A healthy lifestyle can be as sweet as candy!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers

This summer has made me realize that there is little I despise more than summer school. Sitting in a classroom for most of my day, everyday, while my friends find time to go to concerts, lay at the beach, even just hang out at home….it’s torture. Not to mention that the class I am taking (chemistry) is one of the more challenging courses I have ever had the pleasure to take.

At the end of my long days, I am drained, usually a bit confused, and always hungry. Last night was no different, and I was in need of a real pick-me-up. These burgers did just the trick. They are fairly easy and taste wonderfully flavorful. The beans and the sweet potatoes give you a big vitamin boost while the remaining ingredients pack in real flavor.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers

4 medium sweet potatoes

1/3 cup Quinoa

1 cup gluten free oats

1 15 oz can black beans (rinsed and drained)

1/2 small onion diced

1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro (chopped)

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Oil for cooking

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the sweet potatoes down the center lengthwise. Place the sweet potatoes cut side down on baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes or until soft to squeeze. Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skin (it should pull off easily) and roughly chop the insides. Set aside to cool completely.

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Cook the Quinoa with 1 cup of water. Simmer until absorbed, set aside to cool.

Grind the oats in a food processor until the flakes are broken up, but not in a flour.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and mash together with a potato masher (or your hands if you dare.) Use a measuring cup to measure out ½ cup of the mixture. Gently shape it into a patty about 3½ inches in diameter. Use your hands to gently flatten the burgers and smooth out any jagged edges. Repeat the process for each patty; you should end up with 8.

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Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, place several burgers in the pan, leaving enough room to flip them. Cook each patty until browned and heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet for each pan of burgers you fry.

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Top with avocado, salsa, or toppings of choice. I placed my burger over a spinach salad with tomatoes and raspberry balsamic.

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