Jim’s Cherry Burgers

Hamburgers used to be one of my favorite items.  I have since switched to turkey burgers, but you might really enjoy these.  This idea came from Science News (Vol. 155, 4/24/1999, pgs. 264-266) in a discussion about a way to lower the cancer risk associated with the production of heterocyclic amines (HCAs) during the grilling of meat.  Simply put, the scientists found that mixing antioxidants into meat prior to cooking will lower the production of HCAs.  Now, I’m in no mood to mix vitamins into my hamburger.  But, they also discovered that tart cherry pigments constitute the most effective antioxidants for meats. I have a fondness for pineapple burgers, hamburgers with a slice of pineapple on top, so mixing cherries into hamburger meat seemed reasonable.

  • 1 lb. hamburger or bison burger
  • 13 whole cherries, fresh or frozen
  • 3 hamburger buns
  • Mustard and ketchup and onions

Remove the pits, grind the cherries in your blender and mix by hand into the meat, thoroughly.  Grill or fry the resulting mixture normally.

The treated meat has a subtle tartness and a really mild cherry flavor that doesn’t detract from the keynotes of the hamburger.  The meat is more succulent than you would expect.  The burgers seem richer and more filling.  Use ketchup, mustard and onions to taste!

Go ahead, try it.  The worst that can happen is that you might have to buy some ice cream to mix with the leftover cherries!  The best is that your hamburgers will have 90% fewer carcinogens in them and you get to have ice cream after the burgers.


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