Do you buy ground Turkey because you believe it’s leaner than ground beef? Think again. It can be if you read the label, but don’t choose a hunk of the white meat and assume it is the healthier pick. Not all ground turkey is created equal. Regular ground turkey, usually labeled 93% lean, is a combination of white and dark meat and is fairly high in calories and fat, but it’s still leaner than regular ground round that is 85% lean. You will see 85/15 on the label, meaning that the beef is 15% fat. Ground Turkey can range in percent of saturated fat in a similar way ground beef does. When you purchase the leaner ground beef, like 93% lean- (or 93/7) it contains less saturated fat than ground turkey that is processed with the skin and dark meat checking in at 85% fat. So, while you can get healthier ground meat in turkey, make sure you check your labels and either choose the leanest ground beef or the leanest ground turkey. I found fresh ground turkey breast that is 98% lean! The key word being BREAST- this is the all white meat part of the bird, true for all poultry. Frozen ground turkey, which is all dark meat and can contain skin, can be just as high in fat as ground beef. Skin and dark meat is where the fat and saturated fat hide. While ground turkey breast is the lowest in fat, but it can dry out. When cooking turkey burgers and meatballs, add something to moisten it and a little binder (like breadcrumbs) to keep it from drying out. For this burger I used shredded Granny Smith apple- a combo moistener and binder in one- leaving out the calories of breadcrumbs or more commonly, eggs.
1 lb lean ground turkey (breast)
1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled and shredded
3 stalks green onion, chopped
1 tbsp Caribbean Jerk seasoning
1/4 cup nonfat greek yogurt
1/4 cup mango chutney
3 cups coleslaw mix
4 whole wheat hamburger Buns
4 tbsp light mayo
Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high. Mix the turkey, jerk seasoning, apple, and 1/4 cup scallions in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Form into four 1-inch-thick patties and make a small indentation in the middle of each with your thumb to prevent it from puffing up on the grill. Refrigerate. Whisk the yogurt and chutney in a large bowl. Add the coleslaw mix and the remaining 1/4 cup scallions, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Grill the turkey patties until browned and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Brush the cut sides of the buns with mayonnaise and sprinkle with jerk seasoning; toast on the grill, about 30 seconds. Serve the burgers and slaw on the buns.