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Vegetarian Burgers Delivery

The Instacart guide to vegetarian burgers

About vegetarian burgers

A vegetarian burger, also known as a veggie burger, contains no meat yet comes shaped like a burger patty and is served in the same way as a meat burger. Most veggie burgers contain plant-based ingredients, like soybeans and tofu. Other elements, like nuts, seeds, fungi, and grains, are added for filler and flavor.

The vegetarian burger has been around a lot longer than most people realize. For hundreds of years, the patties we call veggie burgers were enjoyed by various Eurasian countries. Take the kofta, for instance. Koftas are a staple food in the Middle East and India, made from meat or vegetable-based ingredients. The vegetarian versions take the ground-up ingredients and form them into patties, meatballs, or form them around skewers and then grill or fry them. 

In America, the origin of the veggie burger traces back to the early 1980s. In 1981, Paul Wenner, owner of the vegetarian restaurant The Gardenhouse in Oregon, created his own Gardenburger. Gregory Sams of London created his own VegeBurger for his natural food restaurant in Paddington in 1982. Both men may have been inspired by a 1948 episode of Let George Do It, which mentions a vegeburger made of nuts and legumes.

The making of veggie burgers begins with thoroughly washing the grains and vegetables using specialized sprayers, conveyor belts, and drums. Once clean, the grain is added to a steam-heated mixer to cook in oil, usually safflower oil. The grains are gradually added into the simmering oil, and blades mix them while they are steamed, leaving a grain puree. Any vegetables added are sliced into small pieces for easier cooking. The vegetables cook in the grain mixture. Each company has its unique blend of vegetables and grains, resulting in different textures and tastes.

While the vegetables cook, their natural sugars release and caramelize. The next step moves this mixture into another mixing tub with other ingredients, like nuts, potato flakes, oats, and more. The resulting mix clumps together similar to cookie dough and helps the ingredients retain their shape when run through a patty-making machine. At this point, the patties are baked and quick-frozen to lock in nutrients. Finally, the patties are packaged and sent out to market.

The ingredients of veggie burgers all serve a purpose. Grains provide carbohydrates and protein, as well as taste and texture. Vegetables provide nutrients and vitamins, which drastically differentiates a vegetarian burger from a meat burger. Vegetables also add flavor and texture and provide a source of moisture while cooking that helps the patties maintain form.

The addition of dry ingredients, like oats, nuts, and flour, absorbs the moisture, helps the patties maintain their shape, and adds more flavor. Some companies use stabilizers to help hold the ingredients together, like tapioca starch.

Vegetarian Burgers Near Me

Buy your favorite vegetarian burgers online with Instacart. Order vegetarian burgers from local and national retailers near you and enjoy on-demand, contactless delivery or pickup within 2 hours.

FAQs About Vegetarian Burgers

Vegetarian burgers arrive at the grocery store fully cooked but frozen. Theoretically, you can eat the frozen patty, but that wouldn't taste good or be good for your teeth. Once thawed, you can eat the vegetarian burger without cooking it, which may come in handy during a power outage. Veggie burgers, by design, are meant to be heated, preferably grilled, to bring out the flavors. Fortunately, grilling a veggie burger takes less than 10 minutes.

Yes, in nearly every way. A vegetarian burger has less fat, particularly saturated fat commonly found in beef burgers. Saturated fat contributes to harmful cholesterol levels, which can lead to heart disease if left unchecked. Veggie burgers have fewer calories than burgers made from beef, chicken, or pork. Fewer calories make vegetarian burgers an excellent addition to many diets calling for low caloric intake. 

This question depends upon your appetite. If you usually eat a quarter-pound burger, a veggie burger patty typically weighs half that. If that's the case, from a filling your stomach perspective, no. If you get full from other burger patties of the same size, a veggie burger will do the same.
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