TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein): This makes the base of the burgers and gives them a meaty and chewy texture. If you have never heard of TVP, also called soy protein, it’s basically chunks made from soy flour. It’s a dehydrated product that can be found in different sizes (from small bits to large chunks) and needs to be rehydrated in hot water before using. It’s high in protein, low in fat and usually pretty cheap.
Vital Wheat Gluten: Gluten helps bind the burgers together and creates a slightly stretchy texture. Vital wheat gluten is also very high in protein.
Cooked Beans: These add moisture and makes the burgers softer. I went with red kidney beans but white navy beans or black beans will work too. Without the addition of beans, the burgers tend to be a bit dry and not as tender.
Tomato Paste: In addition to adding flavor, it also adds color.
Nutritional Yeast: We are not using it to add a cheesy flavor here, but to give it a more savory, deeper flavor.
Soy Sauce: Instead of using plain salt, soy sauce adds the saltiness + extra flavor.
Maple Syrup: Optional but recommended. Don’t worry, maple syrup won’t make the burgers taste sweet!
Oil: I found that without the additional oil the burgers didn’t have the richness of traditional burgers and were a bit drier. If you are avoiding oil, feel free to omit or replace it with a nut butter like almond butter for example.
Spices: Cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic, onion. We don’t want our to be burgers bland, so spices come to the rescue!