Ah, the wonders of the bean.
Full of 15 grams of protein, 15 grams of fiber with few calories and fat. Who knew this little bean had so many wonderful attributes? [source] Yet, in my home, it has magical powers as well. It can make my kids disappear faster than you can say, “Dinner’s ready”. They are not fond of the beans at all. They will eat them, when faced with the only other choice being utter starvation. Unfortunately, they have to think about that a while in order to make that decision, but I digress.
We have been searching for ways to incorporate other proteins into our diets and beans are a good source for us.
We can buy them in bulk rather cheaply, store them for longer periods of time, and we can even grow them in our garden. This makes it an easy choice to add them to our diet. Varying HOW we eat them is important, as I don’t want the kids to really get tired of them and balk even more at the thought of ingesting them. I have made them into delicious black bean brownies, beans and rice, hummus, black bean soup, and chili, but I needed something else to vary the bean intake.
So, I bring you the black bean burger.
I used my new WonderMix to make these and it was a snap! I loved the 900 watts of power that ground the beans up to the right texture in a flash. First, you start by soaking the beans overnight, just like any other bean. I used 4 cups of black beans and covered them with 10 cups of water. You’ll notice the water turning black as the beans soak. That’s what I get every time and I consider that normal. In the morning, drain, rinse and fill the pot with fresh, clear water. Set on high heat and bring to a boil, then turn down heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 3-4 hours, or until done. You can also cook them in a crockpot on low for 6-8 hours if you wish. Making them that way can allow you to make huge batches at once and freeze them into portions you need later.
Place 3 cups of the cooked beans into the blender.
A food processor will work well for this, too. I added 1 egg, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 Tablespoon ground cumin, 1 tsp chili powder and the juice of one lime. Blend in enough olive oil in order to make a thick, hummus type texture, about 1 cup. (At this point, you could put it into a bowl and serve with veggies to dip. Black bean hummus is wonderful as well.) Place in a bowl and then add 1/2 cup cornmeal (if you need gluten free) or flour. Blend together to form a thick paste.
Grab about a baseball sized amount and form into a patty.
This is the sticky part of the whole deal, but easy to do. Heat 2 tsp oil of choice (I used coconut) in a skillet. Place the formed patties in the hot oil and fry 4-5 minutes, flip, then fry 4-5 minutes on the other side. Top with cheese if desired when you flip it, to allow the cheese to melt.
Add your favorite toppings, like you would any burger.
My kids love ketchup and mustard, but relish, sauerkraut, pickles, onions, mushrooms, anything you would like. Serve on buns or on a bed of fresh garden greens. Delicious! Although, my kids still would rather have beef burgers, they do enjoy these from time to time.