Onions are perhaps the most flavorful of our Summer vegetables, and their versatility make them one of the most loved as well. Aside from being tasty and easy to cook with, they’re also super healthy. Onions are excellent sources of Vitamin C, sulphur, and antioxidants.
Some studies have also shown onions to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. Some of the antioxidants in onions have been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer and reducing the symptoms of bladder and urinary tract infections as well.
Some studies have shown that the highest concentration of vitamins and antioxidants lies in the outermost part of the onion, so be careful when peeling it not to remove any of this super-healthy part of the onion.
Onions can either be stored fresh or frozen, and both are super easy. To store fresh onions, first select the onions that are the most mature and firm. Do not wash onions before storing. Onions will store best hanging up in mesh bags in a basement or root cellar, optimally where the temperature falls between 32 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also have them in an area that is not very humid and has good ventilation to ensure that onions do not begin sprouting.
There are also some good options for freezing onions. The best option is perhaps to slice them and place them in a freezer bag to use later. Please note that onions can become slightly mushy after freezing, so you will want to use them in cooking rather than eating them fresh.
Another great way to preserve onions for cooking is to peel and puree them in a blender. Then pour the onion puree into ice trays and cover with plastic to freeze (this will help keep the onion-flavor from seeping into your other frozen foods). Remove from trays and place into plastic baggies. Use your onions cubes in soups, gravies, etc. for a quick way to add some flavor to your meal.
Easy Caramelized Onions
1. Cut the onions root to tip: Slice 1/2-inch off the stem ends of the onions and the roots off of the root end. Place the onions cut side down on the cutting board. Cut them in half through the root end. Peel back the peels from the onions.
2. Heat olive oil and butter, add onion slices: Use a wide, thick-bottomed sauté pan for maximum pan contact with the onions. Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil, or a mixture of olive oil and butter (about 1 teaspoon per onion). Heat the pan on medium high heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the onion slices and stir to coat the onions with the oil. Spread the onions out evenly over the pan and let cook, stirring occasionally.
3. Cook, stirring every few minutes: Let cook for 30 minutes to an hour more, stirring every few minutes. As soon as the onions start sticking to the pan, let them stick a little and brown, but then stir them before they burn.
French Onion Soup