I think this might just be my favourite way to incorporate beans into a meal. Who doesn’t love a good burger, right? I remember when I was finally old enough to order a burger for Friday night takeaways, I was so excited! The burgers in the tiny town I grew up in were amazing, huge things I forced myself to eat so my parents didn’t stop me ordering again because I couldn’t eat it all!
In New Zealand we put pineapple rings and beetroot in our burgers- eew and eggs! We are definitely a burger loving nation. So, I have high expectations when it comes to burgers. Of course much really depends how you put your burger together, the patty has to be great but don’t spoil it by skimping on the other layers. I take time to caramelise onion rings, I include pineapple rings and beetroot, rocket or spinach instead of iceberg lettuce- which I hate! Burgers should be made with love and care… and beans! Beans are my new love and I am going to be blogging about beans a LOT from now on, but just know that along with the deliciousness of this awesome burger, comes a whole lot of amazing nutrition. See Dr Greger’s bean videos here. This bean burger is definitely on our top 10 meals list.
We loved my Lentil Burger so much in our house that I hadn’t ventured away from it in a while. I did find a fantastic recipe from Anna Jones, The Really Hungry Burger, which we all enjoyed a number of times. So I wanted to try my own bean burger, but using black beans and incorporate the same flavours and core part of the lentil burgers we loved. The end result is a mash-up of both The Really Hungry Burger and my Lentil Burger, with a few other tweaks.
You’ll notice here that I add the mushroom to the blender with the beans and other ingredients to create a thick paste. This is a trick I learnt from a friend who used to hide mushrooms from her children in a blended tomato sauce for a lasagne. My daughter hates the texture of mushroom so I stole this idea! You could instead add minced or diced portobello mushroom to the onions and herbs to saute if you prefer.
I usually batch-cook beans, making enough for a few different meals. So I just cook as much as possible and then take what I need that day and freeze the rest. I also make about double the brown rice I need and do the same, usually for the next days lunch. I usually pressure cook the rice in my instant pot at the start of making these, for 25 minutes on manual, and by the time I am done with the rest the brown rice is ready to add to the mix.
A note about the choice of burger buns. This is a hard one for me as I am gluten intolerant as well as vegan. I also prefer to look for whole grain breads, wraps and buns, with no salt or oil. Which is tough. I say do your best, look for the best possible burger bun you can find. If there is nothing which works for you, try a grilled portobello mushroom, it’s delicious.
This recipe is salt, oil, sugar and gluten-free.
Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Cooking Time for burgers: approx 25 minutes
Makes 5 large burgers or 8 medium burgers
Burger Patties can be frozen, uncooked.
- 400g cooked black beans
- 200g cooked brown rice
- 2 tablespoons oil-free tahini
- 3 medjool dates
- 1 large portobello mushroom
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon of dried or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dried or 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon of dried or 1 tablespoon fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon of dried or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 50g ground sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup gram ( chickpea ) flour
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 flax-egg- 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds, soaked for 10 mins in 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds mixed with your choice of spices
- Preheat oven to 180C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Soak the 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds in the 3 tablespoons of water as described above. Set aside.
- Cook the brown rice as you prepare the rest of the recipe. I use my instant pot, cover with 1 1/4 times water and use manual function for 25 minutes. If you have some cooked brown rice already, add that to a bowl and set aside.
- Keep 1 cup of the cooked black beans aside, pour remaining into blender with tahini, dates and mushroom. Blend until combined. Use tamper tool or stop as needed to move mix around.
- Saute the onion in a pan, waiting for it to brown slightly before adding stock or broth to prevent sticking. Add the herbs and spices to this and cook for a little longer.
- Combine onion and herb mix with the blended bean mix, the cup of whole cooked beans, cooked and cooled brown rice and the soaked ground flaxseeds which should now be like a paste .
- Add the dry ingredients, the ground sunflower seeds, flour and nutritional yeast. Mix well with wet hands for best results. The mix should be fairly firm and not too wet, add more dry ingredients if needed.
- When well combined, shape into even balls and then press flat.
- If possible, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Shake the ground flaxseeds and spice mix over both sides of the burgers. We use paprika and chilli in our mix, about a half teaspoon of each mixed well with the ground flaxseeds before using. This prevents sticking of the burgers to the paper, and adds lots of good flavour.
- Place on lined baking tray and put into the oven for about 25-35 minutes, turning halfway through. You may need to cook a bit longer or a bit less depending on your oven. They should be just golden and firm to the touch.
- Remove from oven when ready, cool slightly and serve between two grilled portobello mushrooms or a wholegrain bun and your choice of toppings.