This right here is my all time favorite veggie burger.
I almost wrote it’s my favorite burger that I’ve made on the blog thus far, but no. It’s better than any of the boxed burgers I used to chow down on, better than the bland-tasting black bean burgers I would grudgingly order off bistro menus, and yeah, better than my other two veggie burger recipes.
I love my incredibly easy veggie burger (It was the only thing I ate for dinner for a month straight last winter), but I enjoy this one even more.
I rather hesitate to bring up this next point, because it’s something similar to what I discussed in my previous post, but….Jason was all about this burger. Since y’all don’t know Jason, I need to explain to you why this was a big deal. First, he only quit meat about a month ago. He was a pepperoni pizza every Friday night kinda guy. Truth be told, I think he still is that guy deep down, but he’s trying.
Second, Jason usually hates leftovers. He’ll eat them if I doll them up a lot, or if we’re at the end of our grocery budget. But he requested these for three days in a row. Three days. That doesn’t happen around here. I’ve actually noticed that his family as a whole doesn’t really like leftovers. My folks, on the other hand, love leftovers. We like to turn them into sandwiches, eat them under ice cream, scoop every bit of sauce from the corner of the casserole dish.
But enough about leftovers. Let’s talk veggie burgers!
At first glance, the ingredients sound like they don’t go together at all. But they magically do. No one ingredient overpowers they other, they just compliment one another in a subtle and satisfying way. Something about the light sweetness of the berries, the nutty hemp seeds, the grassy flecks of spinach, the earthy chickpeas….it just works. There is a jalapeno in there too. Don’t skip it, even if you think you don’t like spicy food, because it brings balance to the rest of the elements of the burger.
If you don’t have hemp seeds, that’s fine. I ran out during one of the trials and I used slivered almonds in their place. Actually, I used sea salt & cracked pepper almonds and it worked wonderfully. You can also used shelled sunflower seeds. Hemp seeds have more protein and calcium, but sunflower seeds are cheaper and have a similar rich texture that will match well with the rest of the ingredients. And sometimes working with what you already have is the best way to go.
This recipe calls for frozen blueberries. Don't defrost them prior to use. I like to use Wyman's of Maine berries.(not sponsored) Their berries are smaller, more delicate in size but more concentrated in flavor -- elements that work very well in this recipe.
If you are using almonds or sunflower seeds in place of the hemp hearts, grind them up with the rest of the ingredients instead of stirring them in after.
- 2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed and dried
- 4 smallish carrots (about 6 oz worth)
- 1 10 oz package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of moisture
- 1/2 cup finely diced purple onion
- 1 jalapeno
- 2 tsp coarse kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups frozen Maine blueberries
- 3/4 cup hemp seeds
- Preheat oven to 400. Set aside 1 cup of the chickpeas.
- Roast the rest of the chickpeas for about 5-8 minutes. This will dry them out a bit and give the burger more of a hearty bite.
- Raise the heat to 450.
- In a food processor or blender combine the carrots, spinach, chickpeas (both roasted and unroasted), jalapeno, and salt. Blend to a coarse paste.
- Stir in the onion, blueberries, and hemp seeds.
- Form into patties. The patties I made were 3 1/4 inch in diameter and about 1 inch thick. This yielded 8 patties. I've been able to stretch the recipe to 10 patties by making them a bit thinner....but honestly, the nice thick meaty ones are better.
- Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet (I actually like to form the patties directly on the sheet, so I don't have to move them)
- Bake for 22 minutes.
- Serve with ketchup (optional), love (not optional) and avocados/