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Healthy Burger Options

September 26, 2014

beefcattleThere are many options for burger besides just beef. While beef is very popular there are other healthy choices as well.

One of the tastiest burgers can come from a mixture. Combine equal parts ground lamb, ground turkey and ground pork or beef. Typically the lamb and turkey is much leaner, and the combination with a BBQ or steak sauce mixed in is a tasty summertime treat. Add in an egg and oatmeal for meatloaf burgers. Cook well but don’t overcook, especially on the grill.

Ground lamb is often overlooked but is a mild tasting burger that many like. An average 3 ounce serving of ground lamb – about the size of a deck of cards – has 241 calories and is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. It also has the correct ratio of essential amino acids. The cholesterol is comparable in lean lamb to skinless chicken breast.

Many also have found a fondness for ground bison or elk meat. Bison is a very lean meat, meaning you don’t want to overcook it or it dries out. Grass fed cooked bison has 179 calories and can be prepared many of the same ways as ground beef.

Although the world’s most popular meat, goat does not find as much favor in the US. This is a shame as goat – the meat sometimes called cabrito or chevon – is very versatile in a variety of dishes and ethnic meals.

Ground turkey can be another low calorie burger. I find the leanness of ground turkey means it’s easy to burn and dry out. It’s also somewhat bland – this is a meat to use the bold burger recipes with peppers, garlic or onions on! Bring out the bold BBQ sauces, the cheese with a kick and grill up a treat.

Ground rabbit is another lean, mild and heart healthy meat. It’s low cholesterol and many think it is more filling than some other meats. Like turkey, don’t be afraid to go for the bold tasting burgers.

Of course ground meat isn’t just burgers. These meats also serve well for meatballs in spaghetti and other pasta dishes. Make stuffed burgers with cheese inside rather than outside the meat patty. Especially on lean cuts this is a great way to add flavor.

Experiment with combinations of these meats depending on availability. Ground pork is often overlooked as it’s more familiar seasoned as sausage than fresh (unseasoned) ground pork. If the turkey or rabbit is too lean for your tastes mix 50-50 with ground pork which adds to the flavor while reducing the fat – naturally!

Any of these are great choices for the consumer who wants something different than beef or who for whatever reason wishes to reduce or avoid beef. There are alternatives worth experimenting with! Try one today!

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