Every now and then I like to experiment with a new veggie burger, and especially with summer and barbecue season coming soon, a smoky black bean burger was something I had to try. Adding fiber and protein-packed ingredients such as beans, chickpeas or quinoa to your veggie burgers not only guarantees a nice texture, but also promises a satiating and guilt-free meal.
These smoky burgers combine three of the most nourishing plant-based ingredients – black beans, quinoa and sweet potato. I have a love affair with canned black beans lately, because my time is very limited nowadays and I don’t always manage to find the time to soak and cook the beans.
A good quality can of beans is a life saver, as you can easily throw them into a salad or a quick stew, adding more fiber, protein and minerals to your meals. Also, the fiber in black beans nourishes the good bacteria in your colon, lowering the risk of chronic disease and stimulating the immune system while also regulating the blood sugar levels.
Sweet potato is also a staple ingredient in my kitchen, and when I don’t add them to stews and curries, I like to have them roasted in the oven with chili flakes and corn meal for some texture. For these burgers I used them twice – first for making the patties and second for assembling the veggie burgers.
Sweet potatoes abound in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory beta-carotene and are also a good source of copper and manganese, both involved in the natural detoxification processes within our bodies. The antioxidants in sweet potato lower the health risk involved by the presence of free radicals and heavy metals. Plus, I love their creaminess and rich taste!
Another interesting fact about this recipe is that it is the first time I made black burger buns with activated charcoal. I’ve read about it a while ago and I loved the way they look, but it was the charcoal effect that really interested me. I try to stay away from bread combinations because I gain weight very easily but also because my digestion seem to have a hard time processing them.
Adding activated charcoal seemed to be a game changer for digestion (not for my weight, unfortunately), and I didn’t feel bloated nor low-energy after having these burgers. This is because charcoal has a negative electric charge that attracts gas and byproducts of ingredients causing discomfort, like wheat does for me.
I still need to experiment more with the proportions,as I intended to obtain a much darker bun, but I am definitely happy with its digestive soothing effects.
If you like a good, juicy, veggie burger make sure you check out my other recipes: Black Bean Burger with Avocado, my very popular Beets Burger – The Ultimate Veggie Burger or my adaptation of Jamie Oliver’s Vegan Burger.
- For the patties
- 1 can cooked black beans (about 1 cup), drained
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- ½ sweet potato, peeled and grated
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp red chilli flakes
- 2 tsp toasted sesame
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Olive oil, to drizzle
- For the black bun
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp activated charcoal
- ½ cup warm almond milk
- Pinch sea salt
- Nigella seeds, to decorate
- To assemble the burger: roasted sweet potato fries, Dijon mustard, cucumber ribbons, fresh greens, sliced radishes
- *the nutritional values are for the patties only
- Preheat the oven to 200C/392F.
- In a medium bowl mix the flour with charcoal, salt and baking soda.
- Gradually add the warm almond milk, mixing to obtain a thick batter.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and evenly scoop the batter to obtain two round buns.
- Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle the Nigella seeds on top and bake for 20 mins.
- Remove from the oven and keep in a warm place, covered with a clean towel.
- While the buns are in the oven, prepare the patties.
- Add the black beans into a large bowl and crush them with a fork to obtain a chunky mixture.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix to combine (I used my hands to mix everything well).
- Shape the mixture into little patties and line them on the baking sheet.
- Lower the oven heat to 175C/346F.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then flip over and cook 10 minutes more.
- Remove from the oven, assemble the burger and serve warm.