Fustini's Oils and Vinegars

Winter Feature: All Things Onions

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The onion. 

It’s been associated with stinky breath and dirty roots for far too long. 

If you’re someone who turns their nose up at the smell or taste of onions, it may be time to reconsider your preconceived notions about this root vegetable. 

Because not only does this winter produce elevate the flavor and aromas of your dishes, it also comes with some surprising health benefits. Sure they may come with a particularly pungent flavor and in a variety of colors and shapes. They may range from sweet to spicy. They may even make your eyes water if they’ve got an especially sharp flavor. But it’s flavor profile can also transform your dishes to get that extra boost of taste it needs. 

Whether you’ve written off onions since you were a kid or try to incorporate them in just about any dinnertime dish you can, it’s a veggie you won’t want to overlook. 

Health Benefits of Onions 

To perhaps reinspire some of the joy and glory of the onion, here we share some key healthy properties of onions you may not have known. 

High in Vitamins and Minerals 

Like many other veggies, onions are rich with essential vitamins and nutrients to keep you going. In addition to being low in calories, they’re packed with health-powering components. 

Specifically, onions are surprisingly high in Vitamin C, which helps support your immune health and tissue repair. It also helps to protect your cells against damage. Onions also have high levels of B vitamins and potassium, two other key nutrients your body needs to be healthy. 

 Cancer-Fighting Properties 

Onions have also been studied to show their cancer-preventing components, especially with stomach cancers. Typically, research has shown that onions work together with other lifestyle considerations to lower your risk of certain types of cancer.

Small Amounts of Other Healthy Vitamins and Minerals 

While not as significant as properties like Vitamin C or B, onions do contain small amounts of other valuable components that keep you healthy. Onions also contain calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, phosphorous as well as some other antioxidants. 

Packed With Antioxidants 

Especially for red onions, powerful antioxidants amp up the health value. The antioxidant quercetin comes with anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful in fighting off disease. Like other antioxidants, they also work to eliminate free radicals that cause problems in your body. Even more, these antioxidants act as anti-inflammatory agents to reduce pain and aches you may be experiencing.

Supports Heart and Blood Health 

Other components of onions include biotin, which helps to regulate blood sugar and fight off type 2 diabetes. It also supports your heart with its HDL-producing properties, the good cholesterol that’s important for staying healthy. The sulfur in onions also prevents clots, which in turn may help to lower blood pressure. 

With so many great health benefits, there’s a lot to love about onions. But chances are, you may not be getting these great benefits by picking an onion up out of the ground and eating it raw right from the stalk. 

How to Slice an Onion for Cooking 

One of the easiest ways to use the onion is by slicing it first. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide for slicing an onion. 

  • Take your chef’s knife and run it from root to root, from one end of the onion to the other.
  • Cut off about half an inch from the top of the root and discard. 
  • Peel only the very outermost paper layer of the onion. Be careful to not pull too many layers off, as the antioxidant power is packed into those outermost layers. 
  • Place one half flat-side down on the cutting board and slice the half of onion vertically.
  • If you’re planning on dicing your onion, don’t cut all the way to the end of the onion as you have it flat side down on your cutting board. Leave about a quarter of an inch still attached to the top. Once you’re done cutting vertically, you can turn the onion 90 degrees so that your cut, vertical slices that are still attached at the top are facing horizontally. Then, cut vertically to create a small dice cut. 
  • Repeat with the second half. 

Delish, Fustini-fied Onion Recipes to Try 

With onions, there are a ton of ways you can enjoy their flavor and healthy perks in your weekly dinners and quick lunches. With so much flavor to offer, onions can be an easy add-in to a variety of cuisines and dishes. 

Here we share just a few flavoring ideas and dishes that celebrate the onion. These easy recipes are something you can try whether you’re new in the kitchen or have been slicing and dicing onions for years. 

Caramelized Onion Chicken - Caramelizing onions is a cooking technique that brings out the sweet, natural flavors of this veggie. This recipe uses the agents of red wine vinegar and soy sauce to get those sweet and nutty notes.  

French Onion Dip - Add cream and cheese to anything and you can make anything taste good. The yellow onion takes center stage with this savory and bold dip. The onion flavor is even amped up with the help of Cilantro & Onion olive oil

Grilled Peach, Onion and Bacon Salad - Match the onion with other flavor components like salty bacon, sweet balsamic and savory herbs for a fresh take on fruit salad. 

Onion and Herb Agrodolce Sauce - Whip up your own agrodolce sauce with the help of flavorful onions. This recipe incorporates three types of onions, including shallots, cipollini and pearl onions. By pairing these with a savory Tuscan Herb olive oil and sweet red wine and Rosemary Garlic Agrodolce, this sauce tops off chicken or steak deliciously. 

Pickled Onions - Soak your onion slices in a sweet brine for a versatile and tart topping for sandwiches, salads and steaks. 

Pork Chops with Apples and Onions - Pair the bold onion flavor with a sweet apple in this baked recipe. With add-ins like a Rosemary Garlic Agrodolce and the Michigan Apple balsamic, this main dish will have you ready for a great fall-inspired dinner. 

Chicken Fajita Skewers - Add sliced red onion to your skewers for a colorful and bright burst of flavor. You can also elevate the sweetness by adding some Habanero Agave agrodolce to top it off. 

Zucchini, Squash & Onion in Mushroom Sauce - By sautéeing up the mushrooms and onions together, this flavorful side is packed with flavor and veggies. The savory blend of onion and mushroom is further enhanced with our Shiitake Agrodolce that adds an extra bit of sweetness.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa - Onions are typically a standard in most salsa recipes. Combine it with other veggies and a smooth olive oil like Basil to create a balanced and harmonious bite. 

Stir-Fry - One of the quickest and easiest ways to use up some sliced onions is to throw them in a sauté pan with some other veggies for a stir-fry. Add what you want and flavor it how you like. We suggest using flavors like ginger, soy sauce and bring it together with a Sesame oil. 

Embrace the Potential of the Onion

Despite its bold aroma that can sometimes bring tears to the eyes, onions have so much potential in cooking and for healthy living. With key vitamins and nutrients and anti-oxidant properties, this wintertime veggie is worth it. And, with so many great ways to amplify the rich and versatile flavor, it’s easy to incorporate it into your meal prepping and planning. 

What’s your favorite way to cook up an onion? Let us know here in the comments or on our social media accounts!  

 

 

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