While traditional beef burgers are a staple in our cuisine, healthier options have come to light over recent years and should be considered. Sure, there are positives to conventional beef, but there is enough fat, calories, and cholesterol levels in question that require eaters to seek healthier options. Below are ten healthy burger alternatives to traditional beef.
A poultry protein that can be molded by various flavors, ground chicken makes a great alternative to traditional beef. Not only will chicken mimic the texture of the classic beef burger, but it can be paired with a variety of sauces and spices to fit your taste preferences. For example, soy sauce and ginger on a ground chicken burger will develop an Asian inspired burger. This alternative is excellent for the burger lovers who want that lighter meat option.
Like chicken, turkey can be manipulated by flavors. Season a turkey burger exactly like you would a traditional beef burger with Worcestershire sauce to give it the taste of conventional beef. Because this is a lean protein, even more so than chicken, it is a healthy and light option that makes a great alternative. Pan-frying a turkey burger can be a great option to keep the meat moist so it does not dry out. If you opt to grill these burgers, please make sure you monitor them to keep them from drying out.
Do you like mushrooms? Have you eaten a large portabella mushroom before? If so, the mushroom alternative may be for you. Due to the size of the large portabella mushrooms, they can stand in as a traditional beef alternative. Using the caps of the mushrooms, you can grill or pan fry them seasoned like conventional beef, and top them with a cheese slice. The protein and flavor in this burger will keep you from missing a regular beef burger. For those who are vegetarian, this is perfect for you.
An alternative to traditional beef that is growing in popularity in recent years is the chickpea burger. From a barbecue flavor to Moroccan inspired flavors, there are a variety of recipes that satisfy the taste of a chickpea burger. The chickpea burger is a different texture from the traditional beef burger and is also utilized for complex burger flavors, elevating the burger experience. Again, like the mushroom burger, this chickpea alternative is excellent for the vegetarians or for those who want a punch of protein and fiber in a light burger.
Like the mushroom, black bean burgers are a high-protein alternative to traditional beef burgers. The nutritional value of the black bean is endless. Packed full of protein and fiber, many Caribbean and Central American cultures often utilize this protein as a meat substitute. Such usage has led to the black bean being a popular burger option for those who prefer a lighter burger or are looking to live a vegetarian lifestyle.
Due to its flavor manipulation and nutritional value, quinoa is certainly growing as a burger option throughout society. Like the black bean alternative, quinoa is explicitly filled with nutritional value. Containing all nine amino acids, loads of fiber and protein, this alternative to traditional beef simply has a better health value alone. Besides the fantastic health benefits associated with quinoa, it can be ground to texturally replicate a classic beef burger.
You have heard of cauliflower being used to replace rice and mashed potatoes, but did you know if you cut the cauliflower into a steak cut, you can use it as a traditional beef burger alternative? One of the most natural ingredients to manipulate regarding flavor, the cauliflower can be seasoned to match the taste of a regular beef burger without the calories, fat, or higher cholesterol levels. Cut your cauliflower into steak cuts and marinate them in traditional burger seasons, then throw them on the grill just as you would a regular beef burger. Top it with cheese and place it on a whole wheat bun for a lighter and more nutrient-packed burger option. The nutritional value of the cauliflower not only includes fiber and protein, but antioxidants that cleanse your body and anti-inflammatory properties that fight against major diseases.
Do you enjoy tuna salad? Eat sushi? Perhaps you have wondered what tuna’s taste on a burger would be like? Tuna is an excellent alternative to the regular beef burger. It has many health benefits including lowering blood pressure and providing high energy. Tuna is an immune system booster, in addition to being a great source of protein. Bind tuna with traditional breadcrumbs or use cauliflower for a much healthier option. No matter which binder you utilize, expect your tuna burger to be lighter than a regular beef burger, but with just as much flavor.
Tuna isn’t the only fish that can mold into a tasty burger. If you prefer salmon to tuna, then simply bind your salmon with either traditional breadcrumbs or cauliflower to make a burger bursting with flavor and nutrition. Packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, vitamin B, and gushing with protein, salmon is overflowing with nutrition. You can pair the salmon with fresh veggies and mayo, and the salmon burger will give you a light and fresh burger. The taste and health benefits will make it difficult to return to traditional beef burgers.
Sometimes, you want to replicate that traditional beef burger, and you want an alternative that is naturally similar in taste without having to do very much seasoning to manipulate the taste. Luckily, there is a healthy option to conventional beef within the same family. If you are looking primarily for a healthier beef alternative, you may want to consider bison. Lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol, bison is an approved alternative. When cooking bison, it can be treated like traditional beef, and ground into burger patties. Expect a similar taste, but with more nutrients and less fat.
No matter which healthy burger alternative you want, consider the nutritional goals you are trying to achieve, and what taste you are attempting to acquire. Whether you are seeking out that traditional flavor or a burger that expands your flavor palette, all of these alternatives can give you quality burgers full of nutrition and taste, and hold their own to a traditional beef burger.