Onions

Year-Round

Health Benefits

Onions contain large amounts of Vitamin C and organosulfur compounds. Both of these compounds helps combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. Eliminating free radicles promotes a strong immune system. Onions encourage a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure and risks for heart attacks.

History

The onion has been cultivated for at least 5000 years and were first grown in Iran and West Pakistan. Cultivation did not take place until two thousand years later in ancient Egypt. The Egyptians saw the onion as a reflection of eternal life because of its circle-within-a-circle structure. Onions were buried alongside Pharaohs and it is theorized that this was done because onions strong scent would prompt the dead to breathe again. Paintings of onions also appear on the inner walls of the pyramids.

Recipes to Try

How to Store

Most onions should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place with plenty of air ventilation. Very sweet onions should be stored in the refrigerator, on a low humidity setting. Chopped onions can be frozen and will keep fresh for 3-6 months. Just place them in a freezer bag or airtight container and package them as flat as possible. Sliced, chopped, or minced onions should be stored in the refrigerator. Onions will keep for up to 7 days in a sealed container.

How to Prepare

An onion’s flavor deteriorates and its aroma intensifies over time, so it is important to prepare onions as close to cooking or serving as possible. To minimize tearing, refrigerate onions 30 minutes before preparation. Using a sharp knife, cut the top and bottom half of the onion and discard. Then, cut in half. Peel off the papery layers and discard. To maximize health benefits, use as much of the onion as possible. Over peeling can result in an unwanted loss of nutrients. Onions can be sliced, diced, or minced.

Ways to Enjoy

Enjoy onions braised, boiled, steamed, baked, grilled, sautéed, roasted, fried or caramelized. Mild and sweet onions are best in salads and other raw or lightly cooked meals. Full flavored onions taste best in savory dishes that require longer cooking times.

Health Benefits

Onions contain large amounts of Vitamin C and organosulfur compounds. Both of these compounds helps combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. Eliminating free radicles promotes a strong immune system. Onions encourage a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure and risks for heart attacks.

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