Smoky Carrot & Black Bean Burgers

Smoky Carrot & Black Bean Burgers..jpg

Makes 6 Burgers

Even though I am not a vegan, I try to incorporate more plant-based food into my diet wherever I can, and I don’t just do that for health reasons, I genuinely love it too.  However, the only time used to feel a teensy bit sorry for vegans and vegetarians was in the summertime, as enjoying a BBQ get together with friends has to be my all-time favourite thing to do.  But these days, there are so many great meat-free options out there, now we can all happily rejoice in the summer food festivities together!  I wanted to try to make my own version and these smoky carrot and black bean burgers are just so darn tasty!  They are on constant rotation in our house, and not just in a bbq + bun type way, but they also make a great addition to a roasted veggie buddha bowl too.  They are so packed with flavour, are easy to make and freeze very well.

One burger patty provides 132 calories, 5g of protein, 4g of fibre, 17% of my Iron and a whopping 229% of my daily Vitamin A requirements. 

Nerdy Nutrition Fact: Did you know that eating cooked carrots provides your body with more nutrients compared to eating raw ones?  This is because cooking the carrots actually increases the amount of beta-carotene your body is able to absorb.  Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that gives carrots their deep orange hue.  It can be converted to vitamin A in the body and is essential for good vision (remember the old wives tale about eating carrots to see in the dark?), and supporting a healthy immune system.  For some vegetables, cooking them leaches some key vitamins (like broccoli for example), however, the opposite is true for carrots and tomatoes, where cooking them can actually break down tough cell walls and make nutrients easier to absorb. 

INGREDIENTS

·     400g Carrots
·     50g Brown Rice Breadcrumbs
·     1 large Leek
·     1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
·     1 tbsp Dried Rosemary
·     1 tbsp Olive Oil
·     150g Black Beans - drained
·     15g Grated Parmesan (or nutritional yeast flakes if vegan)
·     15g Sesame Seeds
·     Zest of 1 Lemon
·     Salt, pepper & chilli flakes to taste

METHOD

·     Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
·     Chop the carrots into rounds and place them on a roasting tray.
·     Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
·     Roast in the oven for 20 minutes until just starting to brown. 
·     While the carrots are cooking, slice the leeks and heat a little oil in a frying pan. Sauté the leeks for a few minutes until they are just starting to brown.
·     Once the carrots and leeks have cooked, add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender and pulse, leaving some texture to the mixture and not a completely smooth puree.
·     Chill in the oven for at least 20 minutes (longer is fine too if you would rather prep these in the morning to cook later for dinner).
·     When you are ready to cook, make 6 patty shapes and heat a tsp oil in a griddle pan. Griddle each patty for a few minutes on each side, until browning nicely. (Or cook on the BBQ.)
·     Serve immediately either in a buddha bowl or in a wholegrain bun with all of the usual burger fillings.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Calories – 132
Protein – 5g
Carbohydrates – 19g
Fat – 5g
Fibre – 4g
Vitamin A – 229%
Vitamin C – 10%
Calcium – 12%
Iron – 17%