Onions boost flavor and add antioxidants for cell and tissue health.
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- Choose whole onions that are firm and heavy for their size, and have no scent. Look for a dry, papery outer skin. Avoid cut, bruised or sprouting onions.
- Yellow onions usually cost the least. Use them for cooking since the flavor becomes sweeter when cooked. Use sweet onions and red onions when you need a mild raw flavor or bright color.
- Onion powder adds flavor when cooking. Choose onion powder over onion salt to help reduce the salt in your diet.
Types of Onions
- Are most common.
- They store well.
- Are usually sharper in flavor.
- Are somewhat mild in flavor.
- Their red skin adds color to dishes.
- Have a mild flavor even when raw.
- They don't store as long.
Green onions (scallions)
- Are mild in flavor.
- Both the bulb and the green tops are eaten.
- Are thin green stems with a mild onion flavor.
- Use them fresh or dried.
- Have a mild onion flavor and can be used raw or cooked.
Store Well Waste Less
- Store whole onions in a cool, dark, dry place in an open bowl or bag for several weeks. They need air around them to slow spoilage.
- Refrigerate peeled or cut onions in sealed containers or wrapped tightly. Use within 1 to 2 weeks.
- Refrigerate green onions (scallions) and use within 1 to 2 weeks.
- Freeze extra onions (raw or cooked) to prevent waste. Chop the onions and sauté if desired.
- Freeze an amount to be used at one time in individual freezersafe containers or bags.
- Freeze individual pieces on a tray and transfer to a freezer-safe container. To use, remove just what you need and return to the freezer. Use within 6 to 8 months in cooked dishes.
Cooking with Onions
Any type of onion can be used in most recipes.
- Chill onions before chopping - 30 minutes in the refrigerator or 10 minutes in the freezer.
- Use a very sharp knife.
- Start cutting at the stem end.
When kids help make healthy food, they are more likely to try it. Show kids how to:
- snip green onions or chives with kitchen scissors.
- put onions in the refrigerator before cutting.
- toss onions with oil and seasonings and arrange on the pan for roasting.