Looking for a new way to enjoy veggie burgers? Look no further. These beet burgers are unbelievably healthy and delicious! Beets belong to the chenopod family. Some of their other family members include chard, spinach, and quinoa. Foods in this family have increasingly shown numerous health benefits that can't be attained by other foods. Due to these health benefits, including foods from the chenopod family are recommended 1-2 times a week. You can eat them raw, steam, saute, or roast them.
Beets have a deep pigment called betalaines which gives them their rich, intense color. The betalaine functions as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. The antioxidants in beets are particularly beneficial to eye health and overall nerve tissue health. Research has shown that because beets are an excellent anti-inflammatory, they provide good support for cardiovascular health. Type 2 diabetes is also a health issue showing promising results from this powerful root.
In addition, beets are also an unusual source of betaine. Betaine is the key nutrient in the B complex vitamin called choline. Choline is the key vitamin that plays a role in controlling and regulating inflammation in the cardiovascular system. Choline helps prevent unwanted build up of homocysteine which is a huge benefit as that greatly reduces your risk of cardiovascular problems.
Another really cool thing about the betalin pigments in beets is that there is evidence to support detoxification benefits to our body. Betalin triggers the activity that neutralizes the toxins in our body and makes them water soluble. Therefore, the toxins can easily be eliminated through our urine (I know, sorry if that is TMI). Beets also have been linked to anti-cancer benefits as well as fiber related benefits. Because of their high presence of beta-carotene, beets can protect against age related cataracts as well as reducing or slowing macular degeneration.
As with most things, you don't want to overdo it. When consumed in excess, bodily fluids can crystallize due to the oxalates in beets. People who have kidney or gallbladder issues should be cautious about their intake.
Shredded beets, ground pecans, and completed beet burger mixture.
So onto the nuts and bolts of this recipe. First off, have you ever had a beet burger? If so, you know how delicious they are! If not, this is a great recipe to start with. Still unsure of beets? Let me reassure you, the beet taste is not overpowering at all! There are so many other flavors and textures going on here, that when you take a bite, you will be thinking that this is one of the best tasting veggie burgers ever! The ingredients are pretty straight forward. The first thing you should know is your beets, onion, and fennel will need to be shredded. The simplest way to do this is with a food processor. If you don't have one, you can use a box grater but it will take more elbow grease on your part. Also, you don't need to peel the beets.
When these vegetables are shredded, they excrete a lot of moisture. We don't want all of that moisture so I have a couple of recommendations for you. If you shred your vegetables the day before, you can store them in a colander with a bowl underneath or just a bowl overnight and that gives the water plenty of time to drain. You can also wrap them in paper towels and place them in your bowl. The paper towels will absorb the water. If you don't have time to do this the day before, give yourself about an hour before you need to start cooking to let them drain. So in other words, plan ahead.
Using either pecans or almonds is another choice to make. They both taste great! If I had to choose one over the other, I would say the pecan version is my favorite. Pecans are a bit softer and I feel like it just goes better with the texture of the burger. If you do use almonds, avoid having larger chunks in your almond meal. You may be wondering why you can't just use almond flour. Well, almond flour has a very fine grind to it and won't give us much texture. Also, I find that the nutty taste is a bit more subtle in the flour versus grinding the nuts yourself. When you grind the nuts, your goal is to have a mixture of fine and medium texture. Use your food processor as well for the grinding the nuts while you have it out anyway.
You can either fry these or bake these. Both ways delicious and you will get a nice, crispy outer coating from the coconut oil. Forming the burgers is achieved by placing about 1/2 cup of the mixture in your hand and gently squeezing the mixture together. Place it either on your frying pan or baking sheet, press down gently on your burger mixture, and form a circular burger on your baking surface. If you are frying them, obviously your pan will be hot. So I use a small silicone spatula to help form the burger to save my fingers from getting burned.
As far as buns go, we love New Cascadia hamburger buns! If you are local, pick up a bag! If that is not an option for you, try the Paleo Sandwich Bread recipe. It is easy and delicious! If you have a favorite choice of bun or bread, go for it. These beets burgers are excellent on a simple bed of lettuce as well. I find that avocado is a fantastic complement. Either slice an avocado or whip up some guacamole for even more flavor!. However you decide to present these beet burgers, one thing is for sure, they will be delicious!
3 cups shredded beets (about 4 beets)
1/3 cup red or yellow onion, shredded
1/3 cup fennel, shredded (stems removed)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups raw almonds or pecans (medium/fine grind)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 Tbs fresh basil, finely chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
coconut oil for frying or baking
goat cheese crumbles (omit for dairy-free)
1. Shred the beets, onion, and fennel in your food processor using the shredder attachment. You can use a box grater if you don't have a food processor. Place the shredded vegetables in a colander with a bowl underneath to catch the excess water. You could also shred the vegetables the day before, wrap them in paper towels to absorb the moisture, and store covered in your refrigerator until ready to use.
2. Using your standard food processor blade, place either the almonds or pecans, whichever you are using, in the processor and pulse until you have a fine to medium grind.
3. Once the excess water has drained from your shredded vegetables, add the garlic, sea salt, pepper, and basil. Give it a good stir. Then add the eggs, olive oil, and nuts. Mix well. Allow the mixture to sit for about 30-60 minutes so that the ingredients are well absorbed.
4. To fry the beet burgers, melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup, scoop up the beet mixture and place the mixture in your hands. Gently squeeze it while forming it into a tightly packed ball. Then place the ball on your heated frying pan. Gently press down (you can use a small silicone spatula to help shape the patties).
5. Fry the beet burgers for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until both sides have formed a nice, golden brown crust.
6. To bake the beet burgers, preheat your oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Using the same method, form a tightly packed ball of beet mixture in your hands, place on the baking sheet, and gently press down as you form your burger. Drizzle the patties with a touch of coconut oil. Bake the beet burgers for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until a nice golden crust has formed.
7. Once your beet burgers are done, place them on a bun of your choosing or on a bed of lettuce. Top them with some goat cheese crumbles, avocado, guacamole, lettuce, micro-greens, or toppings of your choice. Makes 7-8 beet burgers. Leftovers can be stored in your refrigerator or freezer.