Smoky Beetroot Bean Burgers

Veggie burgers are fast becoming more widely available and increasingly interesting and adventurous in flavour and ingredients. Just browse the chilled or frozen vegetarian aisle in any supermarket and you’ll generally find a varied selection. This is great news for us herbivores but also great for meat-eaters looking for something a bit different and of course, delicious. Veggie burgers are also much healthier for our bodies in terms of avoiding high levels of saturated fat.

Smoky beetroot bean burgers

There is more good news still, as veggie burgers are very easy to make at home. You can get as creative as you like, experimenting with any combo of beans/pulses, herbs, spices and vegetables to tailor make a burger for any taste preference!

This recipe uses lovely organic mung beans; tiny, tender, slightly sweet beans, generally pale green in colour. These little gems pack a nice nutritional punch, being high in potassium, fiber, magnesium, and B vitamins, as well as being a good source of vitamin C.

Mung beans

Soaking and precooking mung beans

The mung beans will need to be pre-cooked before making the burgers.

First, thoroughly rinse the mung beans in cold running water. I always soak the beans in cold water for 4-6 hours (I usually add a splash of cider vinegar, as this aids the soak). Technically, soaking mung beans is not essential, unlike most other larger bean varieties. I do soak however as it is thought to aid digestion and also reduces cooking time significantly.

Once the beans have finished their soak, drain and place in a pan of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for around 20 minutes, or until tender and beginning to break down.

Ingredients:

  • 400g tin kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 red onion, roughly diced
  • 1 1/2 heaped tsp garlic powder
  • 1 heaped tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ cup raw mung beans, PRECOOKED (equating to 1 1/2 cups once cooked) SEE INSTRUCTIONS ABOVE
  • 1 ½ cups raw beetroot, grated ¥ ½ cup chickpea flour (gram flour)
  • 1 ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp dried chives
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp rock salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Method:

  1. Using a food processor, blitz the kidney beans, garlic powder, onion powder and chopped onion to form a paste. I found that I needed to add about a tbsp. of water to loosen the mixture (slowly add a little more, if required)
  2. Transfer the paste into a large mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup, mung beans, grated beetroot and combine using a wooden spoon or table spoon.
  3. Add the chickpea flour, chia seeds, nutritional yeast, chives, salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly and evenly incorporated. You can taste a little of the mixture at this point to check the seasoning level- add more salt/pepper as desired.
  4. Chill the mixture in the fridge for around 30 minutes. In the meantime, heat the oven to 220 degrees C.
  5. Split the mixture into 6 equal patties (I use my hands… but you can use a spoon if you don’t want beetroot-stained hands!) and flatten slightly to form a lovely burger shape.
  6. Brush the burgers with a little olive oil and place onto a baking tray (I usually line mine with baking parchment, to prevent sticking). Bake in the pre-heated oven for around 25 minutes, until crispy and piping hot through to the centre. Once cooked, you can sprinkle with more nutritional yeast and dried chives.

These burgers taste great with a whole array of toppings. I found that avocado slices, raw grated beetroot and balsamic vinegar drizzled on top is delicious! You could also try guacamole, hummus or cheese (vegan or dairy). How about staying classic with mayo and salad? Do let us know if you find any other toppings for these beauties!