The CEO of Actual Veggies began her quest with one complaint. No one makes veggie burgers with actual veggies anymore. She set out to fix that by founding a company for veggie burgers made with fresh vegetables. Essentially, chef-crafted, restaurant-quality veggie burgers you can make at home. No fillers, no preservatives. Just ingredients from plants (the brand name fell right into place).
As a newly converted vegan, I couldn’t help but feel a tingle of excitement when I learned about Actual Veggies. They have five types of burgers, so I went out and bought two immediately and put them right in the pan. The Actual Black Burger and the Actual Purple Burger. That I had to unhinge my jaw for the first bite was the first sign that this was the start of a beautiful friendship.
What I Ate Before Actual Veggies
For the last year or so that I’ve cut meat out of my diet, I’ve found two ways to satisfy my still-insatiable need for a burger. Option A: imitation meat, so real it bleeds but tastes terrible unless I load it up with tons of seasoning. Option B: veggie burgers — the frozen kind at the grocery store — loaded with processed ingredients and preservatives.
I’ll admit, I love good fake meat. But I can’t have it unless I’m willing to pay the price. Sluggishness. Furious stomach. Meanwhile, when it comes to those thin veggie patties from the freezer section, I feel like I’m eating a bun with nothing between it. I have to drench it in condiments to get anything close to the feeling of a real burger. And at that point — well, what even is the point? I might skip the patty and dunk a hamburger bun in ketchup.
Why It’s Unlike Other Veggie Burgers
In Actual Veggies, they’ve found a better way. Hallelujah, my veggie friends. This is not the veggie burger for anyone who wants to cosplay as a beef eater. This is for anyone who’s had a fantastic, pure vegetable veggie burger at a restaurant and wondered why you couldn’t get that at home.
“We won’t be competing against Beyond Burger,” the Actual Veggies co-founder, Jason Rosenbaum, told Forbes, “since we’re targeting consumers who want something that tastes like vegetables.” That they most certainly do. Here are the main ingredients of each of their burgers:
- Actual Black Burger: Black Beans, Red Pepper
- Actual Purple Burger: Beet, Carrot, Red Onion
- Actual Orange Burger: Sweet Potato, Carrot, Red Pepper
- Actual Green Burger: Kale, Broccoli, Spinach
- Actual Truffle Burger: Shitake Mushroom, White Truffle
- Actual Blue Breakfast Burger: Blueberry, Banana, Acai, Cauliflower, Pumpkin Seed, Date Blue Spirulina
The first thing you’ll notice is the color. Bright and natural, without any dye, the vegetables make these burgers pop from the moment you see them through the little window in the packaging.
I tried the Actual Black Burger — because I’m most familiar with black bean burgers — and the Actual Purple Burger — because it was so wildly purple. Unlike lots of veggie burgers, these were in the refrigerated section, not frozen, and they were thick enough they maintained their integrity easily throughout the cooking process.
How The Flavor of Actual Veggies Burgers Changed My Mind
Both were delicious with and without traditional condiments, but I also tried them with their recommended pairings on the packaging. For the black burger: hummus, pickles, tomato, and hot sauce. For the purple: sweet and spicy chili sauce, spinach, and avocado. It was like Actual Veggies had combined the feeling of eating a burger with the feeling of eating a salad. And that, my veggie friends, is actual burger nirvana.
You don’t even have to take my word for it. Try Actual Veggies for yourself, sure. But also, consider this article by Mic about the proliferation of meat alternatives on the market and the difficulty of knowing which are good for you. “Typically, the most nutritious plant-based meat you’ll find will be made from whole, simple ingredients,” Maddie Pasquariello, dietician, told the site. One of her absolute favorites? Actual Veggies’ best-seller.
The Actual Black Burger. “These contain plenty of protein, as well as fiber, and have zero saturated fat. The ingredient list is super simple, and they’re high in vitamin A and magnesium while being relatively low in sodium — a lot of bang for your buck.”