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Monthly Burger Series: Healthy Burger

January 7, 2019
5 min. read

healthy turkey burger

Happy New Year!

In 2018, we had a monthly blog series that featured one of our products every month. This year, in 2019, we’re doing something a little different: a monthly burger recipe! Each month, we’ll create a specialty burger on one of Martin’s products for you to enjoy. These will be season-specific recipes based on annual occurrences such as weather, holidays, or trending flavors. Be sure to check back each month for a new recipe. We hope you enjoy this series!

It’s that time of year again…Every January at the start of a new year, we set resolutions—hopes and goals and dreams—for the year ahead. Things we want to accomplish. Expectations we hope to achieve. For many people, health becomes a renewed priority in the new year, either because of this “fresh start” mentality or maybe just because of too much indulgence over the holiday season. Either way, making a decision to be healthy is never a bad idea.

Now you may be thinking…how does this relate to burgers? Well, we believe eating healthy doesn’t have to mean cutting out things you love—like carbs, dairy, meat. There are ways to enjoy these flavors while still focusing on your nutrition; using methods like moderation and substitution, food can be both delicious and nutritious.

Check out our Healthy Turkey Burger recipe for a great example:

healthy turkey burger

About this Recipe

Ground Turkey: For the burger patties, we substituted traditional ground beef for ground turkey. Turkey is generally leaner than beef and contains fewer calories while still providing plenty of protein as well as other essential nutrients. Look for a lean variety such as fat-free or 93% lean ground turkey.

Hidden Veggies: Another great way to enhance the nutritional quality of a burger (or any meal, for that matter) is to integrate some healthy vegetables. Of course, you can always do this by adding toppings to your burger like lettuce or tomatoes, but not everyone is a fan of raw vegetables. One way to ensure everyone in your family (e.g. kids or picky eaters) gets these added nutrients is to fold ingredients directly into the burger patty.

Cooked spinach works great for this method. You can either use fresh blanched spinach, or simply thaw some frozen prepared spinach (make sure to drain of excess liquid), then just mix it into your ground turkey and continue cooking as you normally would. Spinach is a very nutrient-rich vegetable; it’s low in carbs, high in soluble fiber (which aids with digestion), and is a good source of many vitamins and minerals including vitamin A (from carotenoids), vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium.

Lighter Condiments: Condiments can make or break a burger’s nutritional quality. High-fat or overly sweetened ingredients can counteract the health benefits you get by using leaner meat and added veggies, so be sure to pay attention to the types and portion sizes of the condiments you are using.

This recipe calls for a homemade Lemon-Honey Mustard spread, which is great for a variety of reasons.

Let’s break it down:

  1. Dijon Mustard: Mustard is one of the healthiest of the traditional condiments. Standard yellow mustard is very low in calories and has little added sugar or sodium. Dijon mustard is only slightly higher in calories but does contain higher amounts of sodium. Despite this, mustard is still a great condiment to consider using on a regular basis in place of more fattening options like mayonnaise, plus it adds a nice zing of flavor.
  2. Honey: While it does add more calories, honey is a great natural sweetener to use in place of sugar or artificial sweeteners. For example, many brands of ketchup contain high-fructose corn syrup.
  3. Lemon: Lemons, like other citrus fruits, are a great source of vitamin C. Lemon juice is an easy, healthy way to add some brightness and tang to your dish. This recipe calls for juice and zest from Meyer lemons, which are sort of a cross between lemons and mandarin oranges. Meyer lemons have a slightly sweeter and more floral taste than regular lemons and are great raw such as in salads or vinaigrettes.

Together, these three ingredients make a light and tasty dressing that gives these turkey burgers a refreshing flavor boost!

Cheese: This is another ingredient that tends to bring added calories and fat to a burger. Consider opting for another kind of cheese that is healthier or lower in sodium or fat than traditional favorites like American or cheddar.

Goat cheese is a great option for this turkey burger. The soft chevre adds back in some necessary moisture than can often be lost when using ground turkey, plus it provides some interesting health benefits. According to Healthline, goat cheese is a “good source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals…and may help increase satiety.” Goat’s milk is also more easily digestible than cow’s milk and lower in A1 casein/lactose, potentially making it a better option for people allergic to or intolerant of cow’s milk.

Martin’s 100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread: From a nutrition standpoint, our 100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread is slightly lower in calories than our regular Potato Bread, and slightly higher in nutrients such as fiber, protein, and iron, as well as a few other vitamins and minerals. All of our products are made with high-quality ingredients like real milk, yeast, and sugar, and potato flour, plus our wheat bread also contains 100% stone ground whole wheat flour.

We also made this burger into an open-faced sandwich atop toasted Whole Wheat Potato Bread to show an option for people trying to cut down on carbs this month. (But keep in mind: carbohydrates are still an important part of a balanced diet!)

Bottom line: if you’re craving a burger in the middle of winter, eat a burger! Just work in some healthy ingredient alternatives to suit your needs or goals.

So try out the recipe for yourself and let us know what you think!

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