Black bean burgers are a delicious, versatile and protein and fiber rich lunch or dinner. I’ll talk about 3 different cooked toppings I made, but they are just as tasty with simple burger toppings such as tomato, lettuce, salsa and guac (mustard can be ok too as long as there isn’t added sugar which can be hard to find). The amount of beans to use depends on how much you want to make and if you want to freeze any (they freeze pretty well). I used a 2 lb bag of dried beans and that made about 12-15 burgers.
- 2 lbs black beans
- 3 tbs flax seeds
- 3 tbs chia seeds
- 1 egg (ok to omit but it holds together just a bit better)
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 1 Large eggplant
For toppings: shaved or spiralized beets, onion, spinach, beet greens, mushrooms, mustard seeds, red/yellow/orange bell peppers, balsamic/apple cider vinegar
Start by cooking the beans as instructed on the package. Usually you have to do an overnight, or a 2 hour quick soak, and then they cook for another 1.5-2 hours, so plan ahead. You can always make the beans a few days ahead of time, or even longer and freeze them. I always like to cook the beans with about 1 tsb of salt.
Mix together the beans, flax meal, chia seeds, hemp seeds and egg (if you are using it) as well as about a 1/2 cup of water and mash it all together a bit. A potato masher works well for this. Once it is pretty well mixed you can put batches in a food processor to mix together a bit more as it holds together better this way. I run the processor until it is pretty well mixed but you can still see bits of black bean. Take large spoonfuls of the mix and use your hands to shape into a patty. If you oil your hands it doesn’t stick as much. The patties should be about a 1/2 in thick to cook well.
Place patties in a pan oiled with avocado oil, olive oil or flaxseed oil. I have also used bacon grease when I was feeling less healthy. Cook over medium heat until browned, about 5-7 minutes each side. At this point (after cooled) you can wrap up the patties and freeze them for another time if you are saving some. They also reheat well in the microwave if you preparing ahead for lunch for the week.
For the bun, if you are doing anti-inflammatory, use eggplant sliced to about 1cm thick, or use zucchini if you are sensitive to nightshades. Brush each side with olive avocado or flax oil and cook on medium-high or high heat until fairly well-browned. Having a little extra oil in the pan so the eggplant fries a little allows it to hold up better as a bun (the ones pictured above are not done).
An easy topping is to slice up some bell peppers and roast them in the oven on 400F, sprinkled with a little olive oil and seasoned salt or garlic salt. You don’t need to turn them or anything just leave them in until browned, about 10-15 minutes. I also really liked the beets pictured top right above – spiralized/shaved beets and a little sliced onion flavored with about 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar and just a sprinkle of date syrup. Throw it all in a pan and sautee over medium heat until the beets are somewhat tender about 15 minutes. Top left is sauteed mushrooms, spinach and beet greens flavored with garlic, mustard seed salt and pepper, again all sauteed up in some olive oil.