Every once in a while Nick and I are in the mood for a juicy burger (ok, I’ll be honest, if I could eat a burger every day and it was healthy, I’d do it, in a heart beat). I do prefer beef burgers, but for less saturated fat and cholesterol (if you buy the extra lean breast meat) turkey burgers can be incredibly satisfying. And since it’s grilling season you might be interested in the fact that poultry has less heme iron, which may be beneficial when it comes to nitrites and nitrates (apparently the heme iron interacts with nitrates and nitrites, even those found naturally in our food, to produce carcinogens….who knew!? And, poultry produces less carcinogenic HCAs, which you can read more about here).
The key to a good turkey burger is to make sure it stays juicy. You see, when you make a beef burger you can eat it medium or even medium-rare, and unless your immune-system is slightly compromised, you aren’t really putting yourself at risk for food-borne illness. With poultry burgers, the story is a bit different, you have to cook it all the way to 165 degrees. That’s what makes creating a juicy turkey burger very difficult. The meat is already pretty lean with very little fat, especially if you are using the white meat, and then you have to cook it all the way and that can often mean dryness. Blah.
I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve for how to create a juicier turkey burger, do you? I like to add ground flaxseed or smashed avocado to my turkey burgers (I add these when the turkey is raw, before I form the patties). This adds some good fat to make the burgers moist (and when I say “good fat” I don’t just mean good for you, I mean tasty!). This recipe below uses pesto with olive oil and other great flavors to add juiciness and moisture.
|Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1 burger, with bread
|Instagam! Look at those grill marks. Beautious, no??|
|In the words of Chef Ramsey “this turkey burger is cooked PERFECTLY!”|
Have you ever sent your husband or loved one to the store for groceries, only for them to come back with the wrong thing? I asked Nick to buy “Extra Lean Turkey Meat”, and he made the mistake than many people do; he assumed that all turkey meat is extra lean and that it’s all the same. This simply isn’t true. Some of the turkey meat uses different parts of the animal, such as the thigh, and therefore it contains more fat and calories. There’s nothing wrong with it, but I prefer a leaner ground turkey burger because I don’t really notice a big enough difference in the taste to warrant such a jump in calories and fat. So, Nick brought home the wrong turkey meat and I ended up making burgers that were half lean and half extra lean ground turkey. Check out how ugly it is!
** NOTE: low FODMAPs diet be aware that most hot sauce contains garlic and/or onion. You may want to omit this from the recipe, or just use less. Also, portobello mushrooms contain polyols, so you may not want to eat these (or just have a very small amount). Lastly, look for gluten-free buns, and be careful if you’re lactose intolerant, as the feta and yogurt might upset your stomach, but most people will be able to handle the small amount of lactose in this recipe.