I t's Independence Day, meaning fireworks and cookouts will fire up across the country. Hamburgers will be among the most popular items on the grill today since they're easy to make, economical and delicious.
But did you know they also can be a great source of many nutrients? And did you know you can make a hearty burger without many of the residual calories and fat?
If you can make a trip to the fireworks store, then you can make a list of ingredients to help you build a bigger burger that's better for you.
Part of what makes burgers fitting for Independence Day is the independent spirit of burger-making. All you need to start a burger is beef and bun. After that, choose condiments, raw vegetables, cheese, onions (raw or grilled), grilled pineapple slices, hot peppers, relishes, salsas, pickles, avocado slices, and crisp bacon slices.
Let's compare two traditional burgers, one much lower in calories and fat, higher in dietary fiber and packed with wonderful fresh flavor and the other much higher in calories and fat and lower in dietary fiber.
Let's start with the beef: Most burgers start with meat that's 80 percent lean and 20 percent fat. With that juicy, delicious piece of ground beef you also get 280 calories and 22 grams of fat. Opt for a 96 percent lean 4-ounce (raw) portion, and it drops to 140 calories and 4 grams of fat.
Use a whole wheat bun instead of white bread and you've significantly increased the dietary fiber.
But let's be honest, there will be a loss of residual fat that flavors the burger. So, how do we get bigger and better for you without losing flavor? In my family, we took 4 ounces of raw very lean hamburger and form it into two thin patties.