So last week’s plant-based Monday, we talked about one of our favorite kitchen staples, garlic. This week we’re covering our other staple in the kitchen…onions! Onions are extremely versatile, potent, and fantastic addition to almost any dish. You can toss them into salads, stews, omelettes, soups, you name it. Flavor aside, onions have been shown to also be good for our health. So let’s hear it for onions!
Delving into the nutritional aspects of onions, they’re a good source of vitamin C and fiber, and contain other nutrients like manganese, and vitamin B6. They also contain a phytonutrient called quercetin. Phytonutrients are antioxidants that can be found in many different plant forms. There are a handful of phytonutrients, like carotenoids and lycopene. They play an important role in health because antioxidants help fight chronic inflammation, which can be linked to different chronic diseases. So eating foods like onions and other phytonutrient-rich foods, help lower our risk for chronic disease.
The origin of onions has been up for debate for years. Some research has pointed toward Asian countries as the origin, while other research suggests that they were first grown in the Middle East. Whatever the case, onions have been cited in ancient records dating back 5000 years ago. In Egypt, onions were thought to be a very powerful plant. They were often buried with the pharaohs. Onions were thought to represent eternal life due to their concentric circular structure (pretty cool, huh?)
Onions keep very well. When picking an onion, try and find a firm bulb with little damage to the exterior. Store them in a cool, dry place with plenty of air flow. Store onions in the refrigerator only after they have been peeled or cut for up to seven days.
For those of you weeping while cutting onions, try chilling the onion before cutting. This will cut down on the sulfur compounds in the onion to help reduce that eye irritation.
We really do love onions, as you might notice in many of our recipes. Check out some of our favorites:
What are some of your best ways to enjoy onions? Toss us your favorite onion recipes in the comments below!