These bison burgers have bite!  I love eating them for breakfast, but you can enjoy at any meal.

Bison is NOT the same as buffalo. Commercial brands use the terms “bison” and “buffalo” interchangeably. However, while bison and buffalo are from the same Bovidae family, they are not the same animal. Native to North America, bison once roamed the U.S. Great Plains. Bison are bigger and weigh more than buffalo; have smaller horns; and they have a hump which buffalo do not.

Bison naturally forage for—and graze—on grass, weeds and leafy plants, so they are more likely than beef to be grass-fed. Compared to beef, bison is an excellent source of lean protein; containing a high amount of protein relative to a very low amount of saturated fat. Bison is also lower in calories and contains healthy “good” fats, like omega 3 and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). Compared to other meats, like beef, pork, chicken, even some fish, bison is also lower in cholesterol.

Bison is a rich source of nutrients that support thyroid and immune health, including Vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, B vitamins (depleted immediately under stress) and iron. Iron deficiency is common among those who have thyroid disease, like hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s and/or adrenal dysfunction. Often, adrenal dysfunction and hypothyroidism/Hashimoto’s go together. After being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and stage 3 adrenal exhaustion in 2013, I found myself eating red meat 3-4 times a week because my body craved it (this was after years of avoiding red meat ).  I also had a long history of iron deficiency anemia.  If you struggle with PCOS or experience heavy or irregular periods, you are also likely to have iron deficiency anemia.

Because bison is so lean, be careful not to overcook.

Cast Iron Skillet Bison Burgers
Makes 5 small burgers

1 pound of ground bison (available at Whole Foods and select markets)

1 serrano pepper, ends trimmed, roughly chopped
2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
1 large clove (or 2 small cloves) garlic

1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 heaping teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons 100% pure sesame oil
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar

Place ground bison in a medium stainless steel bowl.

Pulse serrano peppers, scallions and garlic in a small food processor, until minced and well combined.  Add to ground bison.

Add smoked Spanish paprika, Herbes de Provence, Celtic sea salt, pepper, sesame oil and raw apple cider vinegar to bison.

Using your hands, combine all ingredients with ground bison; massage meat well. Form 5 patties. Set aside.

Warm 2 teaspoons of coconut oil or coconut oil to coat a 10-inch (or 12-inch) cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.When the oil is hot (but NOT smoking), add the bison patties. Cook apx. 3-4 minutes on one side. Flip over and cook another 3-4 minutes.  Be mindful not to overcook, as bison is extremely lean.