The impossible dream?
Does the new meat-free patty pass the healthy swap test?
Guest Columnist Published: 10/11/2019
One of the kings of fast-food recently added a meat-free option to its menu known as the Impossible™ Whopper®.
This plant-based patty has zero meat and guests can even request a non-broiler method of preparation.
But don’t get too excited.
The new Impossible™ Whopper® has roughly the same amount of calories (630) as the traditional Whopper® (660) and both burgers have the same amount of fat (34 grams) and protein (25 grams).
Another big surprise: The Impossible™ patty has nine more grams of carbohydrates and sodium than its beef counterpart, which definitely does not fall into the healthy swap category. Clearly, hype isn’t always healthy!
For all the vegetarians and vegans out there, be sure to ask for your Impossible™ patty to be cooked in the oven versus on the grill with its beefy counterpart. Also, don’t forget to skip the mayo and cheese if you are vegan.
If you’re still in search of a plant-based burger, you don’t need to go any further than the frozen-food section of your local supermarket. Many of these brand-name products – including Dr. Praeger’s® California Veggie Burger or Amy’s® Sonoma Veggie Burger – are low in calories and fat and are easy to prepare when time is limited.
Of course, you can always make your own plant-based patty from scratch, using black beans, sweet potato, oatmeal or chickpeas. Check out one of my favorite recipes below:
Black Bean Patty
1 16 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce or hot sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs
- If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and lightly oil a baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty.
- In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion and garlic. Then stir into mashed beans.
- In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin and chili sauce.
- Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into four patties.
- If grilling, place patties on foil and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on a baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes on each side.
Guest columnist Diana Rosito, BS, is a wellness coach at the Y Healthy Living Center at Baptist North. For more nutrition education, wellness coaching or to find out how to receive a free biometric screening, please make an appointment to see a wellness coach at any of the five Baptist Y Healthy Living Centers.