What is the Healthiest Burger? Recipe and Ideas
Who doesn't love hamburgers? They are affordable and easy to make at home - and if you don't like cooking, they're just one drive away! However, with all that flavor and juiciness we often forget that a meal should not bring more than 600 calories, and while a burger's protein and complex carbs are always welcome, its high fat and sodium content does not do us any good.
If you're wondering what is the healthiest burger, stay with us at OneHowTo. We have a complete guide to the lightest, most nutritious options with a recipe and topping ideas so that you can make healthy burgers at home. Read on!
What is the healthiest fast food burger?
It's often hard to eat a healthy and balanced meal when you're eating out, especially when you go to a fast food restaurant. While fast food meals are easy, enjoyable and very tasty, they're not precisely famous for their beneficial properties. However, we have some tips to help you choose the healthiest burger in a fast food restaurant:
- Ask for a nutritional value chart or break-down: Ingredient lists, calorie counts and nutrient percentages should be available. Choose whatever is below 500 calories, especially if you're also going to ask for toppings.
- Go for the plainest possible hamburger - this does not mean it should be dry or boring!
- Choose a whole-wheat bun or substitute it for a wrap. Some places even use lettuce! If you get a normal white bun or muffin, scrape it out.
- Choose healthy toppings: As we explain below, veggies and mushrooms are your friends. However, ask how they're cooked and served. If fried or sautéed, they will not be that healthy - in fact, they might be covered in butter or oil.
- Do not ask for double options (double patty, double cheese, double bun...). Run away from breakfast options, especially if they include fried eggs, syrups or bacon.
As for specific chains, the healthiest fast food burger options are Burger King and Wendy's, while Denny's veggie hamburger is also very light. The heaviest, least healthy hamburger in the US is found at Sonic.
However, it all depends on the specific hamburger you're ordering: the most important thing to know what is the healthiest burger in a fast food restaurant is to know what questions to ask.
How to make healthier homemade burgers
Cooking at home is always healthier and cheaper than going out; it only requires more time. In order to make homemade patties, take a look at our recipe. You can make healthier burgers by following these tips:
- Make smaller burger patties: They shouldn't be bigger than your palm.
- Choose lean beef: Meat is considered "lean" when it has less than 10% fat. Very lean meat can result in drier hamburgers - make up for it with juicy ingredients and toppings.
- Try other meats besides beef: While lamb, pork and mixed burgers are popular, give turkey or bison meat a try. They are lower in fat and calories, plus they're delicious.
- Reduce toppings by adding flavor to the ground meat: Choose healthy ingredients like chopped onion, spring onion, garlic, spices (pepper, paprika, cumin or mustard) and fresh or dry herbs (parsley or coriander) - do not use cheese! Add them to the meat lightly, without pressing on the patty, since that would make it too compact.
- When you bind the patty with beaten egg, use only egg whites.
- Chill the patties before cooking so that they maintain their shape.
- Sprinkle the salt while the patties are cooking, not before.
- Cook burgers in a healthier way by grilling them at medium heat on a barbecue, griddle or broiler. Use as little oil as possible. Make sure they're thoroughly done. Turn them with a spatula or flat utensil instead of a fork, since that would let the juices escape, and do not squash them.
Of course, you can also make tuna burgers or even healthier options like veggie patties with zucchini, Brussels sprouts, spinach or lentils. Grilled portobello mushroom is especially popular to substitute meat in healthier burger recipes, since its texture is quite similar.
What are the healthiest toppings for burgers?
Yes, you can always use low-fat versions of classic toppings like mayo or cheese. However, it's better to opt for fresher, more nourishing toppings and side dishes. Take a look at our list to make the most of your healthier burger:
- Whole-wheat or oat buns or muffins: They're more tasty than the plain white ones, and they have more fiber.
- Fresh or grilled vegetables: Cook peppers, onion and eggplant for extra deliciousness and warmth, or add fresh avocado, tomato or mushroom slices. Pickles are also good, as are lettuce, spinach and arugula.
- Substitute ketchup and mayo for nourishing guacamole, teriyaki or hummus. If you use standard burger sauces, make it only a thin coat.
Accompany your healthier burger with a fresh salad or beans instead of fries, and have some fruit as dessert. Substitute soda for sparkling or still water.
What is the healthiest burger in the world?
Good news for all of us super-food lovers! A nutritionist has designed the "Nutri-Burger", also called "the healthiest burger in the world". This burger, created by Libby Limon in the United Kingdom, includes no less than 50 ingredients.
The bun is made from matcha tea , while the patty is made from natto (fermented soybeans), beets, quinoa and mushrooms. As you can see, it's perfect for vegetarians! The recipe also has plenty of ingredients rich in antioxidants, and includes your whole daily intake of some vitamins and fiber. Moreover, it makes your skin more radiant and helps your digestive and immune system work perfectly!
If you order it through Groupon, it'll be served with sweet potato fries and a chocolate-y shake made from cocoa, bee pollen, seaweed and coconut oil, among other things. Sure, it's complicated, but if you still want to try it you can find the recipe online. If you'd stick to something simpler, try and adapt it to your taste and budget!
Now you know what is the healthiest kind of burger and how to make it. Tell us your favorite toppings and recipes in the comments section!
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