In celebration of hamburger day earlier this week, we'd like to offer some tips for crafting a healthier burger. Nearly everyone loves a good burger, but unfortunately they are not always known for being the healthiest food choice. Certain grades of beef can be high in saturated fat, and while condiments and cheeses add flavor they also add unwanted calories.
Here are a few are easy techniques you can use to save calories and slim down your burger:
Many hamburger buns can contain up to 300 or more calories. Slim down your bun by either scooping out some of the bread from the top of the bun or swaping out your bun with a lower calorie option like an English muffin.
One of the main reasons that burgers can be so unhealthy is that they are just too big. By controlling the portion size (recommended is 4 oz.) and using a lean grade of meat you can cut down on saturated fat and calories.
As if the burger and bun are not enough, you can add a ton of calories and sodium to your burger by smothering it in condiments. For a healthier alternative, try topping your burger with nutritious options like hummus, guacamole, or fresh vegetables.
Below we have gathered a few healthy burger recipes, that incorporate some of the tips mentioned above, so that you can enjoy a delicious and juicy burger without the guilt.
Greek Feta Beef Burger
6 oz. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
4 oz. hothouse cucumbers (unpeeled), coarsely grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 clove garlic, crushed to a paste
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 lb lean ground beef (93 percent or 95 percent lean)
4 oz zucchini, finely diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 jar (7 oz) roasted red peppers, drained
4 sourdough rolls, split
Shredded romaine (optional)
Sliced cucumber (optional)
In a bowl, combine yogurt, cucumbers, garlic and juice; set aside.
In another bowl, mix beef, zucchini, feta, onion, marjoram, salt and pepper. Form beef mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick patties. Coat a grill pan or grill rack with cooking spray. Grill patties over medium-high heat, flipping once, about 5 minutes each side, until internal temperature reaches 160°.
Divide roasted peppers evenly among bottom roll halves; top with 1 burger, 1/4 yogurt sauce and lettuce and cucumber, if desired. Top each with other half of roll.
Cilantro Beef Burgers
1 bundle of cilantro
1 lb. grass fed ground beef
¼ yellow onion
1 garlic clove
½ cup of almond flour
½ teaspoon of sea salt
¼ teaspoon of pepper
Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside. Set broiler on high, arranging rack so that the burgers will be about two inches from the heat.
Rinse and finely chop your cilantro, onion and garlic clove. Place in mixing bowl, along with remaining ingredients. Using your hands, mix all ingredients together
Make patties (palm size) with the mix and place them on a single line right in the middle of the baking sheet. Place baking sheet on the oven rack and let broil for 8 minutes. Flip burgers and let broil for another 8 minutes or less.
Basil Beef Burgers with Sun Dried Tomato-Herb Aioli
¼ cup sun-dred tomatoes (pre-packaged, not in oil)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup reduced fat Canola mayonnaise
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup plus 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tsp. Italian blend seasoning
3 garlic cloves, minced, divided
1 tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 pound extra-lean ground beef (94% lean)
½ pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
¾ cup shredded reduced fat Italian blend cheese
6 hamburger buns (preferably whole wheat)
Additional fresh basil leaves and sun-dried tomatoes, optional
In a small bowl, combine tomatoes and water. Let stand for 5 minutes; drain.
In a food processor, combine mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons chopped basil, 1 clove minced garlic, and tomatoes; cover and process until blended. Chill until serving.
Prepare a large platter by coating it with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the Worcestershire sauce, remaining basil, Italian seasoning, remaining garlic, pepper and salt. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well with your hands. Shape into 12 thin patties, placing them on the prepared platter. Place 2 tablespoons cheese on six patties; top with remaining patties and press edges firmly to seal. Lightly spray the tops of the burgers.
Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160° and juices run clear.
Serve on buns with mayonnaise mixture and additional sun-dried tomatoes and basil if desired.