Summer is in full swing, which means many Michiganders are taking the grill out of its winter hibernation for cookouts, graduation parties and family reunions. While the all-American hamburger is a staple for many, red meats like beef can also be high in saturated fats and cholesterols. Ditch the guilt and check out some of these healthy and delicious alternatives.
Swap red meats but keep the color with this earthy vegetable. When they’re roasted, beets have a much deeper flavor, making it a savory option for any vegetarians, vegans, or vegetable lovers in your backyard. Plus, beet burgers give you a little more freedom for spice, whether you’re in the mood for a garlic flavor or want to turn up the heat with some cayenne. Top off your plate with some sweet potato fries for an extra veggie kick.
Black Bean Burgers
A crowd favorite among non-meat eaters, the black bean burger is a great source of natural protein. As with most beans, you might need to add a little extra flavor to a black bean patty. Get creative and try onion, chipotle or even lime. These patties are easy to make from scratch, and you can even add vegetables into the mix. Just make sure that any excess liquid from the veggies is gone after straining them, as it can cause the patties to stick together.
If you’re still looking for some meat in your burger, try a little turkey. Most would consider turkey burgers to be an altogether healthier option opposed to beef, but selection remains key. Turkey patties with darker meat and more skin can often be fattier, so be sure to search for a leaner option when you’re at the deli or grocery store. Like the beet burger, turkey patties are also very flexible, so feel free to add whatever spices or seasonings suit your fancy.
Another meat replacement for beef, salmon patties are a great change-up to the normal burger routine. Whether you know it or not, salmon is considered to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods, especially given its high contents of omega-3 fatty acids − don’t worry, those are the healthy fats! Some studies have even shown that those who regularly eat fatty fish are at a lower risk for complications like heart disease. A summer cookout that’s good for your heart? Hard to argue with that.
While there are plenty of healthy patty alternatives out there, don’t forget that you can also make a healthy switch on your hamburger buns as well. Search for low-carb or whole wheat options the next time you’re in the bread aisle. If you’re looking for an entirely new kind of healthy kick, ditch the buns altogether and top your patty with lettuce or even portobello mushrooms.
No matter how you cook them up, there’s no shortage of healthy burger options for your next gathering.