Let’s be honest, we love the beef. Juicy, wood-fired burgers are a barbecue enthusiast’s dream dinner, and we support getting your burger on. With a fresh new year and renewed health goals, people ponder pairing down food intake to feel better, obtain renewed energy, or to fine tune the waistline.
We’ve got the Traeger Guide to Healthy Burgers:
If you’ve hopped on the health train, we’ve got a few tips and tricks to help make your nutrition goals a success all the while indulging in the delicious wood-fired flavor generated by your pellet smoker grill. Simply by cutting a few calories and increasing your protein intake, you will feel better and be able to tighten that belt up to once again don a platter-sized belt-buckle, pain-free.
Check out 5 ways to make your burger-loving heart beat stronger and longer, without sacrificing the flavorful Traeger lifestyle. With these small and simple changes, you’ll save on empty calories and eat healthier without having to hit the gym.
Surrender the Buns -
As Danielle of DivaQ says, “The bun should never hang too much over the meat. The meat may be slightly larger than the bun. Size matters. Meat matters.” If you have an overage of bun on your juicy burger, why eat a bite of bread with no meat in it? Rip off the bland bun and get to the meat of the burger, literally. Toss those empty calories out, and dive into the delicious and healthier area of the meal.
Here are a few ways to save fat and calories just in how your burger is wrapped.
A White Bread Hamburger Bun is often smeared with butter on top, this nutritional value for a hamburger bun holds the extra butter and is really only bragging about its high carb content:
140 calories 27 grams carbs grams protein 3 grams fat
White bread is what we’re used to eating on our burgers, it’s standard, but doesn’t hold much nutritional value, so take those Traegered burgers up a notch and switch up the bun with a healthier choice.
The Lettuce-Wrapped Burger. If you are willing to go all out and vegetable up by wrapping that beefy burger in a man-sized leaf of lettuce, it’s merely:
10 calories 0 carbs 0 protein 0 fat
You’ll enjoy the natural beef flavors without losing juices and seasoning to an absorbent bun.
A Whole Wheat Bun is an excellent way to add more fiber and protein to your burger while cutting carbs. It’s healthier than a white bun and has:
130 calories 24 grams carbs 6 grams protein 2 grams fat
A Spinach Tortilla will wrap up that meaty delight—don’t let the word spinach deter your choice, you won’t even know it’s made of spinach, it tastes similar to a regular tortilla, yet it saves on calories and carbs. Quit the white bread and go for:
100 calories 1 gram fat 2 grams protein 20 grams carbs
A Whole Wheat Tortilla will taste great. So if you can’t bear the thought of a spinach wrap, reach for a whole grain tortilla and get more protein than a white bun:
120 calories 24 grams carbs 4 grams protein 2 grams fat
Powering Energy -
When it comes to proteins, there are many flavorful choices. Here are a few that are lean and packed with flavor, especially when given a good and healthy 30 minute smoke on the Traeger wood pellet grill. The hardwood smoke will infuse proteins with a layer of flavor and make everyone wonder how you got it to taste so delicious. Traeger grills up healthy food with simplicity, every time.
Ground Beef. Regular ground beef contains a high fat content. It may be drippingly delicious, but if you reach for the full fatty beef every time, the calories add up. For a quarter pound burger:
319 calories 0 carbs 19 grams protein 26 grams fat
Lean Beef. 95% lean beef has a delicious flavor and far less fat than regular ground beef. For a quarter pounder, you save over half the calories and fat—that will make a difference in your daily diet.
164 calories 0 grams carbs 22 grams protein 6 grams fat
Ground Turkey is lean and very good for your health. It’s a white meat that has fewer calories than beef and is still high in protein. A quarter pound turkey burger is:
166 calories 0 grams carbs 22 grams protein 9 grams fat
Chicken. A boneless, skinless chicken breast purchased in a package at your grocer, is about 4 oz. per piece. When grilled on the Traeger, the bad fats are burned away and it cooks up healthier than beef. Traeger pellet fuel generates a delicious smoke that chicken really absorbs for a unique and amazing flavor.
124 calories 0 grams carbs 26 grams protein 1 grams fat
Bison Burgers. This is serious flavor. Wild game has a different, yet delicious taste that you won’t find in chicken or beef. Try a quarter pound bison burger as a lean and healthy alternative:
190 calories 0 grams carbs 23 grams protein 11 grams fat
Venison Burgers. If you hunted it, you might as well eat it. Elk is a delicious flavor and cooks very nicely. For a quarter pound venison burger you get a high protein meat, it’s:
125 calories 0 grams carbs 22 grams protein 10 grams fat
If spice and zest are what you’re after, flavor your meat with any Traeger Seasoning Shake or Traeger Rub, spices are low in calories and fat and add a great punch to any protein. Shake seasonings on top of your meat as it cooks, or mix it in the ground beef or turkey, or ground bison to get the flavor throughout.
Getting Sauced -
We all love a dripping burger, meat juices, mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard. By foregoing the mayo and saucing that burger with a few of these healthier choices, you won’t even know the mayo is missing.
Regular Mayonnaise is high in fat and calories, just 1Tbsp. contains:
90 calories 2 grams carbs 0 protein 10 grams fat
Low-Fat Mayo, by switching up this one condiment you save over half the calories and fat, and it tastes nearly the same as full-fat mayo:
35 calories 1 gram carbs 0 protein 3 grams fat
Ranch dressing is the most delicious nectar for burgers and fries. 1 Tbsp. equals one serving--and who can eat just one tablespoon. Regular ranch has:
70 calories 1 gram carbs 1 gram protein 7 grams fat
Fat-Free Ranch salad dressing will greatly reduce unnecessary fat and calories, and with the beef flavor seeping from the wood pellet grilled meat, you probably won’t be able to tell it’s non-fat ranch. Here’s the skinny:
17 calories 4 grams carbs 0 protein 0 grams fat
Ketchup. Save your sugar intake for something that’s actually a sweet treat. There’s no need to waste calories on regular Ketchup. For 1 Tbsp. ketchup you take in:
20 calories 4 grams sugar
Low Sugar Ketchup, sugar-free ketchup, or no sugar ketchup actually tastes more like a tomato. (Or you could just forego the ketchup and reach for a tomato slice—it’s healthy). Per tablespoon you only get:
5 calories 1 gram sugar
Hot Sauce. Reach for Ninja Squirrel, or Tabasco, or Siracha for a kick of flavor. All have about 6 calories per teaspoon, and a little spice goes a long way. Just check the back of the bottle for sodium, they all vary.
5 calories 0 carbs 0 protein 0 fat
What’s on top -
The fixings are vital for the perfect burger, with a little green on the side you can stuff those burgers 4” high and consume some healthy vegetables that will fuel energy and alertness into your day. Here are a few healthy hamburger toppings:
Fresh Salsa will zest up any burger with a refreshing, spicy, and sweet flavor.
Romaine Lettuce has more nutritional value than Iceberg lettuce and will help with digestion.
Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants so double up and give your burger 2 slices, it adds juice, color, and flavor to the burger.
Onions are packed with B vitamins will zest up any hamburger. White onions give a little sweet, yellow onions are mild, but flavorful, purple onions have a kick, scallions are a wetter onion so they have even more heat.
Pickles will give any hamburger a crunch and sour zest that compliments beef or wild game.
The only thing at the bottom of a fast food bag of fries is a bellyache. We urge you to try some of these amazing Traegered greens and healthy Traeger side dishes to accompany your finely tuned, healthy, wood-fired Traeger burger.
Crispy No-Fry Traeger Potatoes don’t have extra fat, they’re baked French fries.
Grilled Blooming Onionwill knock your Traeger socks off with flavor and far less fat than a steak house bloomin onion.
Grilled Fingerling Potato Salad is packed with jalapenos and spice and all things healthy and nice.
Roasted Broccoli Salad is packed with healthy nutrients and topped with tomatoes, red onions, and a tangy vinegar dressing.
Eggplant, tomatoes, and mozzarella towers stack up as a clean eat and is a healthy vegetable and cheese side dish.
Grilled Corn topped with Chile and Lime is a tongue tingling treat of a vegetable.
Feed your need for healthy eating and flavor with a Traeger grill. Our grills are flavor-makers and food tastes far better than any other barbecue grill. This year, give your meals a healthy kick by cooking outdoors on a Traeger pellet smoker grill, one bite and you’ll be hooked. Go on and indulge. Healthy hamburger fixings are fresher, and more delicious than fatty, greasy hamburgers. Enjoy a healthy lifestyle with food grilled on your Traeger.