days are a lot more diverse and exciting than the boring old white/brown/multigrain that many of us grew up with. Bread as we know it has changed dramatically, as bakers continuously experiment with new flavours and textures to create an endless variety of gluten-free, keto and paleo twists on the classic loaf. We meet the founder of one of Australia’s most innovative bread brands, who also shares a special Veganuary recipe using gluten-free buns and fresh plant-based ingredients.
“There’s been a bread revolution quietly happening since the start of this century,” says Tim Grainger, founder of Venerdi Breads. “People are now embracing it like never before. They want bread to taste good and be good for their health at the same time.”
We love our gluten-free
According to a report by the Medical Journal of Australia, only one percent of the population is diagnosed with coeliac disease. Yet one in four of us are choosing to eat a gluten-free diet. Many more are trying to cut down on carbs. The keto diet – a super low-carb weight-loss eating plan – was the most popular diet of 2020.
“In the past, some health fanatics dismissed bread as being too carb-heavy,” Grainger says. “But now you can choose protein-rich breads that fill you up without feeling heavy.
“Gluten-free sourdough is fast becoming a staple in health-conscious households. People want better nutrition mixed in with traditional baking processes and improved texture. Good bacteria thrive in the overnight fermentation before baking sourdough. This makes it easier for the body to absorb the bread’s nutrients.”
Thoroughly modern loaves
Venerdi’s Paleo Super Seeded bread has more seeds than flour. It blurs the lines between paleo bread and a health bar, making it a satisfying and nutritious choice for a lower carb lunch. Meanwhile, Paleo Almond & Linseed works well with sweet or savoury toppings. It’s a rich wholemeal bread with a balanced flavour and a soft texture.
“The art of modern breadmaking is about creating new rules and exploring unique recipes combined with traditional baking processes,” Grainger says. “The bread revolution can be compared to that of craft beer; both require a lot of trial and error in experimenting with new and unusual ingredients in the creation of innovative flavours and textures.”
Venerdi’s range of gluten-free breads, bagels, buns and pizza bases under the Venerdi, Paleo, Keto and Gluten Freedom brands are sold throughout independent health food stores nationwide. You can also find them online at venerdibreads.com.au.
Gluten-free falafel burgers with coconut yoghurt tzatziki
For the falafel patties (makes 2-3 patties)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup fresh coriander
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ fresh parsley
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper
For the tzatziki
¾ cup coconut yoghurt
2 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
¼ cup finely diced cucumber
1 tbsp lemon juice
Gluten Freedom Sweet Potato Sourdough Buns
Thinly sliced red cabbage
Thinly slice red onion
1. Add all of the falafel patty ingredients into a food processor with a sprinkling of salt and pepper to taste. Process until combined and fairly smooth. Form into patties and place them in the fridge to rest for approximately 20 minutes.
2. To make the tzatziki, combine ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a light amount of oil in a frying pan and cook your patties for 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Alternatively, you can cook your patties in the oven. Depending on how thick they are, they’ll take approximately 25 minutes to cook.
4. To build your burger, lightly toast the buns and layer on your falafel patty, sliced red onion, sliced red cabbage and alfalfa sprouts, and top with a generous dollop of tzatziki.