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5 takes on black bean burgers

Changing up the toppings leads to big flavors at CMU.

At Central Michigan University (CMU), the foodservice team has connected with the American Heart Association and the Humane Society of the United States to make the move toward a more plant-forward, heart-healthy diet for the students they serve. The protein flip—plant-based proteins like beans flipping to the center of the plate—plays a big role in this overall shift.

Thanks to plant-forward eating making its way more into the mainstream, new menu items, like black bean burgers, have been gaining momentum on campus.

“The current popularity of plant-forward foods is already helping make meatless offerings an attractive option for our guests,” says Charles Schermer, senior culinary development chef with Aramark at CMU. “The key is to then pair the meatless burger with plant-based condiments and toppings that are rich in flavor yet healthy and nutritious.”

Burgers are a good starting point to get into plant-based eating, Schermer says, because “it’s a format the students are familiar with.”

Starting with plain, premade black bean burgers, Schermer and the CMU culinary team have taken them in five different flavor directions for the Make the Flip limited-time offer that took place over five days in CMU’s residential dining venues.

Here’s how the week of black bean burgers played out:

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