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Healthy Smashburger Sliders for the 4th of July

It’s almost time to kickoff the summer with the 4th of July! Time for barbecues with loved ones, pool parties, and more. We hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday. Speaking of the 4th, this week we are bringing you another collaborative effort, this time with Claire of Resilient Health and Wellness. Claire is a certified nutritionist and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP). She has shared a Smashburger recipe with us, along with some healthy swaps to maintain eating clean and healthy without compromising on taste. So if you are looking for gluten-free and dairy-free recipes that will please a crowd, and use clean ingredients, you have come to the right place!

Here are the substitutions that Claire recommends:

  1. Swap burger buns with Plantiful Kitchen’s gluten-free dinner rolls (hello sliders!). Eating gluten-free isn't a fad-diet, it can have real benefits for gut health. Research suggests that gluten can increase the production of zonulin, a protein that regulates gut permeability. Too much zonulin can lead to "leaky gut syndrome" which allows substances like bacteria and undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream – a place they should NOT be. This can trigger immune reactions, inflammation, and other health issues. Plantiful Kitchen’s dinner rolls are a much better option! They’re gluten-free AND they contain ingredients that benefit the gut! You might be wondering, what ingredients help with gut health? Well, as an example, Plantiful Kitchen uses psyllium husk. This is a fiber, and fiber is our gut’s best friend. Psyllium husk feeds the good bacteria of the gut, leading to a happy gut microbiome. Plantiful Kitchen has plenty of other bread options as well, so make sure to take a look at the online store to order your fresh gluten-free bread—with no fillers!—online.
  2. Swap conventional mayo for avocado-based mayo like Chosen Foods or Primal Kitchen. Canola oil, in general, is a big no for me in the home. For one, it has a high omega-6 content. When we consume too many omega 6’s, that can throw off our omega 6 to omega 3 balance and lead to inflammation. Canola oil is also what’s called an “RBD” oil. That stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized. This type of processing leaves the oil so nutrient-poor that it lacks any kind of benefit to the body. Avocado oil based mayo, on the other hand, contains antioxidants, which support antiaging and it has anti-inflammatory properties. Both benefits can help maintain the integrity of the gut barrier and help you from NOT getting leaky gut syndrome!
  3. Swap conventional sodas (i.e. Diet Coke, Coca Cola, Rootbeer) for a gut-healthy alternative like Olipop or SunSip. While I don't recommend regular consumption of soda, occasionally opting for a healthier alternative can make a difference! Conventional sodas are often loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners, both of which can disrupt the gut microbiota balance and contribute to inflammation. Olipop and SunSip do not contain these sugars and they DO contain fiber! And again, fiber is what you turn to when you’re looking for foods that heal your gut.

Now let’s take a look at the recipe provided by Claire:

Ingredients:

For the Smash Burgers:

  • 1 lb ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
  • 1 tsp Celtic Sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil (for cooking) - I like Chosen Foods
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard - I like Primal Kitchen’s

For the Toppings:

  • 8 Plantiful Kitchen dinner rolls
  • 4 slices of cheddar cheese (optional) - I like Organic Valley
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Pickles - I like Grillo’s
  • Ketchup - I like Primal Kitchen’s
  • Mayo – I like Chosen Foods

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Beef: Divide the ground beef into 8 equal portions and roll each into a ball. Season each ball with Celtic Sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  2. Make the Smash Burgers: Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and add avocado oil. Place a few beef balls in the skillet, ensuring they have enough space to be smashed down. Place a few onions and 1/2 - 1 tsp mustard on each beef ball.
  3. Use a metal spatula or burger press to flatten the patty to about 1/4-inch thick. Keep pressing and count to 10 to ensure the patty makes total contact with the pan. Lift the spatula and sprinkle with Celtic Sea salt.
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the edges are crispy. Flip and salt again. Add a slice of cheese on each patty to melt as the other side cooks for another 2- 3 minutes.
  5. Toast the Buns: Lightly toast the gluten-free slider buns on the skillet or in a toaster oven for added texture and flavor.
  6. Assemble the Sliders: Spread ketchup and/or mayo on the bottom half of each toasted bun. Place a smash burger patty with onions on top, followed by a slice of tomato, lettuce, and pickles if desired. Top with the other half of the bun. Serve & enjoy these delicious, healthy smash burger sliders immediately at your 4th of July celebration!

 If you'd like more nutrition tips like the substitution suggestions above, follow me on Instagram and TikTok @clairethenutriionist. And if you're looking for a nutritionist to help you dive deeper into your gut health journey with personalized guidance, I’d love to help! You can sign up for a 1:1 consultation at www.resilienthealthandwellness.com!  Wishing you a healthy and happy 4th of July!

Warm regards,

Claire Certified Nutritionist, NTP