Know Your Onions

Most of us can’t resist the smell of onions being cooked. But how much do you know about onions? There are many varieties and they all have their place in the kitchen, but it helps if you know what you’re buying. Then there’s how to cook them (yes, there are options). And finally, onions are good for you. Read on to see their health benefits.

onions variety

Types Of Onions

Cooking Onions
The most familiar brown onion. Used in a wide variety of cooking methods.

Mild Onions
Some Chilean and Spanish onions are in this category. Often these onions are sold as large Class 1 onions, but these should not always be assumed to be mild.

White Onions
These have a distinctive papery skin and require a very dry climate, hence are all imported. White onions are quite strong in flavour.

Shallots
They have a tapered shape and a fine textured, coppery skin, which differentiates them from onions. Much favoured by French chefs.

Pickling Onions
The smaller brown onion, used for pickling and in stews. They have a low water content and strong flavour.

Green Onions
Not often seen in the UK, these are normally brown and/or mild onion. In effect, these are bulb onions which are sold before drying and storing.

Salad Onions (Or spring Onions)
These are specific varieties grown at high density for sale with tops at an immature stage. Eaten raw with salads or cooked in stir fries.

Red Onions
These have a high anthocyanin content and hence higher antioxidant content than brown onions (re health benefits). Types grown have a red edge to each scale within the bulb. They are increasing in consumption and whilst widely used raw in salads, are not necessarily mild.

Supasweet Onions
Renowned for its unique ‘tear free’ qualities and suitability for eating raw, the popularity of supasweet onions has increased steadily in recent years.

How To Cook Onions

Caramelised onions

We’ve all fried onions, but to get that intense and sweet onion taste try your hand at caramalising onions. This site will show you how to do it. Give it a try – they are delicious. http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-caramelize-onions-35933#_

Health Benefits From Onions

Never mind the tears, onions are a really good for you. A prized member of the lily family, onions have health benefits while adding loads of taste to your food. Not to mention you can buy them from your grocer for mere pennies.

Here’s a quick glimpse at their incredible health benefits:
• The phytochemicals in onions along with their vitamin C help improve immunity.
• Onions contain chromium, which assists in regulating blood sugar.
• For centuries, onions have been used to reduce inflammation and heal infections.
• Do you enjoy sliced onions with your food? If yes, rejoice! Raw onion lowers the production of bad cholesterol (LDL), thus keeping your heart healthy.
• A powerful compound called quercetin in onions is known to play a significant role in preventing cancer.
• Stung by a bee? Apply onion juice on the area for immediate pain relief and burning sensation.
• Onions scavenge free radicals, thereby reducing your risk of developing gastric ulcers.

If you really want to know your onions, here is a really interesting site: http://britishonions.co.uk/onion-types/

And please take a look at the recipe section of our web site.