A member of the Allium family, green onions are a young bulb onion that are pulled from the ground before the bulb is fully mature. Depending on geographical location, the definition of what constitutes a green onion varies, and in some areas of the southeastern United States, green onions are also called “spring onions.” Although green onions are often referred to as scallions, green onions have a small bulb (unlike scallions) and are bigger and slightly more mature than scallions. In addition to being quite tasty, green onions offer many health benefits.
Nutritional Benefits of Green Onions
Green onions offer many of the same health benefits as mature onions, and regular consumption of onions has been shown to:
- Lower blood sugar
- Decrease high cholesterol and blood pressure levels
- Reduce the risk of developing colon and other cancers
- Reduce inflammation
The compounds responsible for the strong odor of green onions are also what provide some of the biggest health benefits green onions offer. Onions contain allyl propyl disulphide, which has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. Quercetin, an antioxidant found in green onions, offers anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine benefits. Onions are rich in nutrients found in green onions include fiber, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, and copper.
How to Use Green Onions
Green onions are a versatile vegetable with a mild flavor that can be used in many dishes. Both the stalks and bulbs of green onions are edible. Green onions can be eaten raw or as a side to meat and poultry dishes. In addition, chopped green onions can be used: in salsas, sauces, and dips; as an ingredient in soups and salads; in rice dishes or stir-fries; as a topping on pizza; sautéed and used in vegetable or meat dishes; and as an ingredient in omelets.
Fresh Garden Salsa
A quick and easy way to add green onions to the diet is with homemade salsa. Top burritos, tacos or baked potatoes with fresh salsa or just use as a dip for baked tortilla chips.
- 3 medium fresh tomatoes
- 3 or 4 green onions
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1 tsp. lime juice
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Salt and pepper
- Remove stems from tomatoes, wash, and finely dice.
- Clean green onions by removing top layer from bulb and snip off the root. Cut ends of stalks to remove any dried or withered portions.
- Remove stems, ribs, and seeds from jalapeno pepper and finely dice. Be sure to use gloves when handling the jalapeno pepper. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after removing gloves, and avoid touching the eyes for a few hours.
- In a medium bowl, combine ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Wait approximately an hour before serving so that flavors can combine.
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