Ultimate Tofu Burger & Raw Food Stuff

I’ve been trying to make a really good tofu burger for awhile now. The closest recipe I had in the past was aptly called the Near-Perfect Tofu Burger. I think we vegans deserve better than that, don’t you agree? That’s why I’m calling this recipe the Ultimate Tofu Burger! The trick is to buy a block of super firm tofu and freeze and de-frost it before using it. I know it sounds weird, but this extra step changes the texture of the tofu and makes it ideal for a burger.

So, you start with a one-pound block of extra or super-firm tofu from the refrigerator section of your grocery store. You don’t even need to take it out of its package, just stick it in the freezer for at least 12 hours or until it’s frozen solid. Then, put it in your fridge and let it de-frost for another 24 hours or until completely defrosted.

Next, you want to remove the packaging from the tofu and place it in a food processor. You then just add the other ingredients including nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, cashews, curry powder, onion and tamari and process for a minute or so. This is what the mixture looks like:

It’s not super pretty, but it makes a mean burger, you just wait. You will then use your hands to make the “dough” into four patties. Last, just bake these babies at 375 degrees for 40 minutes total (flipping once) and you’re good to go. I served mine on top of some fresh romaine and with some Pesto Hemp Dressing, plus some lightly baked onions:

Here’s the recipe:

I am so happy with the way these burgers turned out, the texture and flavor is really great. On a different note, I caught up with a friend of mine recently, she is a raw food chef! Check out these raw cannolis she sent me home with:

If you are trying to image what they tasted like, I can assure you they were as good as they looked. Besty just started a blog, you can find it here, and maybe you can beg her to post this recipe? :)

I’ve been having my own fun with raw food lately, specifically, with raw buckwheat groats. I posted this recipe for Chocolate Buckwheat Brittle a few weeks ago, but since then I have found through trial and error that one must dehydrate buckwheat groats after soaking them to get a really nice texture (I went ahead and updated the Brittle recipe to reflect this change). I guess that’s why raw foodists call them Buckwheat Crispies, because that’s what they taste like. I’ve been putting some on top of my morning green smoothie and they make it all crunchy and yummy:

Even though I’d like to say that I’m leaning toward raw food, I haven’t quite gotten on board with the philosophy and the structure yet. In the meantime, I’ll stick to my favorite raw foods for now…salads! Here’s the one I had yesterday for lunch (these beans wouldn’t be considered raw because they were cooked):

Have a happy, healthy weekend! Are you into the raw food lifestyle? Why or why not?

Comments

  1. Robyn :) says

    I am not a fan of a completely raw food diet, but I like to try different raw food recipes. Anything healthy.

    Those cannolis look sooo delicious. I fell in love with cannolis in Boston at Mike’s Pastries (definitely not vegan!) and have yet to find any as good, but a vegan cannoli would be awesome!!

    The burgers look really good. I love tofu :)

    • says

      Thanks Robyn! I think I have only had a cannoli once in my life and I didn’t even like it that much. Too much cream…ick! But, these raw food ones were incredible!!! :)

  2. says

    I haven’t quite gotten into the raw food movement. I like to cook too much to do so, I think. Even my salads will contain cooked foods-roasted beets, cooked corn, peas and edamame, baked tofu, etc. I do like the idea of experimenting with different ways of preparing food though, so I think I am moving towards trying out new raw foods!

    • says

      Hi Shelby! Agreed, I adore cooked foods on my salads and I don’t think I could live without beans. I mean, literally, I don’t think I could live without beans. I guess there are ways of preparing sprouted beans, though, but it sounds like a lot of work. :)

  3. Merrill R. says

    That tofu burger looks really good! Can’t wait to try it out. Luckily I already have a block of tofu in the freezer.
    I don’t think I could ever go 100% or even 80% raw. Maybe through lunch but I love having something warm and comforting for dinner too much to give up cooked food! I love to read about what you have been experimenting with though. Have a good weekend :)

    • says

      Hi Merrill! I’ll keep writing about my raw food experiments, although I haven’t gotten too far past juice, smoothies and salads. :) I agree with you that it’s nice to have something hot for dinner, especially when it’s cold outside.

  4. says

    Looks fabulous!

    So you don’t press the tofu at any point? Not even after thawing? (I typically press tofu out of the package, freeze it, then thaw and use).

  5. Nadine says

    Thank you for the recipe re-do – I love your original tofu burger recipe, I will definitely try this one.
    Raw food – It depends on the season. In the summer, I eat “high raw” (60-70% percent raw), but all Canadian winter, I eat less than 30% raw because it’s way too cold to be without baked potatoes or chili! I have a dehydrator though and that makes eating higher raw easier because you can create wraps and raw breads that make the perfect accompaniment to raw veggies and nut cheese.
    I think the perfect balance is a bit of raw, a bit of cooked, but mainly whole food and lots of fruits and vegetables. Also there’s more and more research showing how some vegetables provide better access to nutrients via cooked or steamed methods as opposed to raw.

    • says

      Hi Nadine, thanks for the comment! I love your take on the balance between raw and cooked foods, I agree with you 100%. Did you happen to read Victoria Boutenko’s new book, Raw & Beyond? I am just getting into it and finding it very, very interesting. Do you have a blog? I’d love to see some of your creations with the dehydrator!

      • Nadine says

        Sorry it took me so long to respond – work and gardening have gotten in the way of my “fun computer time”. I spend a lot of the day working on other people’s websites, so by the time I am done, I don’t want to go near the computer!
        I have her new book on my library book cue – I am looking forward to reading it especially as she was such a hardcore 100% raw fanatic and has now changed her tune. I am glad she has because I’ve witnessed too many people blindly following a 100% raw vegan diet without supplementation and it always ends in disaster.
        I do have a blog, but it’s neglected right now – when it’s up and running again, I will let you know. Thanks :)

  6. says

    hey, I’m just getting into raw too. I dabbled before but I took delivery of my dehydrator, now I am really embracing it. I too am ‘playing’ a lot in the kitchen and discovering the new ‘knowns’ in preparation and flavours so I can start creating my own recipes but I’ve a bit to learn yet! It’s a whole new world but I’ve been sticking ot mainly salads and raw nori rolls. Yum. ARe you juicing too?

    • says

      Hi there! How exciting that you just got your dehydrator. I love mine. I need to make nori rolls more often, that sounds delicious. I have a juicer and really need to start using it more. I’m going to try having a green juice at least several times a week, I always feel so much healthier after I drink a glass of freshly-made veggie juice.

  7. Glenda says

    At the same time I was leaning into veganism I was learning about the raw food movement. Im very interested in it and want to eat as much raw food as is convenient but I am loving the beans right now. I went to an 8 hr raw food class in San Diego last year by Joan Jackson @ Iamlivingraw.com, saw a demonstration by Mimi Kirk who wrote Live Raw and ate at a delicious raw food restaurant in Costa Mesa called 118. So Im exploring but not convinced that I will or need to go 100%.

    • says

      Thanks for the recommendations, Glenda! You’re lucky to have attended the class and demonstration. I am also not convinced about going 100% raw, but I’d like to incorporate more of the sprouting and dehydrated food items into my diet. It’s a challenge for me mainly because I am impatient and don’t want to wait 12-24 hours from the time I make something to eating it. My hope is that one day I will retire and spend all of my time making healthy foods! Until then, I’ll just have to squeeze it into my schedule whenever I can. :)

  8. says

    Beans are so important to my ETL food life, I don’t see the benefit of going all raw and giving those up. I think that being vegan and no salt/oil is good enough for now :)

    I am very excited to try these burgers- your “almost perfect” tofu burgers have made the regular rotation, and are frequently requested by my toddler.

    • says

      Hi Devon! Yep, I hear what you’re saying, following ETL is challenging enough, without trying to go raw on top of it. I think Dr. Fuhrman advocates a blend of cooked and raw foods for optimal health and that’s where I will probably always be. Have a great rest of your weekend!

  9. says

    In my opinion, the people who go 100% raw are there to point out to the rest of the world how lacking most diets are in raw food. We need the extremists, that 100% voice, in our society with any important issue to get the rest of us to wake from our sleep. But we don’t need to feel bad about not being able to or wanting to be 100% raw. We need to see it for what it is-a wake up to including a lot of raw food in our diet every day. Making time consuming, complicated, extremely calorie dense raw foods are not in most people’s best interests. But eating easy salads and green smoothies are, and that is what I believe the ultimate message of the raw food movement will be.

  10. Audrey says

    Hi, Carrie! I’m just wondering what no-salt seasoning you used. Would Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute work? Thanks, and I’m looking forward to trying these out. :)

  11. Ashly says

    My husband and I recently discovered Eat to live and your blog is a new great resource for us. SO excited to try all these delicious recipes. My only question is do you think Tofu is good even though is seems processed??

    • says

      Hi Ashly! I saw your email, but thought I would respond here so others can see. So, I believe Dr. Fuhrman puts tofu in the minimally processed category, although edamame, tempeh, and soy milk are even less processed. For that reason, I feel okay about having tofu about once a week or so. Thanks for the great question!

  12. latoya says

    very tasty! i’m so proud of myself… this was my first attempt at a vegan meal other than a smoothie or a salad. thanks for making it so easy!

  13. Jesse Robinson says

    I tried making this tonight and it was a disaster. I’m a good cook, so I was confused. I went over every step in my head trying to figure out what went wrong? I used ALL the water from the tofu; I’m thinking now you mean’t just un-drained tofu instead? It was so runny I couldn’t form the burgers. They looks like pancakes spreading out on the jelly roll. While putting it together I was excited for the favor combination, but at last none of flavors came through. I believe the extra water diluted the tasted. The hemp pesto was great. Guess I’ll have to try again.

    • says

      Hi Jesse, I’m sorry to hear that! Did you use extra-firm tofu? The brand I get at Trader Joe’s really has no liquid in the tofu itself, and I drain the little bit out that is in the package (it’s sealed in a plastic, airtight wrapping, not in a box). I think that is probably where my directions weren’t specific enough. Apologies!

      • Jesse Robinson says

        I did use extra-firm tofu (Nasoya), however there was quite a bit of water leftover. I wasn’t thinking and dumped it all in there, should’ve known better. There was 2 burgers leftover, 1 of which I just ate, and it was more burger-y and solid. The flavor was much better, too. Excited to try a prior batch! Thanks.

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