Product: Franklin Farms Original Recipe Fresh Veggiburger – $3.99+
It’s tough being a vegetarian with a gluten intolerance. Honestly. Because it seems every ounce of vegetarian faux meat products out in the market contain gluten. This isn’t an exaggeration either. Morningstar Farms no longer stocks my freezer because I can’t eat their products. Boca no longer has a place. Neither Quorn nor Gardein are options either. So when cookouts hit or those infamous bar-b-ques start…or if you just want a veggie burger…options for vegetarians are plenty. Options for a gluten-free vegetarian…well…not so much.
Then…the seas parted and a heavenly florescent light at the grocery store somehow directed me to these little delights…Veggiburgers from Franklin Farms. And they come in three different varieties – original, portabella, and chili-bean. My local grocers only stock the original and the portabella, and that is a huge start for this area. Seriously.
I was ecstatic when I purchased these and brought them home for dinner. Sure, there is always a little apprehension when trying a new product. What if it’s doesn’t taste good? I’m a proponent of the school of theory that nothing gets thrown away. So if a product doesn’t please my palate…it still gets eaten. So, I won’t say that I was at total ease when I started cooking one of these up for dinner the other night, but, it was thrilling to finally have a vegetarian line of foods that work with gluten allergies.
Here’s what I noticed straight away. Unlike the boxed brands from Morningstar Farms, Quorn, Boca, etc…these burgers aren’t really made to look like your normal, run-of-the-mill burger. The vegetables that make up a good portion of these burgers (WHAT? Vegetarian burgers made from vegetables?! What a concept!) are actually visible. I spotted bits of corn, mushrooms, red pepper and onion straight away. It sort of reminded me of the veggie burgers I had overseas while in Ireland last New Years.
These are so easy to prepare too and they literally only take minutes. On my grill pan, I just had to heat it for about 2-3 minutes on each side and these burgers were good to go. I’ve also cooked them via the microwave on days I am in a hurry. It doesn’t subtract from the texture by doing that, which is a rare thing, indeed.
So…with my Franklin Farms Veggiburger plated up (and topped off with sauteed mushrooms, and non-dairy Swiss cheese melted on top (YUM), and placed on a gluten-free hamburger bun (a la Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery), I was ready to dig in and give this a go. One bite, and I was hooked. It was full of flavor. The burger itself is soft, but packed with flavor from the vegetables that are throughout each patty. I might have been nervous when I was cooking these up, but one bite and I was so glad I gave this brand a try. I was eager for the next bite, and before I knew it…I had consumed the entire thing.
These little gluten-free patties pack a great hit of protein…12g in one serving. And even better, only have 100 calories in a patty and only 2g of fat. For the runner in me…this is awesome! So, nutritious and taste good too. Oh…let’s not forget the most important aspect of this vegetarian protein…it’s gluten-free!
So, for all those vegetarian companies out there who say they can’t make their products gluten-free because it will mess with the texture…take note. Franklin Farms created a nutritious, delicious vegetarian burger that I’m thrilled with. It was moist, delicious, full of flavor, and the texture and taste were spot-on. It can be done. And, thankfully, there is a company out there willing to give the gluten-intolerant vegetarian something to nibble on.
Thank you, Franklin Farms! Because of you, veggie burgers are back on my gluten-free, vegetarian menu. Not only are you delicious…you fit my dietary needs. That’s no small thing, mind you. But you managed. And I loved your product down to the last bite. Epic vegetarian, gluten-free yum!