Memorial Day is almost upon us, which means one thing: Barbecue season. There are plenty of ways to stay gluten-free when you fire up the grill, like making a spicy glazed chicken or some quick shrimp kebabs. But sometimes, you just want a burger. And not just a plain patty, but a quarter pound of beef piled high with trimmings and capped off with a soft and squishy bun.
When Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery announced that it would release a gluten-free bun this summer, I was eager to give it a try. To be honest, I went in with pretty low expectations. Perfecting a gluten-free loaf is one thing, but capturing the unique texture and density of a hamburger bun was a whole other challenge.
To my pleasant surprise, Rudi’s Gluten-Free Multigrain Hamburger Buns fit the bill. They’re big, round and have enough heft to handle a burger with all the fixings. They’re not quite like the plain white buns you may remember from childhood, but I think they actually do a better job of holding in all the ketchup and juices without getting soggy. As the name indicates, the buns are multigrain, so their appearance and texture is a lot closer to the whole wheat and multigrain buns that emerged in the mainstream market over the last few years. (Make sure to keep gluten-free foods separate if you’re having a joint BBQ!)
Nutrition-wise, the buns fare pretty well. Each bun is 170 calories and contains 6g of fat. They could use a boost of fiber and vitamins, but that’s a problem that affects gluten-free bread and buns across the board. And considering that you’ll be sandwiching that bun around a burger, the 2g of protein in each serving will certainly get some backup.
Where this bun really shines is in the satisfying bite it yields. Forget using two slices of gluten-free bread as a makeshift bun; this is a much better option. The top half is domed , so you can really sink your teeth in. The bottom part is sturdy and flat, perfect for supporting that patty while you slap lettuce and tomatoes on top. Best of all, it’s the perfect height to get every layer all in one bite. It gets a little flaky after too many days in the fridge, but nothing a quick shot in the microwave couldn’t fix.
Of course, if you don’t have a grill you can still enjoy these gluten-free burger buns. For a vegetarian spin (or if you just feel like something new), try this recipe for Raspberry Black Bean Burgers – a great option you can make in a skillet!
Note: Today is your last chance to enter Rudi’s Unbelievably Good Gluten-Free Recipe Contest! Submit your gluten-free recipe now for the chance to win a trip to Boulder, CO, and a starring role in an upcoming Alternative Appetites video from NFCA.