Mushrooms in Your Burger? Try This to Cut Calories, Fat Without Sacrificing Flavor

March 16, 2015

Find out how the Mushroom Blend can increase the nutrition of your meals without compromising on flavor.

Mushrooms are an amazing food with many cooking possibilities, flavors and huge health benefits. The Mushroom Council recently innovated a new culinary technique known as the Mushroom Blend. The blend was developed in partnership with chefs and dietitians and calls for adding chopped fresh mushrooms, which look, taste and perform like meat, to ground meat in common recipes to make everyday dishes more healthful and delicious; a dietary move inline with the proposed 2015 Dietary Guidelines. 

The mushroom meat umami synergy is key because recipes can be adapted to include more vegetables, reduce calories as well as sodium and fat without sacrificing flavor. Think of burgers, meatballs, tacos, meatloaf – all of America’s iconic foods. And, since you’ll be buying less meat, you’ll save money too!

The blend is supported nationwide by the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA). PHA believes the blend is a tangible method to make the healthy choice the easy choice to help reduce childhood obesity. Currently four million students enjoy lunches with the blend across hundreds of school districts nationwide. At least half of the top US chain restaurants use mushrooms as a solution to calorie, sodium and flavor challenges. 

In fact, in 2014, 45+ restaurants served blend menu items; and 25+ colleges served the blend in campus cafeterias. Stanford University has incorporated blend recipes into their Performance Dining Meal Plan for student athletes. 

What’s so great about mushrooms? Mushrooms are low in calories and provide important nutrients such as selenium – an antioxidant mineral that works to protect body cells from damage that might lead to heart disease, some cancers and other diseases of aging; potassium – which aids in the maintenance of normal fluid and mineral balance, helping to control blood pressure; riboflavin – a B vitamin that helps maintain healthy red blood cells, and niacin - another B vitamin which promotes healthy skin and makes sure the digestive and nervous systems function properly.

In addition, mushrooms are also a unique source of Beta-glucans, which have shown significant immune-stimulating effects, contribute to resistance against allergies, and may also participate in physiological processes related to the metabolism of fats and sugars in the human body. The beta-glucans contained in oyster, shiitake and split gill mushrooms are considered to be the most effective.

Try out the blend for yourself!

Blended Classic Beef Burgers

Yield: 6 (1/3lb.) patties

1/2 lb. mushrooms, finely chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
6 hamburger buns
Toppings: Lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, pickles

Place the mushrooms in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until finely chopped.

In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook chopped mushrooms until brown and most moisture has been released, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside to let cool.

In a large bowl combine mushrooms, beef, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs and egg; mix all ingredients until incorporated. Form into 6 patties and cook either on the barbecue or on the stove-top until internal temperature reaches 160°F.

Place patty on warmed bun and top with lettuce, tomato and red onion.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 350, Total Fat: 14 g, Saturated Fat: 5 g, Cholesterol: 80 mg, Sodium: 350 mg,
Total Carbohydrate: 33 g, Dietary Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 6 g, Protein: 22 g

Info and recipes courtesy of the Mushroom Council.