Bison burgers have become trendy because they are lower in fat and calories than most cuts of beef and contain generous amounts healthy protein, as well as iron and zinc.
Bison meat nutrition
Bison burgers make for a very nutritious alternative to the classic beef burger because they contain lower inflammatory fat content and higher protein and iron levels than their cattle counterpart.
Most bison meat you’ll find comes from grass-fed bison, as it’s not traditionally a factory farmed animal. Bison cattle commonly live freely in the wild and unlike cows bred for beef are not confined to small feedlots or tightly packed indoor areas. They’re also never given antibiotics or hormones as it’s illegal to use them in these animals, which is a huge win for your health.
Many conventional beef are predominantly grain-fed and often given antibiotics, steroids, or hormones. This is actually linked to an unfavorable ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats in their meat, which can cause increased inflammation in humans. Bison, however, has one of the best omega-3/omega-6 ratios of any red meat.
Bison meat also has great micronutrient content, with higher levels of B vitamins, copper, potassium, and zinc than most other red meat. This helps support energy levels, mood, and cognitive function. These micronutrients are also critical for proper immune system and cellular function helping to form new tissue, hair, and skin cells.
Good for you, good for the environment
Because bison roam free, they help to preserve the grasslands of North America and produce overall low carbon emissions. Rather than eating the grasses in one place, they graze in a wide area, naturally removing excessive growth and allowing more room for healthy plants and grasses to grow.
Enter the perfect burger: Pairing this nutrient dense meat choice with butter lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, and onions helps to complement the protein and healthy fat with proper fiber for digestion.
This recipe is from Kelly Johnston, RD:
Red, white, and bison burger recipe
Ingredients (serves 4)
• 1 lb grass-fed bison
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tsp Dijon mustard
• 1 medium sized onion, chopped
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• ½ tsp sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 8 leaves of butterhead lettuce
• 1 fresh tomato sliced
• 1 medium sized onion, sliced
• 1 avocado thinly sliced
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine bison, garlic, Dijon mustard, onion, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
(Note to the chef: Because bison meat is so lean, it cooks quickly and becomes tough if you overwork it or cook it too long or at too high a temperature)
2. Heat your grill to medium-high heat.
3. Divide meat mixture into 4 equal parts. With your hands, create four patties, about one inch thick.
4. Place freshly formed burger patties on the grill and close the lid. Grill patties for 6-7 minutes on one side.
5. After 6-7 minutes, flip the bison burgers and close the lid again to let the other side cook.
6. Remove the bison burgers from the grill once cooked to desired readiness.
7. Place each burger on a lettuce leaf, then top with additional onions (as desired), fresh tomatoes, and avocado slices. Complete the burger with another butter lettuce leaf on top and serve!
Click here for more information about healthy bison burgers.