Maceration (pronounced "mass-uh-ray-shun") refers to the process of steeping a food — typically, a fruit such as a berry — in a liquid (such as a liqueur) or sugar in order to infuse it with the liquid's flavor and soften the food. The process of macerating is similar to that of marinating, which involves soaking food in a seasoned, acidic liquid prior to cooking.
BBQ season is upon us and while grilling is an easy and low fat way to cook food (compared to sautéing in oil or butter). Here are five things I thought you might want to know about the whys and hows of marinating.
- Marinating meat, fish and poultry significantly decreases the amount of carcinogenic HCAs (heterocyclic amines) produced when the meat is cooked at high temperatures, like in grilling. Marinades can reduces the HCAs by as much as 99 percent.
- Marinades may slow the growth of harmful bacteria, like listeria.
- Marinating meat with naturally acidic ingredients, like vinegar or citrus juices, tenderizes the meat, breaking down the proteins making the meat easier to digest. Plus it helps lock in the moisture so the meat won't dry out and toughen up.
- To keep the calorie count down, only use one-half cup of marinade to every pound of meat. This will be enough to coat the meat, but cuts down on excess.
- Never marinate meat at room temperature. Although marinade can slow the growth of harmful bacteria, it cannot stop them completely, so marinate your meat in the fridge.
Have fun grilling!
Nothing says Memorial Day like a backyard BBQ. So if you are firing up the grill here are some healthy options for you to consider.
Don't forget your veggies. Grilled vegetables taste great and are a great way to make sure you get your 5 - 7 servings of fruits and veggies. Why not kkip the potato chips and eat some grilled eggplant instead?
If you are going to grill up some burgers use grass fed beef it is better for you and the environment. Also, remember that is a good idea to marinate your meat before sticking it on the grill. Not only does the marinade prevent the meat from drying out, a common grilling faux pas, it also protects the meat from carcinogens created by smoke and high heat cooking. If you are grilling up some tri-tip, Yumsugar has a Shiraz-Soy marinade recipe for you to try. It looks tasty.
Maybe you want a meatless option, and if so I highly recommend Gardenburgers. Made from whole grain brown rice, rolled oats, and veggies - they not only taste good, but they are good for you. Or if you are in the mood for a hot dog try a Tofu Pup.
Happy Memorial Day!!!