With so many of us stuck in quarantine or social distancing, we’ve had to get creative with the types of vegetables we pick up from the store. A lot of us have pivoted away from leafy greens to hardier veggies that will stay good in a dark cupboard or crisper for longer.
This means that there’s a good chance you have a store of onions you’re not exactly sure what to do with—and that’s a good thing, because this veggie is not only delicious, it’s extremely versatile and packed with health benefits.
So why should you be eating more onion? From French to Italian to Mediterranean cuisine, onion’s varied flavor profile makes it a popular ingredient in many dishes.
Beyond taste, onion is an important vegetable for health and nutrition. Onions are high in vitamin C and a good source of dietary fiber; they also contain quercetin, an antioxidant that slows oxidative damage to our cells and helps eliminate free radicals that are implicated in many diseases.
Onion is a member of the allium family of vegetables (garlic, leeks, scallions, chives, and shallots). Some research indicates that regularly eating allium vegetables could reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer by as much as 79%. Onions may also help protect against gastric ulcer, heart disease, and stroke.
Read on to learn more about onions…
Interesting Onion Facts
- Onion’s hardy, papery skin protects the outside from bacteria and preserves the juices inside.
- Onion juice can soothe a bee sting.
- Onion is packed with phytonutrients and other important nutrients that protect health; these compounds have anticancer and antimicrobial activity.
- Yellow, red, and white onions are available year round, but there are differences in their flavor. Spring /Summer (March through August) tend to have thinner, lighter skins and range in flavor from sweet to mild. Fall/ Winter (August through May) onions have darker skins, are lower in water content, and tend toward strong and pungent flavor.
- The winter varieties have a longer shelf life and require longer cooking time than the spring variety.
Want to choose the best onions and use them properly? Check out this short video usage guide.
What To Do With Your Onions
Want some ideas on what to do with your onions? Here’s a few of my favorite recipes that require onions. (Bonus: a lot of these include other ingredients you’re probably trying to figure out how to use up before they go bad.)