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Beetroot beef burgers

This recipe is ideal for a quick and easy midweek hit of not only iron, but also protein, to put a spring back in your step.

  • L/D Lunch/Dinner
  • DF Dairy free
  • GF Gluten free
  • IR Iron-rich
  • Prep time 25 mins
  • Cook Time 5 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Difficulty medium


  1. Heat a few teaspoons of olive oil on medium heat and sauté onions for a few minutes until softened.
  2. Place beef mince and grated beetroot in a large bowl.
  3. Add cooked onion, thyme leaves and egg and mix well with hand, squishing the ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper (some burger experts suggest salting the burger just before cooking).
  4. Form into patties, then allow to chill and firm in the fridge for up to 15 minutes.
  5. Heat a non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Add a little olive oil to lightly coat the pan. Cook burgers (3-4 at a time) for about 5 minutes each side, making sure the mince is cooked all the way through, but taking care not to burn.

Serving suggestions

Serve as a traditional burger on a wholegrain bun with cheese, grated carrot, sliced tomato, lettuce and sauce, chutney or mustard of your choice.

For a bread-free/gluten-free option, forego the bun for a side salad of baby spinach, grilled capsicum and pan-fried mushrooms.

Nutritional information

By Jean Hailes naturopath and herbalist Sandra Villella

If you're trying to sit less and be more physically active, you'll need to make sure you're getting enough iron in your diet. Most of the body's iron is found in haemoglobin, a protein in our red blood cells.

Iron is essential for transporting oxygen throughout the body via the blood. If you are low in iron, it can cause tiredness, low energy and breathlessness, and reduce your capacity for physical work and exercise. It can also impair your immune system and make you more prone to frequent infection – all of which make you less likely to get active.

This recipe is ideal for a quick and easy midweek hit of not only iron, but also protein. Red meat is one of the highest and most readily absorbed animal sources of iron, or haem iron; 125g of beef mince (one serve of these burgers) provides about 4mg of iron, which is just under a third of the RDI (required daily intake) for a premenopausal adult woman (18mg).

If you serve the burgers with a salad of baby spinach – a less well absorbed (non-haem) source of iron – and vitamin C-rich foods such as tomatoes and capsicum, the absorption of these vegetarian iron sources is enhanced. Eating non-haem iron sources with meat also increases the iron absorption.