Whether you have any desire to go vegan or not, an absolutely GREAT book to read in terms of understanding stress and how your body deals with it and how food affects it is professional Ironman Triathlete Brendan Brazier's book THRIVE: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports & Life.
While I'm all in on smoothies or energy bars, I've put off making any of the raw burger recipies in the book. Even though no meat is involved, when I think "raw" I think of raw, red hamburger meat sitting in a pool of watery blood. Not the most enticing image to get me in the kitchen.
But last night I decided to bite the bullet and try a raw burger. Brazier gives you the option of cooking the burger at low heat for 35 minutes but notes the burgers retain more of their enzyme content (and you'll know why that's important once you read the book) when raw.
I made Almond Flaxseed Burgers and had every intention of cooking them but curiosity got the better of me and I tried a bite raw. Oh... YUM. Like, SERIOUS yum. Much, much better than I ever would have expected. For comparison sake, I also cooked two of the burgers. Here's my take on that. Eaten by themselves, the raw version wins hands down. But once I put the cooked version on a bun and added condiments, tomato, and lettuce, very good as well. The cooked version had more of the crisp outside texture you associate with a cooked burger.
Will I be making these again? You bet. Blair tried them and while he wasn't as wow'd as me, he did allow they tasted okay.
Here's the recipe:
ALMOND FLAXSEED BURGER
- 2 gloves garlic
- 1 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp coconut or hemp oil
- Sea salt to taste
Put all ingredients into a food processor. Process until well blended. Process less if you prefer a coarser texture. Form into 2 patties. (I got 3 out of it.) Serve raw or lightly cover with coconut oil and bake at 300 degrees F for 35 minutes. Alternatively, lightly fry over medium heat until golden brown, flipping once.