Veggie Burgers—more Popular (and Tasty) Than Ever
Veggie burgers have been available in the U.S. since the early 1980s. According to Wikipedia, Paul Wenner invented the Gardenburger around 1980 in his Gresham, Oregon restaurant. Kellogg has since purchased the Gardenburger company. The name “veggie burger” actually comes from “VegeBurgers” that two brothers in Paddington, England created and sold. In reality, veggie burgers have been around for much longer—just think about a falafel sandwich or Indian kofta. If you like veggie burgers, read this post to discover and learn about three popular brands of packaged veggie burgers. Then learn how easy it is to make your own veggie burger at home for a lot less money than buying pre-packaged ones.
TOP 3 PACKAGED VEGGIE BURGERS
Early on, Gardenburger used to be the only source in town for veggie burgers. The moment you bit into it you knew it was made of grains, mushrooms and other non-meat ingredients. While it was shaped like a burger, it didn’t try to taste like a beef burger. Then along came Boca Burger, which tried extremely hard to taste like a real meat burger. For a few years, if you wanted a veggie burger, these two were your only choices. Today you have numerous options. Whether you’re vegetarian or not, sometimes you just crave a veggie burger. As a recent Saladmenu post explains, by replacing meat with a vegetarian option you’re doing the environment a huge favor, too. Thrillist recently did a great review and ranking of 10 veggie burgers. Here’s a quick high-level view of the ingredients and nutritional content of the top three from that list:
With a whopping 14g of total fat, and 240 calories, this veggie burger better taste good! The ingredients are pretty straightforward; according to the company’s web site, it’s made from organic cooked brown rice, organic ground raw sunflower seeds,organic carrots, organic spices, and sea salt. Nutritionally, it offers 21g carbohydrates, 4g of dietary fiber, and 8g of protein. Hot Dang Original Grain Burger (#2) This veggie burger comes in at only 5g of fat and 180 calories. When you look at their web site, you pretty quickly see the distinguishing ingredients of their Original Grain veggie burger: wild rice, navy beans, and cashews. The full list of ingredients is a bit lengthier, and includes water, barley, brown rice, wild rice, cashews, navy beans, oats, tapioca flour, rice flour, olive oil, sea salt, turbinado sugar, spices, onion powder, and garlic powder. From nutritional perspective, it offers 28g of carbohydrates, 3g of dietary fiber, and 5g of protein. Hilary’s World’s Best Veggie Burger (#1) This top-ranked veggie burger contains 190 calories and only 7g of fat. Its taste and texture comes from millet, quinoa, greens, and sweet potatoes. The web site claims that the burger is free of corn, dairy, egg, gluten, nut, and soy. The full list of ingredients, all organic, includes whole grain cooked millet, whole grain cooked quinoa, expeller pressed coconut oil, sweet potatoes, leafy greens (one or more of the following: arugula, beet greens, chard, collards, dandelion, kale, parsley, spinach, turnip greens), onions, Redmond’s Real Salt®, apple cider vinegar, psyllium husk powder, arrowroot, and garlic. From a nutrition standpoint, it contains 27g of carbohydrates, 4g of dietary fiber, and 4g of protein.
MAKE YOUR OWN VEGGIE BURGER
Although the packaged burgers sound like they’re pretty tasty and full of a lot of great wholesome ingredients, you can easily make your own veggie burgers at home. Either try looking at the ingredients listed in the above burgers to concoct your own recipe, or look online for one of many available recipes. Here are just a couple that look mouthwatering: From Minimalist Baker: http://minimalistbaker.com/easy-grillable-veggie-burgers/ From Guy Fieri on the foodnetwork: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/guy-fieri/morgans-veggie-patties-recipe.html
WHAT VEGGIE BURGER TOPS YOUR LIST?
From the review of veggie burgers, it sounds like the Hilary’s veggie burger may win on the tastiness front. Many of you may eat veggie burgers in place of a high-protein beef burger. If that’s the case, the Sunshine veggie burger offers more protein, though still just half that of a beef burger. But why not just try all three and appreciate them for their differences? Better yet, save some money and try making your own at home. Do you have a favorite veggie burger or a recipe for one that you love? If so, please share in the comments.