5 healthier burger recipes
The Bank Holiday weekend is almost here which means (if the Great British weather allows) another chance to fire up the barbecue before summer is over and done with for another year!
So before you pack the barbecue away, enjoy the long weekend dishing up some delicious homemade burgers. Making your own means you can create a whole range of flavour combinations using chicken, lamb and turkey as well as the traditional beef, or you can try a meat free alternative!
For some inspiration, and to mark National Burger Day today, give these great suggestions a try!
Adding spices, such as Cajun, is a great way to add extra flavour into your burger. Cajun works really well with chicken and this recipe couldn't be easier. On a chopping board, slightly flatten a chicken breast and then coat with the Cajun seasoning using a little oil to help it stick. If you don't fancy (or the weather doesn't allow) a barbecue, cook the chicken under a grill.
Avocado or pineapple make great toppings for this burger, sandwiched between a brioche bun. Alternatively, you could try bacon but grill it to keep it a healthier option! To add an extra Cajun kick, mix some of the Cajun seasoning with mayonnaise and spread on each side of the bun.
Turkey & pesto
When it comes to meat, turkey is a healthy choice as it contains a large amount of protein and a turkey breast has on average less than 1% of saturated fat1, making it a great alternative to chicken or beef.
This recipe makes four burgers so is ideal for sharing! In a bowl mix together 450g of turkey mince with two tablespoons of pesto (either homemade or shop bought) and one teaspoon of finally chopped garlic, then season with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into four and shape into burgers. Cook the burgers on each side for around five minutes, or until they are cooked through. Serve in a bun with salad and melted mozzarella for an extra twist!
Before you start to prepare the burgers, cook and mash vegetables of your choice, this could be potato, butternut squash or carrot, for example. Once mashed, you'll need 300g set aside. Drain and rinse 400g of beans of your choice - chickpea, butterbean, borlotti or kidney, for example - and mash these too. You'll then need to add in the mashed vegetables along with a finely chopped garlic clove and a half a teaspoon of paprika, or chilli if you want some heat. Mix well. This recipe will feed four people, so divide the mixture into four patties. For a crispier outside, coat in flour, and then cook in a lightly oiled pan until browned on each side
Lamb and mint
These two ingredients go really well together and lamb is a great alternative to a traditional beef burger. Chop an onion and crush one or two cloves of garlic, then place in a bowl along with 450g of lamb mince and one to two tablespoons of mint. You can use fresh mint, but dried works just as well. Mix the ingredients together and divide into four and shape into burgers. If you feel the mixture isn't binding together easily, add a beaten egg to the mixture.
The Greek sauce Tzatziki is a great addition to lamb burgers and can be made in a just a couple of minutes! Peel, deseed and grate a cucumber and drain any excess liquid. Crush three to four garlic cloves and add the garlic and cucumber to around 350g of Greek yoghurt. To finish, sprinkle some chopped mint leaves on top.
Swap the bun
Ditching the bun is a way of cutting down the carbs and calories when having a burger. 'Skinny' or 'naked' burgers as they are also known have grown in popularity with many restaurants now offering customers the option of leaving off the bun when ordering. But there are bun alternatives that don't involve bread!
Portobello mushrooms make a good bun substitute and only take around 10 minutes on each side to roast in the oven. Another option, particularly if you're serving up sliders, is to use tomatoes, cut them in half and scoop out the seeds. A third healthier option is to use lettuce of your chosen variety.