By now, most runners know they should eat their beets. Loaded with dietary nitrates, beets have been shown to increase performance in runners as well as decrease our perception of effort.
I’m always looking for ways to add beets to my diet and these colorful beet burgers are just right for warm weather barbeques.
I’ve loved making Isa Chandra’s beet burgers, but I can’t help but tweak her recipe a little.
Along with the beets, a key ingredient in my version is walnuts. Walnuts contain an essential fat called alpha-linolenic acid (usually abbreviated as ALA), or omega-3 fat. It’s only found in just a handful of plant foods (ground flaxseed and chia are two more) so it’s important to try to eat a good source of omega-3s each day.
What’s great about these is that you can swap out the beans and/or the grains (yes, quinoa is technically a seed) for whatever you have on hand and they’ll still turn out great. No quinoa? Sub brown rice. Don’t like pintos? Go for black beans. You really can’t mess up here.
Whole grains and beans are great sources of iron and zinc, two nutrients that are absolutely essential for overall health, not to mention running performance.
And while I’m not a huge fan of fake meat substitutes, it’s almost scary how much these look like beef while you are making them. But after they are cooked, they are a brilliant magenta pink, guaranteed to catch everyone’s attention at the table!
This is a great reason to make a few extra cups of beans or rice whenever you are cooking them for something else to tuck away in the freezer. That way, awesome veggie burgers come together in just a few minutes.
I like to make huge batches of these because beets can be a little messy to work with. I’d rather only clean up once and have a nice stash of homemade burgers in the freezer for a quick lazy meal.
The vitamin C in the beets help you absorb the iron to help move oxygen to your hard working muscles. And it’s even better if you top your burger with the beet greens!
These patties can be a little delicate, so be careful with them on the grill. I like to play it safe and dry fry them or use a pan on the grill and cook them until they start to get just a few slightly charred spots.
Delicious way to get all your nutrients!
Yields 10 big burgers
A bright pink, delicious vegan burger stuffed with plant superpowers!
40 minPrep Time
12 minCook Time
52 minTotal Time
- 2 cups raw shredded beets (about two medium)
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2.5 cups cooked and cooled quinoa or other whole grain
- 2 cups cooked and cooled pinto beans or one 15 oz can drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground fennel or crushed whole seeds (optional but yummy!)
- 2 teaspoons dried mustard
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 cup panko or fine breadcrumbs
- Peel the beets and shred with the shredder attachment of a food processor. Remove shredded beets from machine into a large bowl.
- Switch to the S blade and pulse the walnuts until crumbly, but not so long that they turn into butter.
- Add the onion, garlic, beans, quinoa, and shredded beets and pulse 15-20 times until the mixture comes together but still has a slightly chunky texture and looks eerily like ground beef.
- Transfer back to the mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients.
- Use your hands to squish everything together so it's evenly incorporated.
- Refrigerate bowl for 30 minutes
- Preheat your cooking surface(I like well-seasoned cast iron), if cooking right away, and shape into patties, either by hand or using a cookie cutter.
- If your cast iron is well-seasoned, you will need very little or no oil. If not, use a light spray or swipe with a neutral high-heat oil like canola.
- Cook for approximately 12 minutes, flipping a few times on each side until they are just barely charred and heated through.
- Serve with all your favorite burger fixings!
Inspired by Isa Chandra's Quarter Pounder Beet Burgers