Lettuce Alternative For Burgers: Other Greens That Go With Buns
There’s no doubt that lettuce is the most common green you see in burgers. And it’s mostly because fast-food chains and eateries use it because it’s cheap and easy to store.
But business and commerce aside, what other leafy toppings can you add to your burger besides lettuce?
You’ll be glad to know there are a whole lot of alternatives that don’t compromise on taste or nutrition.
Whether it’s the vitamin-rich spinach, the mildly spicy mizuna, or the ever-versatile kale, your homemade burger need not go for a generic Iceberg lettuce every time.
Even the colorful radicchio or the peppery watercress can add new taste and flavor to the sizzling beef between the buns.
Why do these veggies make a good lettuce alternative for burgers? Let’s find out!
Spinach is seriously a powerhouse of nutrition, even among green vegetables. So, it’s no wonder why a classic, beloved cartoon sailor couldn’t get enough of it!
You get more than half of your daily Vitamin K1 requirements from spinach. It’s also rich in Vitamins A and C.
Added to this is the rich supply of iron and calcium you get from this nutritious green.
Did we mention Vitamins E, B6, and B9? What about the potassium and magnesium that’s included in every leaf of spinach?
All in all, you’ll have a hard time finding a single lettuce alternative that has this many nutrients packed in.
It really makes you feel a tad better for indulging in that juicy beef.
The fresh and slightly sweet taste should go well with any burger to start with. But if you cook it slightly, you’ll also get a more robust flavor.
You can chop the stems and discard them before putting them in. If you have some fresh baby spinach, lay them evenly over your cheese and patty for that fresh tinge.
Mizuna is a type of mustard green that comes with high levels of antioxidants and are low in calories. You may mostly see this one as a salad ingredient in restaurants.
But they make a great addition to any burger.
Two cups of your average mizuna come with vitamins A, C, and K. The vitamin A content is way more than your average daily need. It also has a touch of calcium and iron.
With 2gms of protein and 21 calories, it has all the goods with none of the liabilities.
Antioxidants like Kaempferol and Quercetin present in mizuna are known to protect cells from damage.
Mizuna has an unmistakable flavor that’s peppery and clear. Some people may even prefer this tinge compared to other bland veggies.
But if you don’t want slightly bitter streaks in your burger, this one may not be for you.
This cruciferous leaf comes with tons of vitamins and minerals that make it great for fresh salads, healthy sandwiches, and, yes, tasty burgers!
Whether it’s Curly Kale or Russian Kale, this ruffle-looking leaf will go well with any burger.
If your kale is raw, even a whole cup comes with barely 30 calories and 7gms of protein.
Granted, that’s slightly higher than some of the other veggies here. But compared to the buns and beef, they’re negligible.
You’ll find the usual green leafy vitamins A, B6, K, and C. Plus, its rich mineral count includes manganese, copper, potassium, and copper.
Touted as a diabetic-friendly veggie, it’s a staple choice for health-conscious people who enjoy a good burger once in a while.
You can steam, roast, or stir-fry kale according to taste and preference. But we recommend adding it raw to your patty since there’s already enough oil in the mix.
The crunchy and earthy taste will complement the greasy richness of the beef.
If you want a dash of color to a greasy burger, radicchio is an excellent choice. It’s not a widely used leaf for burgers, but it adds both hue and taste to your food.
The red leaves with white veins are unmistakable ingredients in Italian cuisine, and you owe it to yourself to give this fresh veggie a try.
Radicchio, being of Mediterranean origin, is filled with nutrients. Its mineral content covers everything from calcium and iron to sodium and zinc. It’s also rich in vitamin A and K.
One cup of radicchio barely has any calories (9gms), fat (0.1gms), and sugar (0.2gms). It’s also rich in phytonutrients that help in digestion and intestinal health.
Radicchio comes with a bitter taste owing to its unique chemical composition. While some dishes make the most of this sourness, others don’t go well with it.
You can add it raw if you enjoy the biting taste. Alternatively, you can cut and soak in water or lightly stir-fry to remove some of the acidic taste.
Watercress is a plant that comes with small, round, and leafy trails, and it’s among the most underrated veggies. Back in the 1800s, it was considered a weed in Europe.
But today, this nutrient-rich green is found all over the world.
One cup of watercress has more than enough vitamin K for your day’s needs. But it also comes with vitamins A, C, and considerable fiber.
This vegetable also has traces of riboflavin and thiamine, both chemicals that help regulate the body.
With pantothenic acid, sodium, and phosphorous, the nutrient tree is complete with this one vegetable in your diet.
Watercress has a peppery taste that supplements the intense flavors brought by the meat. You can decrease its intensity by light frying, but we recommend keeping it as it is.
The best way to enjoy it is to use it as garnish on your burger.
The burger can be a light snack or a heavy meal depending on how you prepare it. And while the lettuce is a classic favorite, there are enough alternatives that do the job just as well.
Instead, adding spicy and peppery notes with watercress or radicchio can create a whole new homemade recipe.
If you want to go traditional, good old spinach or kale will give you all the nutrition without missing out on any of the freshness.