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Thrive Burgers: Good Clean Fun

July 14, 2010

A good vegan burger is not always the easiest thing to come by. Many of the frozen store-bought brands can taste bland in my experience, and the ones that don’t are often full of not-so-wholesome synthetic ingredients. Homemade burgers, on the other hand, are not all that simple to make, especially when it comes to finding the right binder to make everything hold together. And in both cases, vegan burgers can often come out tasting a little too meat-like for my tastes. So I was really excited to try out one of Brendan Brazier‘s “Thrive Diet” burgers the other night. For those that don’t know, Brendan Brazier is a vegan Iron-Man triathlete, who is chock full of nutritional and athletic wisdom (as well as delicious recipes). I’ve had lots of luck with his recipes before, and I was confident that his spin on burgers would be something special.

The burger I decided to try out was his Almond Flaxseed Burger, and it was not at all what you’d call a traditional burger. First, it consisted of only five ingredients: primarily almonds and flaxseed, and then some liquids and oil. No soy, no vital wheat gluten, no textured vegetable protein—just simple, unprocessed, whole food ingredients. Second, it was all assembled in my blender in a matter of, oh, one minute, and didn’t even need to be cooked afterward! All I needed to do after blending was shape the mixture a bit in my hands, and I was very happy to see that my patties held together quite well. Here’s how one of them turned out:

So how did I decide to enjoy my wacky raw vegan patties? On my first night with them I chose to crumble one up into a salad. Not exactly the most common to eat a burger, but I was a little hesitant to just eat one of these guys raw right off. Thankfully, the salad idea turned out amazing. Along with some sweet potato and avocado, this was one hearty salad, but I savored every second of it.

The next night I decided to go more classic and make myself a burger sandwich. I also decided to bake my burger this time, as well—not because I was at all disappointed in how the raw burger turned out, but because I didn’t really want to eat a coolly refrigerated patty on toast and I was curious to see how it would taste baked. Fortunately, it was really good, albeit not significantly different. Paired with some Black Russian bread and spicy mustard, this was quite the treat:

So what’s my final verdict on these Thrive Burgers? They definitely get two thumbs up in my book. What I liked most about them was how they didn’t try to imitate traditional burgers at all and instead were happy being their own unique sort of patty. Of course, this did mean that they didn’t taste much like your average burger, so if you’re looking for a good vegan burger imitation, this is not it. But if you’re in the mood for a healthy, wholesome raw twist on the average burger, look no further than this.

Until we eat again,

Willie

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