01 Dec, 2013

Healthy Hamburgers

Healthy Hamburgers

The average fast food burger contributes a whopping 2 500kJ and that’s without the fries, Coke, extra patty or cheese! By simply making healthier choices, you can easily reduce the unhealthy calories by half and improve the nutrient quality.




To lower the fat percentage:

?         Patty: Opt for leaner meat options, e.g. ask for pure chicken breast, grilled venison, tuna, salmon or turkey, or go vegetarian.

?         Sauces: Swap fatty mayonnaise for tomato sauce/BBQ sauce.

?         Extras: Don’t add cheese, avoid butter and margarine.


To lower the sugar content:

?         Patty: Make sure patties are 100% pure – processed meats often contain sugar.

?         Sauces: Reduce the amount of sauces and increase fresh tomato, lettuce and onion. Add mustard or avocado for more flavour.

?         Bread roll: Opt for a whole grain bun or whole meal pita.


To reduce total calories:

?         Don’t supersize! Opt for a smaller burger and add a side salad. Double the size, double the calories!

?         Cut cheese and mayonnaise out and replace with more fresh produce with colour, e.g. pineapple, salad, mushroom or beetroot relish.


To increase fibre content:

?         Opt for lentil or chickpea patties.

?         Choose whole grain rolls.

?         Add onion, tomato, lettuce, rocket or grated carrot to your burger.




Venison burgers

Serves: 4, Time to make: 20 minutes


Full ingredient list: 500g venison mince, ? onion finely chopped, orange zest, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon meat seasoning, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, 4 whole meal pita breads, 4 cups lettuce, 4 teaspoons relish.


?         Place mince in a bowl with onion, orange zest, breadcrumbs, seasoning and parsley. Use hands to mix ingredients, then shape into four patties.

?         Grill or braai burgers for about six minutes each side. Slice pita breads horizontally. To assemble, add lettuce, then burger, and top with relish.

Tip: To make beetroot relish, mix one cooked beetroot (diced) with 1 finely chopped red onion, 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard.


Lentil Burgers

Serves: 4, Time to make: 40 minutes


Ingredients: 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 onion finely chopped, 2 fat garlic cloves crushed, 2 tablespoons nomu Egyptian dukkah, 1 can large lentils, 2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley, 125ml fresh breadcrumbs, 1 disc feta cheese – crumbled, 1 pinch salt and milled pepper, 1 extra large egg – lightly beaten, 1 dash vegetable oil for frying.


?         Heat olive oil in a pan and saut? onion and garlic until soft.

?         Add dukkah spice and fry for two minutes or until golden.

?         Remove from heat and place into a bowl with lentils, parsley, breadcrumbs and feta.

?         Mix lightly to combine and season.

?         Cool mixture, then add egg and stir until mixture is combined.

?         Shape into four large patties and refrigerate for an hour to firm slightly.

?         Heat a glug of vegetable oil and fry lentil patties for about two to three minutes on each side until golden brown.