We love grilled foods during summertime. Cooking outdoors is always a plus, but whether you have access to a grill or not, these bison burgers will give you all of the flavors we love about barbecuing, while providing a nutrient-dense, lean, and healthy alternative. We opt for toppings like avocado and veggies to make this cleanse-friendly burger even more jam-packed with benefits.
Bison, also known as American Buffalo, is a North American species gaining popularity as a top choice of meat. One benefit of buying bison is that it’s not typically commercially raised like much of our cows, and finding grass-fed and finished is easier than with beef. The label “grass-fed” means that the animal was fed grass for most of its life. This is important because the animal had time to roam freely and eat its preferred diet of grass.
When we feed cattle grain and keep them stationary, they become fattier and are often treated with antibiotics since grain can cause digestion issues and infections in animals. The ratio of omega-3’s and omega-6’s is more ideal in grass-fed animals since they are typically lower in inflammation. While it’s always better to see “grass-fed” than not, seeing “100% grass-fed” or “grass-fed and finished” guarantees that the animal was exclusively pastured (rather than grain fed at the end to fatten the animal up – a common tactic).
Not only is bison more likely to be grass-fed, but it comes with a slew of other benefits. Just one serving of bison will get you a third of three important nutrients: vitamin B-12, selenium, and zinc. Bison is also rich in linoleic acid, which is a type of fat that has been studied for its cancer-blocking properties. Bison is the densest animal-protein form of this fatty acid.
We mentioned grass-fed animals having higher levels of omega-3s, and bison is actually just as high in omega-3s as salmon, which is so often touted for its omega content. Bison is dense in protein without the fat content of traditionally raised beef. In fact, the same size patty of bison will pack just over half the amount of calories as a beef patty would. With a touch of seasoning, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between these bison burgers and a beef burger you’re used to eating.
1 pound ground bison meat
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil, plus more for cooking
Optional Burger toppings:
Butter lettuce or gluten-free burger buns
Sugar-free ketchup (unless cleansing)
Paleo mayonnaise (unless cleansing)
Step 1: Combine ground bison with all seasonings and oil. Mix until thoroughly blended.
Step 2: Form meat into four even, round patties.
Step 3: Heat a cast iron or non-stick pan over medium heat (or fire up the grill, if using). Coat pan in a light layer of oil. Add patties to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, depending on desired rareness.
Step 4: Serve with desired toppings.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble