Kitchen Tips

Electrify your tastebuds with BurgerFuel’s innovative new hemp burger

BurgerFuel is back with another new innovation in the burger scene, and this one will have you seeing green. We try their hemp-based Electric Pūhā burger to see how the limited-edition creation stacks up.

By Harriet Keown
Rainbow bagels are out and green-speckled burger buns are officially in, thanks to the rise of a new hero in the New Zealand foodie scene. Since becoming legal to sell hemp seeds in food products in November 2018, the plant has been popping up everywhere, bringing its nutty flavour and nutritional benefits to a range of health foods such as cereal, bliss balls and snack bars.
I was yet to be convinced to give the superfood a try though, until it was brought to the mainstream by BurgerFuel, who have just launched the Electric Pūhā: a nutrient-packed, 100% vegan burger which incorporates hemp in everything from its inventive broccoli bites to its sourdough buns. And don't worry - while hemp may come from the same cannabis plant as marijuana, it's not going to produce any mind-altering effects. In fact, the only high you're going to get from eating hemp seeds will be the result of their powerful health properties.
According to Sophie Gray, Editor and Food Director of Food and Taste magazines, it's about time we started bringing hemp into our diet, both for its nutritional and sustainable qualities. "Hemp has useful amounts of protein, amino acids and omega 3s, but it's as a food crop that it may be a game-changer," she explains. "It grows fast and densely, requires less land, pest control and chemicals, and doesn't need much water to thrive."
Hemp is actually the single most nutrient-dense seed we can get our hands on, so it makes sense to pack it into our food wherever we can. That's why BurgerFuel have created the Electric Pūhā, so everyone from vegan and health-conscious consumers to those who, like me, are fiercely fond of a beef burger but willing to experiment with their food, can all jump on the ride to health town.
Instead of being made with a patty, the Electric Pūhā is studded with BurgerFuel's hemp and broc bites, which are small falafel-like balls made up of chickpeas, broccoli and the natural goodness of hemp oil, seeds and powder. Basically, they're a cocktail of nutrients, with a delightfully nutty crunch to boot. And the best part? These little beauties will be available as a side too, so you can get a good dose of superpowers even if you're just craving a snack.
But the hemp party in the Electric Pūhā doesn't stop there; the burger's aioli uses the superpowers from the hemp seed oil to create a dressing that's as rich in protein as it is creaminess, and the organic sourdough buns are a fun artisanal invention using a fusion of hemp seed, hemp oil and spinach. Yes, they're very green and look like they could be the bread equivalent of a kale smoothie, but I found them perfectly light and actually super tasty.
Not content with the already stacked list of nutritional benefits, the Electric Pūhā had to add one last new BurgerFuel creation to its lineup: native pūhā and cabbage kraut combined with spinach, seaweed and fiery salsa to result in a zingy concoction that your gut will truly love you for. I'm not typically a kraut connoisseur, but this tangy little brew is really what gave the Electric Pūhā its spark. Needless to say, from hemp seeds to probiotics to green-goddess buns, this burger is far from a guilty forgot-my-lunch takeaway, and rather a valid and delicious option for a protein-packed meal.
With BurgerFuel bringing hemp into the foreground of New Zealand dining, Sophie Gray doesn't think it will be long until it becomes a mainstream ingredient in our cooking. "Kiwis are early adopters and we care about the environment, health and the quality of our food, so I think we will see it more and more," she says.
But for now, experience the superfood power of hemp for yourself by heading to your nearest BurgerFuel and getting your hands on an Electric Pūhā. It balances perfectly on the line between light and filling, and you can't help but feel like a vision of health while eating it. Who said burgers were only for cheat days?