Hi, friends! The recipe that I’m sharing today, one of my favorites I might add, may surprise you. It’s full of fat, horrible for your heart, extremely high in salt and contains no fiber whatsoever….
Did I get any of you? Probably not, you all know me so well by now that if anything I’m sure that the “extremely high in salt” portion of that April Fool’s joke gave it away. 😊
Happy April. Today the recipe I am sharing is one of my favorites but could actually be one of the healthiest I’ve shared. One day a week I like to go plant based and offer meatless options to my family. For no reason other than I think it feels good to really up the veggies and take a break from the meat for one day. If you like to do the same or if you are vegetarian or even vegan than you are going to LOVE this recipe.
My Vegan Eggplant Meatballs are so easy and fast to make and are SO delicious that you will not miss the meat at all – I promise!
Baked in the oven or air fried these meatballs are a real treat! I serve them as a side to zucchini noodles with my favorite low salt marinara for Jonathan and I almost weekly. The boys like them with spaghetti and we all love it when we can snack on the leftovers the next day. As time goes on the flavor really develops and they are even more delish!
I love using eggplant in lots of dishes because of all the amazing health benefits they add to my recipes. Eggplants are a great source of vitamins and minerals. They help with digestion, improve heart health, prevents anemia, increases brain function and more. High in fiber, B vitamins and Potassium, eggplants are a superfood for sure!
You’ll notice in the recipe below that I’ve added some Hemp seeds to the ingredient list. You do not taste them at all but they are high in protein, fiber and omega 3 fatty acids which just increases the nutritional value of these delicious plant based meatballs.
Another important note to add, I do not salt the eggplants before cooking them, lots of people do but I truly believe it is not necessary as they are going to be lightly fried in the pan before baking. Salt equals bloat and I don’t think any of us are looking to add bloat right now!
Because I do not use eggs to bind the meatballs, the almost flour helps to bind them, they are truly a vegan delight!
I hope you love these meatless meatballs as much as my family does. Perhaps they fit right into your meatless Monday or maybe you’ll make them for your kids tonight on April Fool’s and tell them after the fact that just scarfed down eggplant and hemp seeds! Ha! Whichever the case, I can’t wait to hear what you think. You know where to find me! Xx Janine
Janine’s Vegan Low Carb Eggplant Meatballs
2 medium eggplants (or 3 small eggplants) – chopped into small pieces, keeping the skin on
1 large onion – chopped
3 cloves garlic – chopped
1 cup mushrooms – chopped into small pieces
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried Basil
1 Tablespoon Coconut aminos – more to taste
1 pinch dried chili peppers
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup Hemp seeds
In a large frying pan, fry the chopped onions in 1 tablespoon of Olive oil until the onions are almost brown.
Add the eggplant, mushrooms, 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic to the pan. Cook for another 10 minutes until the eggplant is tender and mushrooms are reduced.
Place the eggplant mixture into a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the remaining ingredients, dried basil, coconut aminos, chili peppers, nutritional yeast, almond flour and hemp seeds. Pulse until mixture is well incorporated. The mixture is a little sticky.
With wet hands form small balls – around the side of walnuts or slightly bigger.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper – place the balls on the sheet (I get around 20 balls give or take) and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes or until balls are brown.