Consumers are growing increasingly aware of the negative health impacts of red meat. A comprehensive study by Harvard’s School of Public Health — which tested the health effects of red meat on 37,698 male subjects and 83,644 female subjects over the course of 22 and 28 years, respectively — revealed that eating high amounts of red meat was “associated with Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.”
It isn't surprising, then, that traditional hamburgers continue to lose traction to beefless alternatives, low in saturated fats and high in fiber. Restaurants are embracing this trend by prominently featuring meatless creations next to their beef counterparts. For chefs, the appeal of creating veggie burgers is that there are infinite combinations of ingredients; almost any vegetable, grain, tuber, or pulse has potential. Even chains like Burger King, Denny’s, T.G.I. Friday’s, Wendy’s, and White Castle have released their own interpretations of a vegetarian patty.
While the benefits of vegetarian burgers are clear, such as higher fiber, diverse nutrient profile, and less saturated fat, there are also some subtle nutritional drawbacks. Many prepackaged veggie patties contain high amounts of sodium and preservatives, and aren’t comparable in protein content to meat. That’s why it’s best to make your own veggie burgers in your home kitchen, where all the nutritional variables under your control.
Making a good beef burger might take some skill, but creating an awe-inspiring veggie patty takes ingenuity. For some inspiration, here’s our 9 best veggie burger recipes.