Take a look at most healthy diets and you’ll notice that they all include a good bit of nuts and seeds. While delicious, their inclusion isn’t just for flavor. It’s for the myriad of health benefits nuts and seeds offer our bodies.
Nuts and seeds are usually regarded as separate foods, but they are in fact one in the same. Nuts are simply the single seed of a fruit (1). Essentially, nuts are a type of seed, so for the purposes of this discussion, let’s call a seed a seed.
Black Bean Burger Lettuce Wraps with Lime Avocado Mash
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- 2 Tbsp Spectrum Organic Ground Chia Seeds + 6 Tbsp water
- 1 1/2 cup Eden Organic Black Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 t Frontier Co-Op Organic Cumin
- 2 Tbsp Food 2 Live Organic Walnuts
- 2 Tbsp Nutiva Organic Hemp Seeds
- 2 Tbsp Food To Live Organic Flaxseed
- 1/2 cup Anthony’s Organic Almond Flour
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 lime, juiced & zested
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped and divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 leaves lettuce
- Preheat oven to 350F
- In a small bowl, combine ground chia seeds and water to make chia egg then set aside to thicken for 10 minutes
- In a food processor or blender, combine black beans, onion, garlic, cumin, walnuts, hemp seeds and flaxseed with 2-3 Tbsp water and pulse to combine
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Add chia egg, almond flour, and salt and pepper to taste to black bean mixture then mix to incorporate
- Shape mixture into patties and place on prepared baking sheet then bake 20-25 minutes, until cooked through
- In a bowl, smash avocado with back of a fork then mix with half of cilantro, lime juice and lime zest
- Top black bean burgers with lime avocado mash and remaining cilantro then place between lettuce leaves
- Serving Size: 1 wrap
- Calories: 292.5
- Sugar: 1.7
- Sodium: 4.1
- Fat: 17.4
- Saturated Fat: 1.5
- Unsaturated Fat: 7.9
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 26.4
- Fiber: 12.1
- Protein: 12.2
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, vegan, oil free
Seeds are calorically dense, but those calories are anything but empty. They are concentrated with healthy fats, quality protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytosterols (2). Generally, seeds contain healthy unsaturated fatty acids, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
You’ll notice we use almonds quite a bit in our recipes. That is because they have so many benefits to our health and are so versatile. Almond meal is a wonderful flour alternative, giving density and working with the chia egg to bind our burgers. Research has shown almonds have potential benefits on glycemic control, blood glucose and insulin resistance. Their heart protective benefits include a positive change in lipid metabolism and peroxidation, as well as an increase in good (HDL) cholesterol. These attributes have proven almonds to be a potential alternative to statin medications to lower cholesterol levels. And just like the walnuts in this recipe, almonds have shown potential for improved cognitive function. Walnuts also have similar cardiovascular benefits and positive effects on lipid profiles (2).
Nuts stand out from the rest of their seed family in their high content of tocopherols, which are the main component of Vitamin E. Vitamin E has a very high antioxidant capacity, fighting free radicals and oxidative stress. Because of this activity, it has possible applications in the treatment of diseases like cancer and arthritis (3). But the other seeds are not without antioxidant potential. In fact, all seeds are high in phytosterols, which serve to build the cell membranes of seedlings. These compounds also fight free radicals and oxidative stress (1).
We absolutely love using either chia or flaxseed to make a vegan egg alternative. When ground, these seeds can combine with water to make an egg-like paste that work great to bind foods, like these burgers. We’ve also included hemp seeds in our burger. Working together, this trifecta of seeds offers incredible heart healthy benefits.
The carbohydrate profile of seeds include slow-release carbs and high dietary fiber. This fiber helps slow digestion, increase satiety and feed the happy bacteria in your gut. Intake of dietary fiber has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease (1).
As if all of these benefits aren’t enough to make you grab a handful of seeds right away, seeds are also a wonderful source of high quality plant protein. Increased consumption of plant protein, but not animal protein, has been associated with a reduction in heart disease (1).
We like Eden Organic Black Beans because they are packed with kombu, a carminative that helps break down some fibers in black beans to make them more digestible. Always be sure to rinse your canned beans well. If you’re sensitive to lectins, try pressure cooking your beans first. For more info on how to make beans easier to digest, check out this blog.
If you’re on a lower fat diet, go light on or skip the avocado mash. The burgers are great with or without it!