This was the very first recipe that I ever came up with. It combines beets (for sweetness) with mushrooms (for funghi-powered-nutrition) into a really tasty veggie burger.
Beets are wonderfully nourishing, and have a unique phytonutrient called betalain. It works as an antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory (though there’s a caveat below), and a detoxification aid. Betalain starts to decrease when beets are heated, so to maximize the betalain content, cook these as little as possible.
That said, other nutrients in beets become more available to our bodies when beets are cooked, because cooking breaks down the cellulose walls of the cells in the beets that hold the nutrients. So it’s a bit of a trade off – you lose a bit of this, but gain a bit more of that.
The caveat to the anti-inflammatory properties of beets is that although betalain helps reduce inflammation, there’s another compound in beets, called oxalic acid, which can exacerbate chronic inflammation. So beets aren’t the best for someone with arthritis or chronic joint pain. They’re better for acute or one-time inflammation.
If you serve these burgers on the greens from the top of the beets, you get bonus nutrition points with the lutein (the same antioxidant in tomatoes) and beta-carotene (the same thing in carrots that makes them good for eyesight) that’s in those greens. If you’ve noticed that they look a bit like chard, that’s because they’re from the same family!
This burger recipe is to get you ready for a summer of veggie burgers! If you want to get more recipes, tips, and tutorials from me on how to make the perfect veggie burger, sign up to become an early bird for my veggie burger course – just click here.
Sweet Purple Funghi Burger Recipe
Makes 10 small burgers, or 6 large ones.
- 2 beets
- 10 small mushrooms
- 1 Tbsp sweet onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground or dried thyme (optional)
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 tsp tamari, or soy sauce (optional – add sea salt if not using)
- 1-2 Tbsp ground flax seed
- 1/4 cup fresh basil pesto
- Grate the vegetables, or pulse in a food processor or blender until they’re in very small chunks.
- Mix in the seasonings and ground flax, and let sit for a few minutes until the flax absorbs some of the liquid of the veggies and starts to bind.
- Form into burger shapes, and put on a baking tray.
- To bake: put in the oven at 350 F for about 30 minutes.
- To dehydrate: put in a dehydrator at 110 F for about an hour.
- Serve on top of greens, a bun, or small toasts. Top with freshly made pesto and garnish with fresh herbs.