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Healthy and delicious, Veggie Burgers have been making their way into the hearts of people for more than 50 years. As an alternative to burgers made from meat, veggie burgers are typically healthier for the body as well as being environmentally healthy for the planet.

National Veggie Burger Day is the perfect time to enjoy this tasty food!

History of National Veggie Burger Day

The origins of the veggie burger don’t really date back that far. But the history of the veggie burger can’t really be told without noting the beginnings of its muse, the hamburger. The hamburger was born in the United States around the late 19th century and gained popularity in the 20th century due to its affordability as well as the emergence of the working class.

But when health food gurus, vegetarians and environmental activists got involved, the veggie burger was created to offer the concept of the hamburger without as many negative effects.

Veggie burgers started out as a cuisine that was made in people’s home kitchens, with the first recipes for them emerging in the mid 20th century. One early cultural reference to veggie burgers was shortly after the end of World War II, in a 1948 radio drama series called Let George Do It, where a character speaks about veggie burgers made of nuts and legumes.

Eventually, these recipes for veggie burgers made their way to restaurants. The first documented restaurant to serve veggie burgers, or “Garden Burgers” on their menu was at Wenner’s, a vegetarian restaurant in Oregon in 1980.

Another contender for early restaurant veggie burgers followed close behind in 1982 in London, served at a natural foods restaurant in Paddington. This burger was appropriately named the “VegeBurger”.

National Veggie Burger Day Timeline

Late 1800s

Hamburger is invented

With vague origins, the patty of ground meat is created in the US and grows in popularity over the next two centuries.[1]

1908

International Vegetarian Union is created 

This union of national vegetarian societies aims to bring unity to the normalization of the vegetarian diet.[2]

1969

Recipes for “no meat burgers” emerge 

Perhaps for economic or health reasons, the idea for making meatless burgers at home is put into print.[3]

1980

First Veggie Burger is served in a restaurant  

Under the name of Garden Burger, the first veggie burger is served by Wenner’s vegetarian restaurant, named The Gardenhouse, in Gresham, Oregon.[4]

2002

Burger King debuts the Veggie Burger 

Ahead of its time, Burger King becomes the first fast food chain to offer veggie burgers all throughout the United States.[5]

How to Celebrate National Veggie Burger Day

Enjoy celebrating National Veggie Burger Day in a variety of ways, all of which include a healthy and environmentally beneficial plant-based meal! Get started observing the day with some of these ideas:

Host a National Veggie Burger Day Gathering

Since National Veggie Burger Day happens in the summertime for those in the northern hemisphere, it makes sense to invite over some friends and neighbors for a barbecue. But, instead of throwing a pile of meat on the grill, choose to make it a plant based celebration by putting some veggie burgers on. Plus, add some buttered buns, side dishes such as coleslaw or fries and enjoy a delicious meal.

Many companies are now making vegetable burgers that are sold in different health food stores and grocery stores all over the world. Usually they can be found in the freezer section of the supermarket. Some of the most popular brands of veggie burgers throughout the United States include:

  • Trader Joe’s Vegetable Masala Burger. Selling mostly their own brand of organic and healthy food choices, Trader Joe’s also offers other affordable veggie burger options, including the Thai Sweet Chili Veggie Burger.
  • Morning Star Farms Garden Veggie Burger. This one is easy to find in many stores, but it is notable that it isn’t vegan because it includes egg.
  • Beyond Meat’s The Beyond Burger. Made from non GMO ingredients, this veggie burger works well on the grill and even contains beet juice that makes it “bleed” like a real burger.
  • Dr. Praeger’s Kale Veggie Burgers. With nine different vegetables, this veggie burger is well loved, though a bit thin, so many people might enjoy a double version of this one.

Go Out for Veggie Burgers

Many restaurants today are getting on board with the move toward plant-based veggie burgers that are meant to be part of a healthier diet, as well as being better for the environment.

In addition to those cafes who carry only vegetarian and vegan menu items, many fast food restaurants are now offering plant-based burgers as part of their regular offerings. For those who haven’t tried one yet, National Veggie Burger Day is the perfect time to get out to one of these restaurants to try out a black bean, chickpea or other veggie burger.

Try Making Veggie Burgers at Home

Tons of recipes for veggie burgers can be found online and in a wide variety of different cookbooks, particularly those of a vegetarian or vegan nature. Plus, when these tasty patties are made at home, you can rest assured that they are fresh and don’t contain a collection of hard-to-pronounce preservatives or other strange ingredients. They’re healthy, fresh and delicious!

Creating veggie burgers might be a bit easier with a food processor, but it isn’t necessary as the ingredients can also be mashed together. Some of the most typical base ingredients for veggie burgers might include chickpeas, black beans, soybeans, brown rice, feta cheese, oat bran, oat flour, breadcrumbs, tomato paste, onion, egg, garlic, black eyed peas, and various other options.

Truly, when it comes to making veggie burgers, the key is getting the ingredients to stick together in a patty so that they can be grilled or fried. This can be done through the use of an ingredient that works as a glue, such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, egg or tomato paste.

Veggie burgers can sometimes be made better by chopping the vegetables and roasting them prior to making them into patties. This will help to remove some of the moisture and make them stick together better.

Hold a National Veggie Burger Day Cookoff

A great way to celebrate National Veggie Burger Day would be to invite a variety of friends or family members to a cookoff gathering. Depending on the workplace, it might even be possible to get permission to have a celebration with coworkers during a lunch break at the office, or schedule it as an after-work activity.

Have a few different guests bring their favorite recipe for plant based burgers and then fire up the grill to serve them at the party. (And don’t forget to have people bring delicious side dishes as well!) Other guests can act as judges for a taste test and vote to see which veggie burger is the winner!

National Veggie Burger Day FAQs

Are veggie burgers healthy?

Substituting veggies for meat should be healthy, but some veggie burgers contain high levels of sodium and saturated fat, so be sure to read the label first.[1]

Do veggie burgers have protein?

Depending on what they are made of, veggie burgers may contain quite a bit of protein, including chickpeas, black beans and nuts, all of which are chock full of protein.

What is in a veggie burger?

Veggie burger recipes , but many contain beans as well as other vegetables like sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, peas and more. Breadcrumbs may be used as a filler.

Do veggie burgers have gluten?

Many veggie burgers in grocery stores and restaurants contain gluten as they are made with fillers like breadcrumbs, wheat or barley. They can easily be made from scratch without gluten, however.[2]

How to make a veggie burger?

Make veggie burgers by combining canned vegetables, like chickpeas and sweetcorn, with seasonings such as cilantro, paprika, cumin, lemon and flour. Shape into patties and grill or fry.[3]

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