Life Foods: Veggie Burgers That Don't Suck

Lifefoods 1000

Veggie burgers often get knocked as flavorless cardboard patties, but if you haven't had one in a while, your options have gotten a lot better. Take the Superfoods Burger by Life Foods, one of the newest local companies to reinvent meatless options for vegans and vegetarians: It's tasty enough to make a carnivore think twice about ordering her usual burger.

Life Foods' burger is loaded with herbs and spices like oregano, cilantro, garlic, ginger, parsley and turmeric, while its base of buckwheat, chia seeds and dried apricots give it texture, often the weakest link in a veggie burger. But not this one.

Life Foods founder Azeem Butt, a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur now based in Maui, hired vegan chefs to create organic, non-GMO, soy- and gluten-free products that are also packed with protein and fiber. "My wife and I have been a vegetarian for over six years now, but last year my eight- and nine-year-old decided they wanted to give up all animal-based food as well," Butt says. "In addition to that, we realized my eight-year-old daughter was becoming more and more sensitive to gluten products. We quickly realized how difficult it is find food products that are meatless but also provide nutrition and are tasty to eat."

Honolulu Burger Co. and Kua Aina both offer Life Foods' patty as a veggie burger option, and even some of the high-end resorts on Maui, such as the Westin and the new Andaz Maui, are carrying Life Foods' products. Find the Life Foods line, which includes sauerkraut and salad dressings, at Kokua Market.

Read More Stories by Martha Cheng