We love barbecues. The smell of the grill, the taste of the fresh cooked food and the fun of sharing with friends. That being said, being a health-nut, vegetable eating, conscientious eater took us off of many of the invite lists. To change that we started trying many different recipes that were not only delicious to eat, but made others want to have some, too.
Black bean burgers fit that category exactly! Problem was that many recipes had some design flaws – bland, fell apart easily, didn’t store well, too difficult to make, etc.
We needed something quick, easy and mouth watering delicious. Bingo! Fifth try (this recipe) was exactly what we were wanting. Not only do they have that barbecue, smoky chipolte taste, but they also keep their shape and have a density to them that makes biting into a burger what you remembered it to be.
Of course we tried these with our non-vegan friends…and the result was they loved them better than their meat burgers!
I’m telling you – these burgers are so good you are going to want them every weekend. They can be eaten plain on a bed of lettuce, covered in bbq sauce on our gluten free bun, topped with Dijon mustard and rolled with sliced veggies in a wrap, or even cold, crumbled on a salad. Yum!
Cook time depends on what you have already prepared. We like to cook farro, quinoa and baked sweet potatoes and freeze them for quicker recipe making. You can also use canned sweet potatoes but they will need to have some of the water drained from them. To do this just layer 6-8 paper towels on a pile and simply pour the sweet potatoes on top of them. Spread the mixture out gently and let sit for 5 -10 minutes to let the towels absorb the excess liquid. The sweet potatoes just roll right off the towels when you need them. If your using canned sweet potatoes, this step is important or your burgers will be too soft.
To roast sweet potatoes turn the oven on 400 degrees. Place a sheet of parchment paper in your baking dish or baking sheet. Slice the potatoes down the center lengthwise and place them on the sheet cut side down. Roast them in the oven until you can press them down when you touch them - about 30 - 35 minutes. To quick cool, take them from the oven and drop them into ice water for a minute. Their skins should slide right off. Chop up the inside of the potato into cubes and place these in a food processor or blender. Blend them until into a puree until they are smooth with only a few lumps left. Cover and set aside in a bowl until ready to use.
If you don't have quinoa, farro, millet or organic brown rice on hand, then you will need to cook some according to the directions on the packs. Any of these grains will work with the burgers. Our suggestion is to make extra and freeze it in containers so you have some on hand for the next go at these burgers.
Once these steps are done, your ready to put the burgers together. Place the oatmeal in a blender and blend for 20 - 30 seconds until it is chopped into smaller bits - don't let it go too fine because the larger pieces help hold the burger together.
In a large mixing bowl or food processor, place the sweet potatoes puree, cooked grains (farro, millet, quinoa or rice), drained black beans, onion, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, chipolte and/or smoked paprika, cayenne and salt and pepper. Blend on low in your food processor or mixer, or use a big spoon and stir and mash until everything is well blended.
Now add the chopped oats and blend until everything begins to stick together and hold its shape. If you have time, cover and refrigerate the mixture until you are ready to cook the burgers. If not, scoop out the amount of mixture for the size you want your patties to be. We make ours around 1/2 - 2/3 cup size. Shape the patty into a burger shape gently flattening and pressing in the sides to make sure it is a firm shape. Shape all of your mixture into patties.
Now is the time you need to decide how you want to cook them. Best way - grill them on a flat barbecue grill until both sides are browned and the inside of the burger is steaming hot. Second best way, but not our healthiest way, cook them in a ceramic or steel frying pan over medium heat. For this way you will need to add some non-stick spray or 1 Tbsp of avocado or coconut oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side, or until browned and cooked throughout. Healthiest way - cook them in your oven. Place burgers on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Cook at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Flip the burgers at 15 minutes to ensure both sides get evenly browned.
Best part - you get to decide how to serve them - our preferred is on our homemade gluten free toasted buns (see link above for recipe )with Dijon mustard, lettuce, onion, tomatoes and avocado. Enjoy!