Everybody loves a good burger, but many diners are—quite rightly—concerned about the effects of consuming too much red meat. You don’t have to be a full-on vegetarian to realize that fatty beef is best left as a special treat—not something to consume in excess. And, by the same token, you can be an appreciator of red meat and still recognize the deliciousness of a good, healthy, vegan alternative!
In fact, your favorite burger joint may offer a veggie version, I know mine does! You can try forming them from one of the following veggies!
Healthy Vegetables That Make Hearty Burgers
Lentils. Believe it or not, lentils have long been used as a substitute for meat, owing in large part to a robust flavor and a texture that replaces ground meat quite easily. There are plenty of reasons to try a lentil burger, not least the fact that you can get a few lentils for a very small sum of money; you can cook them quickly and ground them easily, and a little bit of lentil tends to go a long way. But ultimately, we recommend lentils because they just make for a good, tasty burger—pure and simple!
Zucchini. If you’ve ever planted zucchini in your home garden then you know how plentiful the stuff can be. Next time you have a surplus, shred some of it, add in some sweet summer corn, and roll it all out into burger patties. (You’ll need a few other simple ingredients, too; here’s a quick recipe!)
Beets. Do you think of beets entirely as a sweet treat? That’s often how they are served, but actually beets have an earthiness to them that makes them great in savory dishes. Roast ‘em, mix ‘em with black beans and walnuts, and enjoy a really tantalizing burger alternative.
Mushrooms. At once healthy and filling, mushrooms make for an ideal meat substitute—especially in burgers, where their earthy flavor will make you wonder whether you ever need to go back to ground beef at all! Portobello mushrooms are the ones to use for this.
Pumpkin. Yes, really: Like any other vegetable in the squash family, pumpkin can make a good, hearty, filling burger substitute—and a single pumpkin can yield enough innards to roll into several burger patties! Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
The bottom line: Beef burgers can hit the spot, and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying them from time to time—but don’t let them monopolize your burger preferences. Branch out for something a little different—and a little healthier—next time around.