Sweet Potato Burger

The weather is warm and the dog days of summer are underway in our little corner of the world, and it seems that everyone is looking toward the 4th of July. Whether you’re celebrating at the beach, our famous Wyomissing Parade or with fireworks at the Reading Phillies, chances are your star-spangled celebration includes a burger. The only thing you’ll be missing with my veggie version of a summer burger is the heartburn and bloated feeling that sometimes follows those picnics!

Did you know that it’s commonly known in China that worry and anxiety causes gray hair? In actuality, that’s not even the worst effect of worry; worry accelerates aging in general because it weakens the blood stream which carries nutrients necessary for cell regeneration. When you are relaxed, your body functions the way it is supposed to. Eating meals with a simple combination of whole, plant-based foods helps to support a less busy mind, especially in the current state of anxiety and chaos that seem to exist everywhere you look. I encourage you to entertain the idea of preparing a tray of plant-based burgers this holiday. You might be surprised at how shifting your perspective just a little will have a significant impact on your health.

Simply being mindful of the health-inducting, nutrient packed alternatives will help you overcome the desire to indulge in something you might regret later. This delicious sweet-potato based veggie burger packs a healthful punch, and did I mention whole grain, vegan, oil free, and gluten free? That’s right, the A-list ingredients will help you keep fit in body, mind, and spirit. I’m not a fan of black beans in veggie burgers. I like to eat my Mexican food on taco night and keep my burger tasting not so black-beany, so I’m using chick-peas in this recipe. You can use white beans, or use black beans if you prefer a more robust flavor.

1 medium sweet potato, baked and skin peeled off (tip: for fast results, put it in the microwave for about 9 minutes instead of the oven)
1 cup chick peas
1/2 red onion
1/2 cup chopped spinach (or any green)
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. chipotle powder
salt and pepper to taste
toppings: avocado, onion, tomato, burger bun of choice

I like to saute the onion and seasonings while the sweet potato is baking. Once the sweet potato is finished, combine all ingredient in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency. You can form the burgers and place them on parchment paper in the oven to brown or saute in a little coconut oil on the stovetop. Here’s a little tip…prepare these at least a day ahead and refrigerate for best results. If you plan to warm them on the grill, be sure to use a tray under them so they don’t fall apart!

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