Burgers were one of the biggest food trends of 2014, and they are not going way any time soon! For those health conscious folks who feel they are missing out, have no fear. Here are a few tips to make a burger healthier.
When you first think of a hamburger you picture a glossy white sesame seed bun. McDonalds popularised the speckled roll with their iconic Big Mac and forever changed the fast food industry. More recently, the fluffy and flaky brioche bun has gained popularity in trendy food spots. Traditionally this butter-laden bread is high in fat and kilojoules. Healthier options available are wholemeal, multigrain, spelt or rye flour buns. These textural beauties provide more dietary fibre and nutrients as their flours are less processed.
Whether you enjoy a juicy Angus beef patty, a moist chicken breast schnitzel or a herby fried falafel, there are healthier options for everyone. The patty is the main feature and can make or break the burger. Select leaner cuts of meat such as chicken breast, 90% lean mince-meat or fish. The way you cook the patty can also impact the healthiness of the burger. Enjoy them barbequed, grilled or oven baked, and steer away from frying in large amounts of oil.
The addition of vegetables, herbs and even fruit, complete a healthy burger. Don’t just add the simple tomato, pickle and lettuce. Get creative! Load up your burgers with a variety of seasonal produce for a more nutritious burger.
Choose sauces and toppings wisely, as these mischievous extras pack a double punch of kilojoules and sodium. Sometimes you don’t even need them because the burger is already full of flavour. It is best to avoid full fat mayonnaise, butter and cream based sauces due to their high fat content; however, other condiments can be drizzled in moderation – ideally less than one tablespoon.
There is a diverse range of tasty extras that can be added to burgers. Cheese is one of the favourite trimmings to add to a burger and is a good source of dairy and calcium. Use low fat options and keep portion sizes in mind. Two slices of cheese – or 40g – are equivalent to one serve of dairy. The number one addition to a burger is the almighty egg. It provides a great source of protein (especially for vegetarians), B vitamins and choline. It also becomes a sauce; imagine the delicious runny yoke oozing out and trickling down the burger, adding flavour in every drop. That’s something you need to add now!
Enjoy your burgers!
Image by Shana Watson