My boys love burgers, so it is my job to make sure that the ones they eat are as healthy as possible. Here, I’ve snuck in not only quinoa but ground flax seeds to create a patty that is juicy and moist. The boys have no idea they are eating a healthier beef burger.
This post was originally published February 14, 2018
Shhh! The Kids Will Never Know these are Healthy Burgers!
My boys don’t agree on much when it comes to food, but one thing they both love is burgers.
We do go out for burgers from time to time, but most of the time when they ask for burgers for dinner, I make healthy burgers at home.
There a lot of different healthy burger recipes out there, many of which are plant based.
While I love a good veggie burger, the boys are not fans. I really can’t blame them. While they can be delicious, they are all entirely different from the “real” thing.
Because I’m not the kind of mom who has the energy for food wars, I’ve let the veggie burger thing go entirely. Instead, we make this healthy burger recipe with ground beef and quinoa.
(You can also make it with ground turkey, but as you might suspect the boys love ground beef better.)
These patties have a couple of secret ingredients that no one will suspect are there. I’ve added quinoa and ground flax seeds for a punch of plant-powered nutrition. (Some say that some of the nutrition in flax is lost when you heat it. Others say no. Either way, it is still a great source of fiber – something often missing in kids diets.)
Tips for Making Healthy Beef Burgers
- When you first start to mix these, you will be thinking that there is no way you are going to get your family to eat them. But as you knead the meat to combine everything, you will find that the quinoa almost disappears. One of my boys is particularly resistant to my healthy antics in the kitchen, and even he didn’t seem to notice!
- Because the edges contract from heat, grilled burgers and bulge in the center when they cook. This can cause the edges to be dry before the thicker center cooks through. Try making a flat patty, and then creating an indentation in the middle so that the top is concave. This way, the center will end up being about the same thickness as the burgers.
- Remember – burgers always shrink when you cook them. So make your patties about 1/2 to 1 inch wider than your buns.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a grilled hamburger healthy?
While beef is more calorie dense than chicken, it still contains essential nutrients and can be part of a healthy diet. Beef is an excellent source of L-Carnitine, which plays a crucial role in fat metabolism. It contains glutathione, which is considered a “master antioxidant”. Additionally, beef is an excellent source of iron and can help to prevent iron deficiency anemia.
Why should I choose grass-fed beef?
Grass-Fed Beef is lower in both total and saturated fat than grain fed beef. Grass-fed beef has 50% more omega 3’s than grain fed, as well as higher levels of vitamin E and CLS. You can read more about the benefits of grass-fed beef here.
Why does grass-fed beef cost more?
Grass-fed beef costs up to $3 a pound more than grain-fed because it costs more to raise livestock this way. Antibiotics, hormones, and feedlot diets greatly reduce the cost of production. It can take up to a year longer to get grass-fed beef to market.
How do I know my burger is done?
I recommend using an instant read thermometer and taking the meat off the grill when you reach the numbers below. After it rests for 5 to 10 minutes, it will increase another 5 degrees.
Rare – 120 degrees F
Medium – 130 degrees F
Medium-Well – 135 degrees F
Well – 140 degrees F
Variations for This Recipe
- These healthy burgers are very kid friendly. Feel free to add in finely diced and sautéed onion if you want to kick things up a notch.
- Add 1 teaspoon minced garlic or garlic powder.
- Use BBQ sauce in place of the ketchup.
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Healthy Beef Burgers
- In a large bowl, combine ground beef or turkey, quinoa, flax seeds, ketchup, egg, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- You will need to use your hands and almost knead the dough as you would bread. (Initially, it may seem like there is too much quinoa and but as you knead it will work into the meat.)
- Form into small patties. Cook on a grill, grill pan or skillet to the desired doneness.