Lately, I have been craving a burger. Not in the sense that I have been craving meat (yuck!) but I have been longing for a slab of flavour in some tasty ciabatta bread. Before we became Vegan, sandwiches were very much on the menu. But now, we have a tendency to avoid them. I think this is because very few shop bought ‘convenience’ sandwiches contain ingredients that we can eat. They frequently use mayonnaise or cheese as a filler for the veggie options or decide that some sort of milk or whey powder is a necessity. Quite frustrating when you need to eat on the move. Anyway, to get a handle on the craving, I jumped in the kitchen decided to have an experiment. Jon seems to like it when this happens. He always says that my experiments are a success. Me, not so much. Either way, these burgers were and I wanted to share them with you.
Down on the allotment, I’ve been trying to assess what is actually in season at the moment by scanning over the other plots. This time next year it will be easier, our plot will (hopefully) be fully established by then. However, our neighbour seems to still have a few beetroot left in the beds so I thought, ‘Perfect! Beetroot burger it is!’. That was my inspiration. That and my closest friend just keeps on mentioning how good they are.
They are succulent little things with oodles of vibrancy from the beetroot. The sweet potato skins and semi crushed black beans give a lovely texture and the polenta crust just adds a little crunch. All in all, it was a worthy kitchen experiment.
I urge you to give it a try. They freeze well too and are super healthy. There is no added fat, protein from the black beans, not to mention the ridiculous nutritional benefits from the beetroot. What more could you want; the indulgence of a burger without the guilt.
Beetroot, Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burgers
Prep: 20 minutes Cooking: 1 hour 15 minutes (inc. potato baking)
(makes 10 small burger patties)
1 large beetroot (grated raw)
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 cup cooked black beans
2 cloves garlic (minced)
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp freshly ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 cup of mixed fresh herbs (we used coriander, parsley and chives)
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of polenta (enough to cover the burgers)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 freshly ground black pepper
What to do:
- Cut the sweet potatoes in half longways and smother them in coconut oil. Give them a good massage, season well and pop them in the oven to bake. This should take about 45 mins at gas mark 7.
- Whilst the potatoes are roasting, grate the beetroot and mix with the beans, lime juice, garlic and spices. Hold back the herbs, breadcrumbs and seasoning till later.
- Once the potatoes have roasted and cooled ever so slightly, mash them into the mix too. Keep mixing and mashing with the back of a spoon to semi puree the mix. You are aiming for the potatoes to be quite smooth with the some of the beans still solid for texture.
- Add the fresh herbs, seasoning and breadcrumbs and mix well.
- Form into patties with your hands (be careful not to get the beetroot everywhere!). As you make the burgers, cover them with polenta to soak up some of the moisture. The polenta should form a thin crust. The mixture may still seem quite moist. Stick with it. The baking process and the polenta will dry it out. As long as they aren’t falling apart in your hands, you should be ok.
- Bake for 20 – 30 minutes at gas mark 7. Turning halfway to make sure the crust gets nice a crispy.
You are done!
We served these in a crispy ciabatta roll, with half an avocado, some homemade fries and a fresh green salad.
Have a try at making them and let us know how you get on and if you have any variations or other serving suggestions put them in the comments below.
We hope you enjoy.
Happy patty making!