Made with natural ingredients. This is probably my favorite thing about these – you can read the short ingredient list and recognize what each ingredient is. As an example, the Shitake Mushroom burger (which was both my and my husband’s favorite) contains:
Organic cooked brown rice, organic ground raw sunflower seeds, organic carrots, organic cooked quinoa, organic cooked shiitake mushrooms, organic onion, organic garlic, sea salt.
Rich in nutrition. Each patty has at least 10% of the daily value for iron – super important for athletes (especially female athletes). If you combine this plant-based iron with a source of Vitamin C (like a glass of OJ or some bell pepper slices topping that burger), it’ll promote greater absorption. These burgers also pack a punch of fiber – 4 to 12 grams depending on flavor – which is great for digestive and heart health. And they’re a decent source of protein, particularly for those on a vegan meal plan, ranging from 7 to 12 grams per patty depending on the flavor. Protein is especially important for athletes as it promotes muscle repair and recovery.
Vegan. While I am not a vegetarian/vegan, I know the importance of a plant-based diet and try to focus on plant-based meatless meals often.
Certified USDA Organic. Even though most organic plant-based products are not nutritionally different than conventional, we know that conventionally grown products contain higher pesticide residues. While I don’t personally buy everything organic, I try to get organic products when possible to reduce the number of toxins I’m exposed to. This is becoming more of a priority for me as I think about having children in the next few years.
Gluten free. I have several clients and friends that suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, and finding veggie burgers that are gluten free can be a bit of a challenge. It’s nice to know that all of the Sunshine Burgers veggie patties are free of wheat and gluten ingredients so that I'm aware of a brand I can recommend.
Free of several common allergens. For people out there that have to be mindful of ingredients due to allergens or sensitivities, these burgers are free of soy, corn, oats, dairy, eggs, and nuts.
Plus, they taste good and cook quickly in the microwave! If you’re looking for quick & easy meal options that are less processed, or struggle with dietary restrictions – I think these are probably one of the best choices I’ve seen out there for a veggie burger product.
And did you know – you can do much more with veggie burgers than just throw them on a bun? Check out this Vegan Sunshine Stir Fry Recipe that I came up with over the weekend...
Makes approximately 3 servings (I know, weird number of servings – it just worked out that way! )
4 ounces brown rice noodles
Juice of 1 lime + Juice from 1/2 lime
Handful of chopped cilantro
1 tbsp sesame oil + another 1 tbsp sesame oil
1.5 cups chopped or shredded carrots
3 stalks chopped celery
1 ½ cups green beans, chopped into 1-inch pieces (fresh or frozen)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1.5 tbsp lower sodium soy sauce + another 1 tbsp
1 tsp sriracha (or more, if you like spice) (*I've heard some brands of sriracha add shrimp paste in their ingredients - if you're vegan, double check the label)
2 chopped green onions
2 garden herb veggie patties
- Cook brown rice noodles according to package directions. When cooked, toss with juice of 1 lime and cilantro.
- While noodles are cooking, heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a skillet. Add chopped carrots, celery, and green beans to the pan and cook for about 5-8 minutes or until desired tenderness (I like my veggies a bit crunchy).
- Add rice vinegar, 1.5 tbsp soy sauce, and sriracha and stir until distributed evenly on vegetables. Add green onions and mix. Remove all and set aside in a bowl.
- Wipe out pan and then heat remaining 1 tbsp sesame oil. Add thawed garden burgers and cook for a few minutes on each side, then crumble in the pan.
- Return veggies to the pan with the garden burgers and add brown rice noodles. Add an extra 1 tbsp of soy sauce and juice of half a lime. Toss everything together until evenly distributed and heated. Enjoy!
Approximate nutrition facts (per serving): 451 calories, 11 g protein, 19 g fat, 59 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber.
To boost the protein content a bit more, next time I'd probably try this with quinoa!
- Skip the bun and create a wrap using lettuce, kale, or collard greens. Add some avocado for creaminess!
- Spice up your normal burger with new toppings! Consider different vegetables to top your burger, along with different cheeses (if you are not vegan). What about roasted red peppers and feta? Pesto and grilled zucchini?
- Make homemade mushroom sauce and serve atop the veggie burger (the Shitake Mushroom one would work perfectly here!) and mashed potatoes (made with low-fat milk rather than cream, of course).
- Create a breakfast burrito with eggs, veggie burger, and salsa, all in a whole wheat wrap.
- Consider chopping it up and using as taco filling. Combine with other vegetables in a whole-grain corn tortilla.
- Crumble the patties into your favorite spaghetti sauce or chili recipe.
If you’re interested in trying Sunshine Burgers, you can find them locally at Shaws or Hannaford. If you’re not local, use their search tool to locate a store near you.
Share with us: How do you use veggie burgers?
Disclaimer: I was provided with 6 packages of free Sunshine Burgers in order to review the product. I received no other compensation for this post. As always, all opinions expressed are my own and I only support brands that I believe in.