Vegetarian and vegan options are gradually reaching all restaurants, including fast food restaurants that, until recently, did not have these alternatives on their menus. McDonald’s was not going to be any less and has been including in some countries such as Finland hamburgers in its extensive menu in which, obviously, meat-based meals predominate.
The case of McDonald’s in Sweden is special: in addition to the four vegetarian burgers already on the menu, there will soon be the new McFalafel, which will appear both on the regular menu and as a vegan alternative in the Happy Meal or food for children, which until now did not have an alternative of this type of food.
Falafel is a recipe typical of the Middle East that is characterized by the use of chickpeas and spices to make a kind of small croquettes that later, traditionally, are fried in olive oil.
Through this dish, which in the case of the menu aimed at children consists of four pieces, is offered for the first time a vegan option for children in its special menu.
McFalafel or McNuggets? Nutrition Facts at a Glance
On previous occasions, we have already talked about the fact that a vegetarian or vegan diet or dish does not necessarily mean that it is healthy (or healthier than other meatless options). But can McFalafel be a healthy alternative to McNuggets? Let’s take a look at it by comparing its nutritional information and ingredient listing.
McNuggets Ingredients: chicken fillet (46%), water, flour (wheat, corn), vegetable oils (sunflower, rapeseed), coarse wheat, modified starch, wheat starch, salt, wheat gluten, aroma (containing wheat), baking powder: diphosphate; sodium carbonate; calcium phosphate, black pepper, sugar, celery, spice extract (containing celery), glucose syrup.
Ingredients McFalafel: chickpeas (80%), rapeseed oil, parsley, onion, potato flour, salt, sodium bicarbonate (sodium bicarbonate), garlic, spices (cumin, coriander, cinnamon).
Although a serving of McFalafel contains less protein and more fat (although the source is not specified) than a serving of McNuggets, if we take a look at the list of ingredients, we can be quite clear that McFalafel is a somewhat healthier option.
The only difference between McFalafel and the traditional recipe (apart from the preparation, of course) is that they change the olive oil for rapeseed oil, another perfectly healthy oil in spite of its bad reputation in our country, and the traditional breadcrumbs for potato flour.
So, although when we go to a food chain of this type we are not looking for our food to be healthy, if we doubt between the two options, the McFalafel seems to be more interesting nutritionally.
At the moment McFalafel will only be available in Sweden, but it is to be hoped that, if it is well received, it will also be passed on to other countries.