Because its National Garbanzo Bean Day, I thought to share my sweet potato falafel recipe from my cookbook, A Taste of Ojai, A Collection of Small Plates. Years ago on my first visit to the Middle East, I was obsessed with eating falafel, which is typically made there from fava beans or chick peas and is very popular among vegans and vegetarians. That sparked me to create my own version for a mezze platter, adding sweet potatoes for a healthful twist. Instead of frying, I bake my falafel, drizzling with olive oil to achieve that crispy crunchy bite. Makes about 3 dozen small bite sized falafel balls Baked Sweet Potato Falafel 2 large sweet potatoes 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans, mashed 3 cloves of garlic, minced 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon Braggs Amino Acids or tamari sauce 2 teaspoons ground cumin 2 teaspoons ground coriander 1 teaspoon smoked paprika ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon sea salt ½ teaspoon ground freshly pepper ½ cup chopped parsley ½ cup chopped cilantro 1 red onion, minced fine ½ cup garbanzo bean flour 2 tablespoons sesame seeds olive oil, for baking Preheat oven to 400℉. Bake sweet potatoes for 1 hour, until soft. Cool completely. Peel and discard skin. Put sweet potato flesh in a medium bowl. Mash potato with a fork. Add mashed garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, Braggs, spices, salt, pepper, parsley, cilantro and minced red onion. Mash together and add garbanzo bean flour until well combined and still a bit chunky in texture. Generously oil a baking sheet with olive oil. Scoop 1 tablespoon of mixture formed into small balls using wet hands and place on oiled baking sheet. They can be placed very close together as they won't expand while baking. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Chill falafel balls in refrigerator for about 1 hour before baking. Drizzle falafel balls with more olive oil just before baking in oven set at 375℉ for 30-40 minutes until crisp. Serve with lemon tahini sauce as a small bite appetizer. These are also perfect in pita pockets with cucumber, tomato with hummus and tahini sauce.