Craving a nice juicy burger? Why not just make one? Thanks to fast food chains, burgers have a reputation for being greasy, indulgent, and overall not very healthy. Here are some recommendations to take into consideration no matter what type of healthy diet you’re following!
Choose your protein
Burgers=beef in the minds of most, but venture out and try some other meats (and non-meats!) Turkey can be used in place of beef if you’re looking for a leaner option. If you’re watching your red meat intake, ground chicken makes for a great burger meat with its own unique flavor. And of course, there are always good old veggie burgers. If you’re buying premade veggie burgers, watch out for lots of extra ingredients. Look for a brand with mostly vegetables and beans.
Here’s the one part you probably don’t need to change much! Traditional burger fixings include already-healthy lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. If you’re a pickle person, no need to take them out either, unless you’re on a low sodium diet. In that case, seek out low sodium pickles, or limit yourself to just a couple thin slices. Now let’s talk cheese. If your burger of choice is a cheeseburger, the standard American cheese slice is pretty processed. Try “fancying” up your burger with a slice of cheddar, pepper jack, even mozzarella instead. The cheese possibilities are endless!
Ketchup…mustard…mayo, whatever your favorite, a good burger needs some sort of condiment to tie it all together with some creaminess and a burst of intense flavor. Mustard itself is pretty healthy, albeit salty, so look for a low sodium version if you require it. Ketchup is high in added sugars, so if you’re avoiding or limiting refined sugars, opt for a sugar-free version. If you like mayonnaise on your burger and are looking for a healthier choice, opt for either organic mayonnaise (made with organic eggs) or try avocado mayonnaise!
Of course, the thing that brings all the previous ingredients together is the bun! Whole grain or sourdough bread are good healthier options. If you’re following a paleo or keto diet, try a lettuce “bun.” Get two sturdy leaves off a head of lettuce, cut to size, and use in place of the bun.
For more healthy recipes, check out my other blogs!