Eggplant is one of those ingredients that I tended to always steer away from. It just seemed like zucchini's weird cousin, that nobody wants to touch. After making this stuffed eggplant from Dishing Up The Dirt and loving it. I realized how wrong I was.
What better way to ease into eating more eggplant than with eggplant burgers? I've seen quite a lot of eggplant burger recipes around but they all seemed too overly complicated for me. I didn't want to bother having to cook the eggplant first and then mix it together with a bunch of other ingredients, just to cook it all again.
Of course, you could just add a few eggplant slices to the grill and use those in a burger but what's the fun in that?
I love, love, love chia seeds and since they are great at binding, I figured it would work great to use them to coat the eggplant. The result was surprisingly delicious :) It gives the eggplant burgers a nice crunchy texture.
First things first though. You need to pick out a beautiful eggplant to work with.
How do you choose the perfect eggplant?
- Eggplant skin should be shiny and glossy-
- Eggplant should be firm or almost hard to touch. If you press your finger against the skin, it should indent and spring back.
- The leaves on the stem end should be nice and green. Don't bother taking an eggplant with brown leaves.
- There should be no shriveling, scarring, cuts, wrinkling, or soft spots on the skin of the eggplant.
- Smaller eggplants tend to taste better than larger ones.
- Usually, a heavier eggplant tastes better.
People often think of eggplant as being very bitter but most of that bitterness comes from eggplants that are past their prime. Look over the list above before you buy eggplant to ensure you'll pick out a good one :) Most of the bitterness has been bred out of eggplants nowadays though.
What are the health benefits of eggplant?
Here's why you should add some eggplant to your diet:
- Looking to maintain a healthy weight? Eggplant is low in calories and high in water content, making it a great choice for weight management.
- Need some help with digestion? Eggplant is a good source of fiber, which can keep things moving smoothly through your digestive system. Plus, it may even help lower cholesterol levels!
- Want to give your cells some extra protection? Eggplant is rich in antioxidants, including nasunin, which can help shield your cells from damage.
- Need some brain power? Eggplant is a good source of B vitamins, including folate, which is important for brain function and can help prevent birth defects in pregnant women.
- Want to reduce your risk of chronic diseases? Some studies have suggested that eggplant may have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.
- Want to keep your blood pressure in check? Eggplant is a good source of potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure and support healthy nerve and muscle function.
So there you have it - eggplant is not only delicious, but it's also super good for you! So go ahead and add some to your meals - your body (and taste buds) will thank you.
So now that you've got your shiny, purple eggplant in your hand, you can start slicing.
I like to take the extra moisture and any bitterness (you never know!) by rubbing both sides of each eggplant slice with some salt and letting it rest on some paper towels for a few minutes.
Then, dip them in your chia seed-coconut flour mixture and fry them :)
You could just add some ketchup to your burger now but that's just boring. What do we need?
This vegan mayo is the bomb! I feel like I'm in middle school again for saying that but oh well. I've made a couple of vegan mayos before but I felt they almost always tasted cashew-y. It took me a while to find the right cashew-macadamia ratio for this vegan mayo. Once I found it though, there was no going back to a plain cashew-based mayo.
I loved slathering it onto my eggplant burger but it's also perfect for every imaginable type of sandwich. If you add a bit of hot sauce to it, it's sooo good!
And another must is the smashed avocado. Avocado seriously makes EVERYTHING taste better.
Oops...forgot to add the lettuce :D
Healthy Eggplant Burger w/ Vegan Mayo
Healthy, Chia seed crusted eggplant burger recipe topped with fresh veggies and the best homemade vegan mayo
- ⅔ cup Macadamias raw
- ⅓ cup Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- ⅔ cup Water
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- ⅔ cup Cashews raw, see Notes
- Salt to taste
- Hot Sauce optional
- 1 Eggplant washed, cut into ½ inch slices
- 2 tablespoon Coconut Flour or other flour of choice
- 2 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon Chia Seeds
- ¼ of a cup cold unsweetened Almond Milk (or other plant-based milk)
- 5 Gluten-free Burger buns toasted
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil of choice, no Olive Oil!
- 1 Red Onion sliced
- 1 Avocado smashed
- 2 Tomatoes sliced
Place all ingredients in a food processor or high powdered blender. Blend until smooth.
Add a few drops of hot sauce to make this a spicy vegan mayo.
Store in refrigerator, covered, for up to a week.
Slice the eggplant into ½" slices. Rub each slice with salt. Set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together chia seeds, coconut flour, and garlic powder. Set aside.
Rinse eggplant with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
Coat each eggplant slice by dipping it in the flour mixture. For a ticker coating, dip in flour mixture then in almond milk, and again in the flour mixture.
Fry coated eggplant in a pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and let rest on a paper towel for 5 minutes.Repeat until all eggplant slices are cooked.
Assemble burgers by spreading smashed avocado on the bottom burger bun and the vegan mayo on the top bun. Add two slices of cooked eggplant on top the avocado and top with tomato, onion, and lettuce. Place top bun on top and enjoy!
1) The nuts don't have to be soaked for the vegan mayo if you have a high-powered food processor or blender. If you're unsure then it's best to soak them for 15 minutes up to 8 hrs. The longer you let them soak the smoother the vegan mayo will be.2) If you don't have any macadamias on hand, then you can also just use cashews. I wouldn't replace them with any other kind of nut though.3) You don't need to coat your eggplant slices. For a low-cal version, grill the eggplant slices.
Maria G. says
Thank you for sharing the recipe for your vegan mayo. Macadamias are expensive, though – where do you buy them?
yes macadamias are definitely on the expensive side. I love using them in cookies and as vegan cheesecake crusts so I tend to just buy them in bulk on amazon.
The Vegan 8 says
It's a beautiful burger Vanessa! I, unfortunately, don't like eggplant :( It's weird because I LOVE zucchini and yes they are similar, but yet eggplant I can't eat. I'm a weirdo though. The burger looks big, fat and juicy and amazing though and I agree, avocado makes everything better!
Thanks Brandi, I used to hate eggplant as well but have just fallen in love with it. Zucchini definitely still tops it though :)
Manali @ CookWithManali says
Yum! I love eggplant so this is right up my alley! looks fantastic Vanessa!
Thanks Manali :)
Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies says
So, I'm ridiculously excited about this mayo recipe. A local vegan restaurant makes almond mayo that's to die for and I regularly shell out $6 for the tiniest of tiny jars. This definitely sounds like it'll measure up nicely because macadamia nuts are easily my most favorite nut.