Nutrition Expert Lindsey Kane whipped up some top tips on gathering ingredients for your own take on veggie burgers. Let’s take the time to really put the “do you” in “do it yourself”!
1. IT’S ALL ABOUT THAT BASE.
The base of your burger will serve as a foundation for all the ingredients in your recipe and will bring a variety of textures to every bite!
Use a mixture of leftover baked potatoes yams, or any mashed root veggie, cooked lentils or beans. Change up the texture by using cooked whole grains like kamut, sorghum, quinoa and intact or partially mashed beans or lentils, as well as a mixture of veggies, like shredded carrots, peas, corn, greens, mushrooms, etc.
2. MEAT MIMICKERS.
The key to a great veggie burger is using ingredients that bring a meaty umami flavor and a savory, creamy richness to mimic the presence of meat!
Meaty Umami Ingredients:
- Mushrooms (dried or cooked)
- tomato paste
- miso paste
- Dijon mustard
- nutritional yeast
Choose healthy plant based fats like tahini, almond butter, pureed toasted walnuts, or avocado.
3. BINDER DUO.
Bind your dough with a mixture of wet and dry ingredients.
Wet: Eggs, or a flax egg (1 Tbs flax + 2-3 Tbs water), or a Tbs of plain yogurt
Dry: dry oats or garbanzo flour, buckwheat flour, or any ground whole grain.
4. PASSPORT TO FLAVOR TOWN.
This is the fun part! Choose an area of the world and gather staple ingredients used in that cuisine. For example, an Asian-themed burger could use ginger, garlic, chiles, and miso.
Unfamiliar with flavor profiles?
Hint: Keeping a solid inventory of spices, vinegars, and international condiments will make preparing meals from around the globe easy-breezy!
Feeling uninspired or overwhelmed?
Simply sauté some onions, celery, and carrots (mirepoix), and a little garlic wouldn’t hurt!
5. CREATIVE CONDIMENTS.
Step outside your comfort zone and think outside the ketchup bottle – there are plenty of nourishing condiments to explore!
Consider a healthy spread like pesto, hummus, avocado, or tzatziki.
Add a crunch with veggies like carrots, cucumber, cabbage, radish or jicama, or try kimchi for a dose of gut-friendly probiotics!
Don’t forget to brighten things up with some acid like a squeeze of citrus or a splash of vinegar, or try grilled pineapple, mango, or orange segments.
Add freshness with herbs like basil, cilantro, or parsley, or try a vibrant spicy green like arugula or watercress!
6. BURGER MOBILE.
Go Streaking! Consider going bun-less and instead use collard wraps, butter or bib lettuce, or eat your burger on a bed of greens. Or eat your burger in between 2 Grilled or baked portobello mushrooms, eggplant rounds or potato rounds!
Not ready to ditch the bun?
Here are a few “A+ buns” you can find at the grocery store that feature real food ingredients:
- Food For Life 4:9 Sprouted Grains Burger Buns
- Engine 2 Sprouted Grain Buns
- Alvarado St. Bakery Sprouted Wheat Bun
- Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery Buns
HEADER IMAGE: FREDDIE MARRIAGE
Lindsey Kane, MS, RD, LDN is a San Francisco-based Registered Dietitian helping others live a stress-free, balanced, and thriving life. By getting to know her clients inside and out, Lindsey identifies the opportunities within their everyday lifestyle to integrate subtle changes that create lasting, impactful results. Find out how Lindsey can help you live a life fulfilled by visiting Bite For Change. And read the full article with recipes!