Here they are, finally. It took me three approaches to get the texture perfect. Those whole-food burger patties are not related to junk food at all. They are entirely built from healthy whole food sources and give you a good boost in all your nutrients while being lean on calories.
How to create whole-food burger patties
You need a food processor to create the mass for that pattie. For shaping, I recommend using a burger or dessert press. If you don't have any of those, working with an empty tin also does the trick. Just remove the lid and the bottom, fill, and press the mass with a spoon. If anything fails, you can still form them with your hands, but it can get messy.
This recipe contains ground flax seeds. You either buy them pre-ground for big money or toss some whole flax seeds into a blender and make them on the fly at a very low cost. I recommend producing a jar full of those seeds since they go very well with many dishes, even breakfast oats. Once ground, store them in a dark and cold place like your fridge.
I recommend serving them with whole grain bread rolls, leafy greens, and healthy dips like hummus or guacamole. As a side, baked sweet potato fits pretty damn good.
Step by step instructions
- Fry the mushrooms and onion: Heat a pan to medium heat and fry onions and mushrooms together until browning starts. Add some pepper. Flip the mushrooms so they roast on all sides. This should take around 2-3 minutes. Deglaze them quickly with a generous dash of soy sauce. Continue frying until the soy sauce is gone completely while stirring and flipping the mushrooms in the process.
- Blend the dough: Add all ingredients to your blender and push start. Start slowly and carefully speed up the blender. We do not want to turn everything into a pulp without texture. Depending on the size of your blender, you might have difficulty blending everything in one go. Here, better show up prepared and blend the dough in two batches.
- Let the dough bind: The texture you get directly after blending might feel wet. This will change over time as soon as the starch and fiber bind the excess water. Give the dough a rest of at least 10 minutes to get firm and less sticky (20 minutes creates even better results).
- Shape the patties: Take roughly 100g or 1.5 ounces of the dough and start shaping them. Pressing the dough firmly helps the patties stick together better. You can use a burger press or dessert press. You can use an empty tin can and remove the bottom if you have neither. Press the pattie with the help of a spoon. Alternatively, you can roll a pattie in your hands directly. You will get more uniform results using a tool.
- (optional) Pre-bake the patties: You can put them directly into the hot pan, but if you bake them before frying, you add more bite to the overall texture. When baking, the extra heat benefits us in two ways: Chemical reactions run faster, and the starchy ingredients bind faster. Excess liquid is allowed to vapourize. This gives the surface a decent crust.
- Pan-frying the burger patties: The classic burger flipping. Preheat some oil in a pan to medium-high heat and fry each burger on both sides for 1-2 minutes.
- Stack a good burger: That's it! Toast your bread, add sauces, lettuce, tomato, and more. Serve with an excellent side dish like fries or a salad.
Choosing between a chunky or smooth texture
You can influence the final texture of the whole-food burger patties by changing the blending time and speed — the shorter and slower the blend, the more chunky the mass. If you speed up your blender or blend for longer, the texture will become more smooth and even.
If you are not sure at what speed to blend, start slowly! Monitor how the texture develops and stop when it seems fine enough. Make a test if the mass is sticky. If you do not blend enough, the dough will contain large chunks and bits, and the patties tend to break apart. Continue blending until the components stick together properly.
Freezing bulk-created patties
The amount of beef you create is enough for around ten thick patties. "What do I want with ten patties?" you might ask. If you don't throw a burger party with your friends, you can freeze them and defrost a pattie whenever you crave. After freezing, they have even more bite. So go stock up on burger patties. You will be happy to have them available fast once you've bulk-created them.
I recommend putting them into a closed container to avoid frostbite. Add a layer of baking paper between the individual patties for easy separation.
What else to put on your burger along with these patties?
I recommend serving these whole-food burger patties with whole-grain bread rolls, leafy greens, and healthy dips like hummus or guacamole. As a side, baked sweet potato fits pretty damn good. Classic fits like ketchup or mayonnaise also match tremendously.
The health value of whole-food burger patties
I've tossed the recipe into a nutrient calculator to compare what we eat here. Regarding protein, we are not top-notch; however, we cover the required amount of calories from protein almost twice, with 18% of total calories from protein. Protein from the combined sources of legumes and grains can be considered complete.
We outplay beef burgers for sure. The caloric balance of this burger is excellent, and you get good amounts of fibre. The big chunk of calories here comes from long-lasting carbs instead of fats. That makes it the only burger on the list that is hitting the recommended proportional caloric intake from fat.
|Nutrients per 100g
|Minced beef, lean meat
|Energy from fat in %
|Energy from protein in %
Zero regrets whole food burger patties
- Food Processor
- 200 g Chickpeas Boiled & well drained
- 200 g Brown Lentils Boiled & well drained
- 100 g Beet Root
- 2 tbsp Sweet Mustard
- 2 tbsp Barbecue Sauce
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste double concentrated
- 1 tsp Paprika Powder
- 2 tsp Curry Powder
- 3 tbsp Ground Flax Seed
- 200 g Mushrooms I used Osyter Mushrooms
- 1 Small Onion
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 tbsp Soy Sauce
- Rinse and drain your lentils and chick peas. Drain them well because we want to avoid excess water. Transfer all ready to blend ingredients into your food processor. Cut the mushrooms and onions and fry them at medium heat until they start turning brown. Add pepper if you like. Deglaze with some Soy sauce and stir well. Continue frying until the soy sauce is gone.Into the blender with that stuff as well.
- Preheat the oven at 200° C (392° F). Blend the mass at medium speed until all ingredients become smooth and sticky. You still should be able to see bits of the oats and legumes, but overall it should be meat-like and sticky.Let the mass rest for about 10 minutes to let the flax seeds do their magic and bind. Start forming patties on a baking tray with parchment paper. Bake them for 5 minutes on each side. It is okay if the patties start getting some dark spots, but don't burn them to the ground.
The freezer way
- Let the patties fully cool down. Place them in a container, separated by some parchment paper and put them in the freezer.When hungry, take a frozen pattie and fry them on low to medium heat. Due to their low fat contents, they might turn dark faster than meat patties or convenience food burgers.
- Add them into a pre-heated pan with some (really just some) oil. Fry them on both sides for about one minute each.
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