Good Ideas: No Bun

cc VirtualErn

Can you enjoy that without the bread?

I’m the first to admit I enjoy a big sloppy burger with all the fixings from time to time. That’s probably the reason I’ll never truly become a vegetarian. Every once in a while I get that hankering for the juicy hamburger yumminess and mmm…

My occasional indulgence can come with a lot of carbs—most of which are in  the bun. The carbohydrate count of a hamburger bun can range anywhere from 22 grams (Pepperidge Farms Classic Hamburger Bun) to 36 grams (Orowheat Country Potato Hamburger Bun). It can go even higher with bigger burgers that come with bigger buns. With a total carb count for a meal of 45 (or even 60) that’s significant.

One day I figured out that if I said “no bun, please” when ordering I could still enjoy my juicy burger yumminess with all the fixings without blowing my carb count for the meal out of the water.

Using a fork and knife instead of my fingers I  also found that I ate more slowly, savoring each bite. When eating a sloppy burger in a bun I would stuff the food in my mouth before the bun disintegrated and all the fillings fell into a heap on my plate.

Once I started having my burger with “no bun, please” I realized how little flavor that puffy white bread added to the burger. It’s the juiciness of the burger, the bite of the greens and snap of the dill pickle that I enjoyed, not the slightly sweet but mostly bland spongy wrapping.

Once I found burgers just as enjoyable (if not more) without the bun I started looking at all sandwiches in a new way. I started asking myself “Could this be just as yummy without the bread?” Often the answer is “Yes!”

For those sandwiches that really do call for some kind of bread I started using one slice or a 100-calorie mini buns. 100-calorie mini buns are quite a find. Orowheat sells them under the name Sandwich Thins, Pepperidge Farms calls theirs Deli Flats. They are smaller around than a regular slice of bun and flat. At about 20 grams of carbs with 5 grams of fiber the whole wheat version provides two slices of  yummy healthfulness.

You get the idea.

Try having that burger or sandwich without the bread. If you really want some bread try using one slice instead, 0r try using a 100-calorie bun—whole wheat is the best!

Besides, how much flavor did that spongy white bun add to the burger anyway? Not much.