How to Boost the Flavor & Nutrients of Your Veggie Burgers
Cut back on meat without banning burgers from your menu! Veggie burgers are an excellent way to get your burger fix while also receiving plenty of essential nutrients. Plus, taking the meat out of burgers doesn’t have to mean taking the flavor out. Use these tips to make flavorful, better-for-you homemade veggie burgers.
Use a Variety of Veggies
It is a veggie burger, after all! Decide what flavors you want to highlight and go from there. For a savory profile, use mushrooms, eggplant and onion, or try Southwest flavors with red peppers, corn and red onion topped with avocado or salsa. To infuse more flavor into your burgers using veggies, sauté them before creating the burger mixture to add delicious, caramelized flavors.
Add Beans, Legumes & Whole Grains
Make your burgers heartier and healthier with beans, legumes and/or whole grains. Great sources of protein and fiber, you can add nearly any variety to veggie burgers. From black beans, pinto beans, lentils and chickpeas to quinoa, bulgur or farro – the options are endless! To prevent excess moisture, be sure to drain and dry these ingredients thoroughly before mashing and mixing.
Nuts are packed with protein and healthy fats that can boost the nutrition of your burger. They also act as a binder, which helps hold the burger together and adds a bit of satisfying texture. Walnuts, pecans and pine nuts are popular nut options to try, and you can also try using oats for a firm structure and heart-healthy twist!
Don’t be shy with spices! Give your patties maximum flavor with a generous mix of your favorite spices. If you’re going for an Italian burger, try oregano, basil and garlic, or for an Asian-inspired burger, use garlic, ginger and five-spice powder. Since there’s no raw meat involved, you can taste the mixture before you cook it to ensure the spices are to your liking.
The toppings and condiments on your burgers are a great way to add flavor and nutrition. Go beyond the standard selections and try fresh spinach, mushrooms, avocados or pickled veggies like red onion and cucumber. Fruits also make a great topping and add delicious sweetness; try apple, mango or grilled pineapple. For condiments, use your favorite variety of hummus for a boost in protein and flavor, or spread on teriyaki sauce, red pepper jelly or fig jam.