Want a great veggie burger option? Trying to get more ancient super grains in your diet? Try these Black Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers!
Why Eat More Quinoa?
If you could put a cape on some grains and call them super, quinoa is definitely one I’d nominate! Revered by the Incas as the “mother grain,” quinoa has a lot to offer:
- Twice as much protein as an cereal grain
- All nine essential amino acids
- Rich in lysine (which maintains healthy blood vessels)
- High in calcium
- No cholesterol
- Less than 100 calories in 1/2 cup
- Rich in iron, B vitamins, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin E
Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this grain is a great one to add to your diet.
Veggie Burger Options
I’ve tried this burger a number of different ways. This option seems to hold together and cook up well. You can vary add ins as you like and play around with how spicy or not spicy you like it. We cook some for the kids first and then add spiciness to the rest. Feel free to play around with the amounts of cayenne and hot pepper sauce. Also, the color of pepper is really your preference. I just like to get as many different colors as I can in my diet. You may also choose to use 3/4 cup vegetable broth to cook the quinoa rather than water.
- 1 cup dried black beans (or 2 cans drained)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 2 tsp salt*
- 2 tsp cumin*
- 2 tsp paprika*
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup dried rolled oats
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- olive oil
*Take note, these spices are separated in half, with 1/2 being used at one point and 1/2 at another.
Skip steps 1 and 2 below if not soaking the beans and grains. See below for why you might not want to skip those steps if you have the time.
- Rinse the quinoa very well to remove sapotin (see below). Soak the beans (go for at least 12 hours) and the quinoa (at least 2 hours) separately. You can do them both the same amount of time- all day or overnight. Make sure both are well covered in water, as they will expand. Put 2 teaspoons baking soda with the beans and 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar with the quinoa. Rinse both separately after soaking.
- Put the beans and 1 teaspoon of salt in a pot with plenty of fresh water covering them and cook for approximately 30 minutes on low, stirring occasionally. Once they start to get frothy on top, remove some of the froth and watch carefully for doneness.
- After you get the beans started, cook the onion in a saucepan with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Add the soaked, rinsed quinoa, 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp cumin, and 1 tsp paprika and toss for a few minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook till fragrant (approximately 30 seconds). Add 3/4 cups water (or vegetable broth) and cook approximately 15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
- Mash 2/3 of the beans and then add the remaining 1/3 whole beans.
- Add the cooked quinoa, 2 eggs, thawed corn, chopped pepper, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
- Add the oats. I soaked these by making the mixture a day ahead of time and letting the oats sit in the moist mix overnight. (You don’t have to do this, but see note on soaking below).
- Add the breadcrumbs, form into patties, and cook in olive oil approximately 3 minutes per side until browned and cooked through.
Why Soak Beans and Grains?
Soaking nuts, grains, and beans has been a tradition through the centuries that makes them easier to digest and more nutrient rich. Only within the last century has industrialized society started to skip this step (to save time).
Grains and legumes have a lot of phytic acid and sometimes other protective elements in them. For example, quinoa is protected from birds, insects, and predators by a sticky, soaplike coating called “sapotin.” Sapotin is bitter to the taste and mildly toxic. These protects seeds until they are ready to sprout.
Without “waking up” the seeds (by soaking, sprouting, or souring to reduce the phytic acid and other protective elements, the phytic acid can irritate our gut and reduce the body’s ability to absorb minerals and nutrients (especially iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium and phosphorus). Over time, if we are consuming all of our grains, nuts and legumes in their raw state without reducing phytic acid first, this can lead to thing like:
- Tooth decay
- Poor bone health
- Slower metabolism
- Leaky gut
Yes, it’s an extra step. However, if you plan ahead, you can get into a rhythm with this- and it will help your gut get into a rhythm with you. Plus, you can always prepare extra for other recipes, like I did when I prepared the beans for this recipe, the Black Bean and Corn Salad Recipe, and for refried beans for taco night.
How Do I Soak Them?
How long should they soak? Weed’em and Reap has a great guide for how long to soak grains and nuts here. Here is what to generally soak them with to help break down the seed and make the vitamins and minerals bio-available. Soak:
- Grains with 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar per cup of water
- Nuts with salt
- Beans with baking soda for 12-24 hours in hot (not boiling water)
Understanding Bean Amounts
A 16 ounce bag of beans is the same as 2 cups. It’s safe to say that 1 cup of dry beans equals about 3 cups when cooked. So, if you cook a 16 oz bag of dry beans, you’ll end up with about 6 cups of beans.
When I made this recipe, I cooked 3 cups of dry beans and ended up with about 9 cups of cooked beans. I put 3 cups in this recipe, 4 cups in the Black Bean and Corn Salad recipe, which we had for our side with the burgers, and the rest I froze for refried beans for next taco night.
Enjoy the Burgers!
Eat them as you would any other burger- as a sandwich or alone. Avocado, tomato, and lettuce are great with these!
Want More Like This?
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Here are some other recipes and resources you might like:
- Quinoa- Another Super Grain
- What’s All the Fuss About Chia Seeds?
- Black Bean and Corn Salad
- Weed’em and Reap Soaking Guide
Picture note: We devoured the big burgers that looked the tastiest before I thought to snap a picture. It really tastes better than this one looks :).
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