Before you fire up the grill for summer, learn some tips to keep barbecue season healthy!
Choose Nitrate Free Meats for grilling. Processed meats like hot dogs, bratwurst, bacon and sausages contain preservatives called nitrates that, when cooked at high heat, have been linked to colon cancer in studies. However, nitrate free meats are available so you can enjoy traditional favorites without the risk of harmful carcinogens forming. Organic meats cannot contain nitrates.
Cook Medium Rare - Lower temps and shorter cooking times reduce risk of harmful compounds forming.
Marinade Your Meats use a thin, vinegar-based sauce—and leave out the sugar. Even briefly marinating foods is effective in reducing the amount of carcinogens—in some cases by as much as 92 to 99 percent. It only takes a few minutes to get the full cancer-preventing effect. Longer times will just add more flavor. Here’s a recipe from the American Institute for Cancer Research:
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
1 tsp. fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and puree for 10 seconds; add remaining ingredients and combine well. Pour into a jar with a tightly fitting lid and let stand 15 minutes to let flavors meld. Adjust seasonings to taste. Shake vigorously then pour over meat, coating on all sides. Marinate, refrigerated, for at least 15 minutes; turn and marinate another 15 minutes.
Remove food from marinade and place it on grill over medium-high heat. Discard extra marinade to avoid harmful bacteria from raw poultry or fish.
Makes 1 cup.