Saturday, May 28, 2011

What's in Season? - Vidalia Onions

I love the sweetness and depth of flavor that onions add to a dish and sweet Vidalia onions are in season right now. When I cook, onions are usually the first thing that goes into the pot or pan. Who doesn’t love the smell of sautéing onions?

Onions are a member of the Allium family that includes garlic and leeks. In addition to their vitamin and mineral content, which includes fair amounts of vitamins C and B6, folate, potassium, and manganese, onions are a rich source sulfur containing compounds that combat inflammation, positively influence our cardiovascular systems by lowering triglycerides and cholesterol, and inhibiting the aggregation platelets in the blood. They may provide benefits to our highly sulfated connective tissues and bones.

Onions are rich in the antioxidant quercetin that targets inflammation in the body and has antibacterial properties as well. Onions also offer protection from some forms of cancer when eaten in moderation. I have no problem eating onions on a regular basis though!

Something, I’ve just discovered as well is that the health-promoting benefits of onions are concentrated in the outermost layers, so try to peel away as few layers as possible when preparing your onions. Onions are not part of the Dirty Dozen list of vegetables that are best purchased organic, so conventional is OK.

Add them to salads, soups, grain dishes, eggs, sandwiches and wraps, and guacamole. Skewer them with other vegetables and grill them or sautee them in vegetable broth and serve them as a side dish. There is not limit to the number of ways onions can be eaten.

Do you eat onions and what is your favorite way to cook them??

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