Yup, the secret's out: You don't have to be a vegetarian to love veggie burgers – they're just plain delicious! Packed with all kinds of legumes, grains, spices, and of course, veggies, veggie burgers are an incredibly flexible way to make a meal both rewarding and fun.
While there's a litany of veggie burgers on the market to choose from, you can easily make a burger recipe at home, saving money and producing a much healthier result. Here's how to make the most out of your next batch.
1. Pick a Protein
Although they don't taste exactly like meat (with the exception of those impressive new varieties at the store that put some serious food technology to work), veggie burgers do have one thing in common with animal burgers: protein. There’s an impressive amount of plant-based protein sources to choose from, too: beans, lentils, quinoa and nuts all make excellent options. Cooked and mashed down slightly, they ensure your patty is super satisfying.
2. Consider a Grain
This one is optional, but many people enjoy having a grain included in their patty to offer texture and to balance out the amino acid profile of the legumes to create a complete protein. Cooked rice is probably the most popular option, but rolled oats, cooked barley, farro and sorghum also work well.
3. Decide on a Binder
You will definitely need some sort of binding food to keep all your delicious ingredients stuck together to form the perfect patty. Some popular binders include ground flax, Chia Powder and ground psyllium husks.
4. Pump Up the Greens
Your veggie burger is an ideal place to get nutritionally creative. You can add small amounts of virtually any type of finely chopped vegetable – from onions to kale to red bell pepper (or all three!). It's also a great place to add in neutral-tasting protein powder and/or a green powder to maximize your nutrient density.
5. Select Your Spices
A little goes a long way, but just like a regular burger, you'll want to apply some seasoning to the patty before cooking. Savory spices like chili, cumin and garlic are just a few options that can take your burger to the next level.
6. Perfect Your Technique
There are two schools of thought to making veggie burgers: one is to blend everything down into a homogeneous mixture, while the other is to leave the burger more textural, and letting the binders do their magic. Either way, once you form your mixture into patties, all that's left to do is to fire up the grill (or heat up the skillet), brush some oil on both sides of the patty, and cook until well seared. Serve with all your favorite trimmings and enjoy!
Ready to make some burgers? Try our Black Bean Protein Patties boosted with 14 superfoods, thanks to the addition of Protein & Greens Essential Blend!