Many people are switching to a plant-based diet in an effort to improve their health. My parents eat a plant-based diet and it has prompted me to dabble in some new dishes so that I can serve one thing that everyone can eat when they come over. Working with my sponsor, Pazazz, inspired me to come up with a plant-based veggie burger that everyone in my family can eat.
The plant-based movement has resulted in a lot of meat substitutes and veggie burgers popping up on the shelves. Since my parents stick to a “whole foods, plant-based” (WFPB) way of eating, we try to make most of their meals from scratch rather than relying on processed foods from the store. It turns out, I’m a bit of a picky eater when it comes to this kind of diet and I’ve tried a LOT of recipes that I just couldn’t like, no matter how many adjustments I made to them. Throw in the fact that my teen is allergic to nuts, which many of the plant-based recipes use for a cheese substitute, and it can be hard to find a recipe that works for everyone.
I’ve partnered with Pazazz Apples and the American Institute for Cancer Research during February, which is National Cancer Prevention Month. Apples are a great way to reduce the risk of some cancers as they are high in fiber and antioxidants. Pazazz Apples are a great way to add more apple goodness to your diet as they have a complex flavor profile that never disappoints and boast an explosive crunch (crunch is a must for me!!). I love that they are a “late season” apple, which means they are available from late fall through the summer, when most other apples are out of season. Pazazz is a cross between a Honeycrisp and a “mystery pollinator” and you have to try it yourself to believe it!
Apples have a whole host of health benefits – they may aid in weight loss, lower the risk of diabetes, provide good gut bacteria and help lower cholesterol. The American Institute for Cancer Research has also put together a handy tool to enable you to see how you are doing in reducing your own chances of developing some cancers. You can access that health check here.
Now let’s dive into the veggie burger recipe! This recipe uses grated apple to add some moisture as well as a subtle flavor. The protein in this burger comes from both pureed chickpeas and a small amount of chickpea flour. The soy sauce, sage and smoked paprika add a robust, earthy flavor that compliments the zing of the apple nicely.
What tools are needed to make the veggie burgers?
Having a food processor is very helpful when making this recipe. You will need to puree the whole chickpeas as well as grate the apple. If you have a high-power blender, you can always hand grate the apple and use the blender to puree the chickpeas.
Is this recipe gluten-free?
The recipe as I’ve prepared it here is not gluten-free. However, it would be very easy to make a substitution for the panko breadcrumbs in the veggie burger and serve it on a lettuce wrap to make the meal gluten-free.
Where do you get chickpea flour?
While my regular neighborhood grocery store didn’t have chickpea flour on its shelves, the larger supermarkets did. I also spotted it on the shelves of my local health food store. You can also order chickpea flour online if you are in a pinch. Keep in mind that chickpea flour may also be called Garbanzo Bean Flour – they are the same thing.
Can you fry the veggie burgers?
While I made mine by baking them, you can absolutely fry them as well. I did also try them in the air-fryer but they crumbled quite a bit. I may try making them into “balls” and air-frying in the future.
To make the Apple and Chickpea Veggie Burgers, you will need:
1 can of cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed. (can should be about 14 ozs. or 1 and 3/4 cups)
1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of chickpea flour
1 medium onion chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
3 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp of smoked paprika (this is a generous amount – scale back if you are not a fan of a real smokey flavor)
2 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp white pepper
1 Pazazz apple, peeled and shredded
1 tbsp olive oil
Preparing the burgers is actually pretty easy. You are going to add all of the ingredients EXCEPT the shredded apple and olive oil to a food processor bowl and pulse until everything is well mixed and the chickpeas are fully pureed. Add in the shredded apple and pulse just enough to mix it in, but still leaving some texture.
Place the mixture in a covered container and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour. You can leave it overnight if you are making these ahead of time.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. (Fun tip – if the parchment paper keeps curling up, crinkle it up into a ball and then straighten it back out before putting it on the sheet.)
Shape the burger mixture into six even patties and place on baking sheet.
Brush both sides of the burgers with olive oil.
Bake for 15 minutes, flip burgers, and then bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Serve on a bun and top with your choice of greens. I liked them with avocado, arugula and sprouts!