Monday, September 27

Easy way to stretch hamburger!

As soon as I "dared" try this method of stretching out my hamburger meat, I haven't gone back! You soak wheat kernels, boil them for an hour and then mix them in with your ground meats. The wheat will naturally soak in the flavor & color of the meat, so you can easily slip this into your foods without your family knowing!

This is super easy and a handy way to make your hamburger last longer than usual. Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Soak 1 cup of wheat kernels in cool water overnight or for 12 hours. When I buy a big pack of hamburger (the most economical way to go), it goes in the fridge. I then soak the wheat kernels that night.

Step 2: When the 12 hours are up, drain and rinse the wheat kernels. Place the wheat kernels in a sturdy cooking pot and cover the kernels again with water. Boil for 1 hour.

Step 3: Place several pounds of hamburger in your browning skillet. I usually brown about 4 lbs. of hamburger at once. This saves so much time later!

Add the cooked wheat kernels to the hamburger and cook as desired. You may also add onions, peppers, and spices to your hamburger at this point, if desired.

Step 4: Whalaa! You've cooked all your hamburger so it's ready at a minute's notice! You've also found a way to use your food storage and make your meat a little bit healthier.

I like to divide the hamburger into 1 1/2 cup- 2 cup portions, place the portions in freezer bags and freeze. When it's time to make spaghetti sauce, tacos, or sloppy joes- the hamburger is ready to go.

I've been using this easy method of cooking and freezing hamburger for about a year now. My son is the only one that has said anything about the wheat. He saw it on a cheeseburger pizza and asked me what it was. I said, "It's part of the meat." He bought it and I haven't heard a thing about it since!

What handy tips do you have for stretching your food? Do you like to hide healthy foods and vegetables in your regular diet? How about any hamburger tips? Please leave a comment and share with us!


Joy's Dumb Deals said...

I cooked and froze a ton of hamburger all at once and was so happy with it until I started reheating it. I found that if I was using it within a week or two the flavor was fine but the longer it was frozen, the more of an off flavor it had. Maybe it was just me?

Also, I discovered that microwaving precooked hamburger was NOT a delicious option. Instead I would throw it back in the skillet.

Heather said...

Hmmm... maybe I'm not as sensitive to taste? Or maybe it's because I drown my hamburger in spices and other liquids!

I did find out recently on 'The Food Nanny' that the lower percentage of fat hamburger has in it, the less flavor it has. I don't know if that is an issue for you.

We usually buy meat with more fat, because it's less expensive. So far, we haven't noticed the flavor being "off." Great observations- thanks for your input!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE this way of stretching meat/getting variety in proteins and carbs.... However, if my family "sees" the wheat berries they won't eat it. Am soooo annoyed! :-(

They all admit that they can't "taste" it but "seeing" it is just absolutely terrible! ugh! :-)

Heather said...

Oh no! That's too bad. Maybe my family just doesn't dare say anything.... Hmmm... I'm going to think about this and see if there's another way to hide these! It's tricky!