*** ----> Shying away from Burgers? Here’s why you shouldn’t. - Eats and Treats by Tania Rebello | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Shying away from Burgers? Here’s why you shouldn’t. - Eats and Treats by Tania Rebello

TDT | Manama                                                

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com      

The dilemma of whether or not hamburgers are good for us has been a topic of debate for decades. Some people call it junk food, while others disagree. To those opposing, it may seem like a balanced meal consisting of bread, cheese, meat and vegetables. Quite often, the process of cooking the burger and the ingredients used determines this. 
For example, a copious amount of cheese, mayonnaise, or deep-frying burgers will cause concerns. However, there is no reason as to why you cannot enjoy a delicious burger when prepared correctly with the right quantity and quality of ingredients.
If you have opted to stay away from store bought frozen factory-made burgers or the burgers you get at fast food joints, you have done the right thing as factory-made burgers contain unsafe amounts of sodium. 
Excess sodium is added to serve as a preservative and a taste enhancer. However, does that jeopardise health? Yes, it does. High sodium consumption can raise blood pressure, and high blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart disease and stroke. 
An occasional trip to your favourite fast food chain will not pose serious threats to your health. Regular consumption of burgers and other fast food will ultimately cause trouble. 
I enjoy good hamburgers. What defines a good hamburger? 
For me, it is the perfect ratio of meat to bun, a fresh and soft bun, the use of condiments, freshness of the meat, the right amount of seasoning and juiciness of the burger patty. 
Would you agree with me? These tips and tricks will give you a good reason to consume this much-enjoyed favourite. 
Here are some tips for creating the perfect hamburger: 
1. Combining 80% meat and 20% fat is ideal. 
2. Do not overwork the meat. Gently form patties and do not press them too much. This will ensure that the burgers stay juicy. 
3. Season the meat patty with salt and pepper once formed.
4. Make an indent in the centre of the patty. This should prevent the burgers from becoming dome-shaped while cooking.
5. Cook on high heat until cooked through. The burgers will retain their moisture. 
Condiments add goodness and wholesomeness: 
Toppings and condiments are a great way to customise the flavour of your hamburger. 
I love adding pickled jalapenos and dill relish to my burgers. It adds a bit of tang that cuts through the heaviness of beef. Besides, pickled vegetables are great for good gut health.
Tomatoes, onions, and crunchy green leafy vegetables add a variety of vitamins and minerals. They also add a fresh element to burgers and make them colourful and appetising. I do not like romaine lettuce as it hampers the sandwich’s flavours. If I need to add lettuce, iceberg lettuce would be my primary choice due to its neutral flavors. Spinach or cabbage leaves are excellent too. 
Caramelised onions are a game changer.  These slow cooked fried onions are addictive when added in burgers along with a slice of cheddar cheese. 
Avocado is perfect as a creamy element. If you must use mayonnaise, replace half the mayonnaise with mashed avocado.  This way, you are adding healthy fat in addition to creaminess.
Try my tasty Mock Mayo. I developed this recipe to enjoy guilt-free homemade burgers. Its texture and colour is similar to mayonnaise. The addition of herbs and toasted garlic makes this sauce unique.