Use Rosemary to Reduce Toxins in Grilled Meats
That gnarly rosemary bush in the backyard could make grilling your burger a whole lot safer.
For years we’ve been warned not to cook meats at sky-high temperatures because the charring can cause cancer. Now a new study shows that rosemary and rosemary extracts can actually block the formation of Heterocyclic Amines (HCA’s) – the carcinogenic compounds that form when meats are grilled.
In a study published in The Journal of Food Science, researchers found that adding rosemary extract to ground beef eliminated HCA’s by as much as 90 percent. The antioxidants found in rosemary - arinic acid, carnosol and carnosic acid – were found to play a vital role in lowering the formation of toxins in the meat.
In other studies, marinating meats was also found to have a protective effect. Adding rosemary, garlic, onion and lemon juice will help reduce carcinogens in grilled meats.
Recipe: The Perfect Marinade
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried or 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
½ teaspoon dried or 1 teaspoon freshly minced ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup lemon juice
1-2 cloves minced garlic
3/8 cup salad oil
¼ low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
Blend and marinate chicken for several hours.
Tips to reduce HCA’s
• Don’t use the highest heat setting on your grill
• Lower broiler rack or raise the grill away from the flame
• Use leaner cuts of meat, trim fat and remove skin prior to grilling
• Avoid eating the charred meat