Prepackaged veggie burgers aren’t always the healthiest option. They’re often highly processed and include chemicals and additives that have questionable health value. Making your own vegetarian burgers is surprisingly easy and nutritionally sound, especially when you use sweet potatoes as the primary ingredient. Sweet potatoes serve a practical purpose, acting as a binder for the other ingredients. They also add substance and a subtle, irresistible sweetness to your vegetarian meal. This is on top of the health benefits that sweet potatoes give.
Preparing the Potato - Select orange sweet potatoes to make the burgers. Dark orange potatoes are typically moister and hold together better than the starchier lighter varieties. Cook the potatoes by boiling them in water, roasting them in the oven, or steaming them on the stovetop or in the microwave. Remove the skin and mash thoroughly.
Bind with Grains - Grains help thicken up the burger mixture so you can form patties more easily. Finely ground breadcrumbs, wheat flour, rice flour, quinoa flour or soy flour all work; use just a couple of tablespoons at first and add more if the batter seems too thin. Whole cooked grains, such as quinoa or brown rice, may also be mashed in with the potatoes to add texture and substance to the burger.
Flavor Enhancers - Use a food processor or a hand masher to blend in chickpeas, black beans or white beans for added protein. Minced, sauteed onion and garlic, cumin, crushed red pepper, lemon juice and black pepper all perk up the burger's flavors. Experiment with unique ingredients such as crushed peanuts, tahini and whole green peas.
Cooking and Serving - Cook the patties in an oiled saute pan over medium heat or on a flat grill. Give them time to brown deeply on each side -- about 8 to 10 minutes. Alternatively, place the burger patties on a greased baking tray and place in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes. All the ingredients are already cooked; you just want the patties to heat through and the flavors to meld. Homemade sweet potato burgers are too delicate to place on a traditional grill and will likely fall through the grates into the fire below. Serve the burgers on a soft bun with toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, avocados and ketchup. For a creative spin, top the burger with salsa verde, yogurt or a drizzle of pomegranate molasses.