For National Cheeseburger Day: Healthy Burger Hacks

September 18, 2018  |  
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national cheeseburger day 2018 large cheese bacon burger

I’ve always loved a good burger. I just think it’s such an efficient and delicious delivery system for nutrients—if you make it the right way. I love how creative you can get with burgers, from the bun itself to the main source of protein to the condiments and even the sides. Burgers have come a long way since the little sandwiches of white bread and mystery meat served up at drive thru’s and fast food chains fifty years ago. The word burger doesn’t have to be synonymous with unhealthy or cheat day (which are problematic in their own right). All you need to make a burger, really, is a main source of protein, and two things to hold it together. What you do in between is your business. Well, we are making it our business on National Cheeseburger Day. Here are yummy, healthy hacks to make a better burger.

cooking with herbs and spices bowl with chilis, Capsicum annuum spicy food

Spice up your patties

Get some spice in your burger by adding Anaheim chilis, jalapenos, or curry directly into the patty. Spicy foods have a way of curbing your appetite, and, because you need to take it slow on the stuff (due to your mouth being on fire), you won’t scarf it down. It’ll also drive you to reach for your water more, filling you up on liquids.

national cheeseburger day 2018 of Greek Yogurt

Use Greek yogurt instead of mayo

Instead of mayonnaise, reach for Greek yogurt for your creamy condiment. You’ll get a boost of calcium and added protein. You can also use guacamole instead of mayonnaise for some healthy fats.

national cheeseburger day 2018 Taken In Manila, Philippines

Scoop the bread from the bun

You can still use your favorite, all white bun that you loved in childhood, just scoop some of the bread out, leaving mostly the outer part. This removes empty carbs and makes more room for healthy toppings like sautéed vegetables and lettuce.

national cheeseburger day 2018

Try salsa instead of ketchup

Try salsa, rather than ketchup, for your tomato fix. Not only is it almost sugar-free, but its tomatoes also boost a high water content that can help fill you up.

national cheeseburger day 2018 salad in a square white plate on a white tablecloth

Put your salad in your burger

Whether it’s a kale salad with shredded carrots, spinach salad with sunflower seeds, or Caesar salad, pile it right on top of your burger. And then, also, still have it as a side. The more veggies you consume, the less hungry you’ll be for extra servings of bread and meat.

national cheeseburger day 2018 on burger

Add slaw

Add healthy (read: vinegar based and not mayo-based) coleslaw to your burger. You’ll get a nice crunch and you’ll get the probiotic benefits of the pickled food.

national cheeseburger day 2018 up of oatmeal flakes in wooden spoon on white background

Add oats to your meat

If you’re making your own meat patties, mix in some oat bran. It’s a sneaky way to get more fiber, without altering the flavor of your food.

national cheeseburger day 2018 Burger mit Spiegelei, frischen Zutaten und Saucen arrangiert auf Holz

Make it with lean meat

Look for 90 percent lean meat. You can go with beef, chicken, or turkey—just make sure to get the lean stuff. Even turkey—though a great red meat substitute—when high in fat, can be bad for you, so don’t assume poultry is always the better choice.

national cheeseburger day 2018 patty with tomato

Watch the serving size

In restaurants, you may find mounds of meat so tall you can barely bite them without the whole burger falling apart. You don’t need that—you only need about four ounces of meat in a meal.

national cheeseburger day 2018 burger

Or go meatless

There are so many delicious ways to make a patty without meat. Try quinoa, black bean, lentil, or brown rice burgers. Then, of course, there is the Impossible or Beyond burger.

national cheeseburger day 2018 portobello mushrooms, topped with cheese and baked

Use mushrooms instead of buns

Swap out the buns and swap in Portobello mushrooms. They’re much lower in carbs, and add nutrients, fiber, and a high water content.

national cheeseburger day 2018 veggies

Add chopped veggies to your patty

When making your own meat patties, sneak in chopped veggies. You can get finely diced onions, zucchini, mushrooms, or carrots in there and you won’t even notice the flavor difference.

national cheeseburger day 2018äseplatte, Studio – Cheddar, Tete Moine, Gorgonzola, Ziegenkäse, französischer Schafkäse, Butterkäse, Schimmelkäse, Schmelzkäse mit Walnüssen, Pfefferkäse, Handkäse, Gouda, Parmigiano, Weintrauben, Walnüsse, Frühlingszwiebeln

Go for strong, but less, cheese

If you must have cheese, go for the more potent stuff—you’ll get more flavor, with less. Try Gouda, blue cheese, or parmesan. If you just want lots of cheese, go for low-skim mozzarella.

national cheeseburger day 2018 made zucchini fries

Make veggie fries

We haven’t forgotten about the sides! But instead of potato fries, try making vegetable ones like zucchini, string beans, or even beet.

national cheeseburger day 2018 vegetable, plants growing in greenhouse, poly-tunnel.

Eat your pickles

Say yes to big spheres of pickles. Most contain zero calories, and they introduce probiotics into your system that will help you better digest your food.

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