How to shop for veggie burgers
Do you find shopping for veggie burgers confusing?
Are you looking to buy some veggie burgers now that barbecue season is in full swing? Though it doesn’t seem too difficult a task, shopping for veggie burgers can be a bit overwhelming for some of us. This section of the grocery store has really expanded over the past few years and it is hard to know which burger to buy.
When I first started eating veggie burgers many years ago, there was only one option available, Yves Veggie Burgers. Theses burgers were a little chewy but tasted okay once I added mustard, cheese and some other burger toppings. I bought them so I would have something to bring to those summer barbecues. I tried to keep a package in the freezer for when the occasion came up.
Today, however there are so many more options it can be confusing. The definition of veggie burger has really expanded too. There are bean burgers, soy burgers, quinoa burgers, sweet potato burgers, refrigerated burgers, frozen burgers. How do you choose??
Here is the way I look at the veggie burger category:
- Burgers that are supposed to taste like meat – Beyond Meat
- Burgers that mimic meat using soy – Yves, Sol Cuisine
- Burgers made with beans or legumes – Hilary’s, Sol Cuisine, Boca, Amy’s
- Burgers that just have vegetables – Wholly Veggie, Hilary’s
So, how to navigate all these options? It is tough. Once you throw in some private label brands it gets even more confusing. Really at the end of the day what you choose is based on personal preference. It is going to require some trial and error to find the ones your family likes.
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Here are a few things to consider as you stand in the grocery store:
- How many ingredients does this burger have? The fewer the better.
- What is the sodium content of this burger? No more than 10-15% per serving.
- Is the burger gluten free? If it contains vital wheat gluten it is not gluten free.
- Does the burger have carrageenan? This is a thickener that has come under some debate as to whether or not is is good for us.
- Is the burger made with MSG? This is also a controversial ingredient so best to avoid it.
- Is the burger vegan? Some contain eggs or egg whites so read labels carefully.
And the most important thing to remember is that all these burgers are highly processed so best to eat them on occasion.
There you have it. My take on veggie burgers. I admit, I do have some of these products in the fridge or freezer on occasion for those dinners when I don’t feel like cooking. But more often than not, I’ll make up a batch using quinoa or black beans. I sometimes make this recipe for Black Bean Burgers from my friend Marla. They are great with some avocado and red onions topped with some chipotle mayo.
For more tips and tricks about feeding your vegetarian don’t forget to grab a copy of Vegetarian Teen Basics For Busy Parents.