Category Archives: Food

Honey Glazed Carrots (Using Frozen Carrot Slices)

Honey Glazed Carrots (Using Frozen Carrot Slices)

Cooking with frozen vegetables is a great way to shave some time off of food preparation. No washing, chopping, nor blanching needed! Here’s a really simple way to make honey glazed carrots using frozen carrot slices. The recipe is below the video demonstration. Enjoy!

I hope this helps!
Judi

Honey Glazed Carrots (Using Frozen Carrots)
Makes 4 Servings

1 (12 oz or 1 lb) bag of frozen carrot slices
2 Tbsp butter*
2 Tbsp honey*
1 Tbsp lemon juice*
Parsley flakes, optional garnish

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt, then add the frozen (not thawed) carrots. Add three tablespoons of water and cover the pan. Allow the carrots to thaw and come to a boil (turning heat up if needed), then lower the heat to a simmer.

Drizzle the carrots with the honey; stir to combine. Cover the pan and allow the carrots to cook until almost as tender as you want them to be, adding more water by the tablespoon, if needed. When they are almost as tender as you like, remove the lid from the skillet and allow the glaze to form and coat the carrots, while stirring often. When the liquid is reduced and they are glazed and cooked to your liking, remove the pan from the heat and drizzle the carrots with the lemon juice. It takes about 7 or 8 minutes total time for the carrots to become crisp-tender. Sprinkle with dried or fresh parsley flakes, if desired. Serve.

*For a lighter, less sweet glaze, use 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of honey. Also, reduce the lemon juice to ½ tablespoon, if desired.

Ginger Root

Ginger 101 – The Basics

Ginger root has been used for thousands of years for its culinary and medicinal properties. Fresh ginger knobs can be intimidating if you don’t know what to do with them. In the video below, I cover a wide array of information about ginger from what it is, to its medicinal properties, to how to cook with it, and more. My video notes are below for your personal use. Enjoy!

I hope this helps!
Judi

Ginger 101 – The Basics

About Ginger
Ginger is a rhizome (Zingiber officinale) that is related to turmeric. It has a thick underground stem that produces roots and shoots. The plant can grow up to three feet high and produce from two to five sections that can be harvested year-round. After the sections are washed and dried in the sun, they can be used for culinary or medicinal purposes. Ginger grows well in a warm, damp climate, with most of the world’s ginger being grown in China, India, Australia, and Jamaica. The flesh of ginger can be yellow, white or red, depending on the variety, and has a pungent and spicy aroma and flavor.

Medicinal Properties
Ginger originated in Southeast Asia, where it has been used by Chinese and Indian healers for thousands of years. It is still used today for both its culinary and medicinal benefits. Consuming ginger may help to reduce muscle soreness, inflammation, and relieve arthritis pain in a similar, yet more comprehensive way than NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen). And, when taken in normal amounts, ginger does not appear to harm the stomach nor kidneys, like NSAIDS can.

Ginger may also help to reduce nausea, improve digestion and sooth upset stomachs, control high blood pressure, improve blood cholesterol levels, fight cancer, destroy harmful pathogens in the digestive tract, relieve migraine headaches, and clear skin blemishes.

Precautionary advice: Large amounts of ginger taken at one time (such as eating a whole knob at one time) may interfere with calcium channel blockers and drugs that lower blood sugar. Eating such a large amount at once may also cause heartburn, diarrhea, and mouth irritation.

Nutrition Tidbits
Ginger has an array of vitamins and minerals in trace amounts. So, with regard to essential nutrients, it doesn’t have much to offer. However, its value as a spice and its extensive medicinal properties far outweigh its nutritional value.

How to Select Fresh Ginger
Choose pieces that look fresh with smooth skin with no blemishes, and feel heavy for their size. Avoid pieces that are soft, wrinkled, or moldy.

How to Store Ginger
Store unpeeled ginger tightly wrapped in plastic (or in a zip-lock bag with the air removed) and in the refrigerator. Be sure it is completely dry before wrapping it, or that will invite mold. It should last about a month in the refrigerator when stored properly. Throw it out if it develops mold.

How to Preserve Ginger
Ginger is found fresh, dried, crystallized, and even pickled.

Peeled fresh ginger can be stored for weeks in a glass jar covered with vodka or some other alcoholic beverage.

Fresh ginger can be stored in the freezer. Simply peel then grate the ginger. Put it on a parchment-lined baking tray in increments you plan to use it (ie in one teaspoon mounds). Freeze until solid, then transfer the mounds to an air-tight container and return them to the freezer. They should keep for about 6 months. It can be used frozen or will quickly thaw when needed.

Ginger can also be frozen by simply cutting the unpeeled root into one-inch chunks. Place chunks on a plate or baking sheet and freeze. Transfer to freezer bags and return them to the freezer.

To dry fresh ginger, peel and cut it into small pieces, then follow manufacturer’s directions for drying.

How to Prepare Ginger
Fresh ginger needs to be peeled before eaten. It can be peeled with a knife or scraped with the tip of a teaspoon.

Cooking/Serving Methods
Use ginger anywhere you want its sharp spicy flavor. This includes dipping sauces, dressings, rubs, pesto, teas, and even smoothies. To convert a recipe from dried ginger, use 6 parts fresh grated ginger for 1 part of dried ground ginger.

Serving ideas
Drink it! Try ginger tea with lemon for a comforting drink, especially if you have a sore throat. It’s also a great addition to cocktails and mixed drinks!

Add ginger to juices and smoothies.

Add ginger to a raw beet salad.

Ginger, carrots, and sweet potato are a flavorful combo for soup.

Winter holidays just aren’t right without ginger: Ginger biscotti or cookies, and gingerbread.

Herbs/Spices That Go With Ginger
Basil, chili, cilantro, cumin, curry, garam masala, lemongrass, mint, miso, turmeric, wasabi

Foods That Go Well With Ginger
Produce: apples, apricots, asparagus, bell peppers, blueberries, bok choy, carrot, cauliflower, celery, cherries, collard greens, cranberries, edamame, eggplant, fennel, figs, garlic, kiwi, lemon, lime, melon, mushrooms, onion, orange, peaches, pear, plums, potatoes, pumpkin, scallions, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tamarind, watercress, zucchini

Savory: poultry, fish, beef, seafood, oats, rice, tofu, almonds, tahini, seitan, chickpeas, grains, and lentils

Other: sesame oil, soy sauce, tamari, sake, rum, seaweed, honey, cream, and yogurt

Suggested Flavor Combinations
Ginger + Cream + Honey
Ginger + Cilantro + Scallions + Garlic
Ginger + Beef + Broccoli + Soy Sauce
Ginger + Celery + Carrot + Garlic
Ginger + Carrot
Ginger + Soy Sauce

Recipe Links
29 Ginger Recipes That Will Spice Up Your Life https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/ginger-recipes

Ginger Tea With Honey and Lemon https://producemadesimple.ca/ginger-tea-lemon-honey/

Ginger Sweet Potato Soup with Toasted Curry Croutons https://www.climbinggriermountain.com/2015/11/ginger-sweet-potato-soup-with-toasted-curry-croutons.html

Gingerbread Cookies https://www.canadianliving.com/food/recipe/gingerbread-cookies-4

Gingerbread Chess Pie https://www.canadianliving.com/food/recipe/gingerbread-cookies-4

101 Ways to Cook With Ginger https://www.cookinglight.com/food/recipe-finder/ginger-recipes?

20 Sweet Ginger Desserts https://www.foodnetwork.ca/baking/photos/sweet-ginger-dessert-recipes/#!ina-garten-pumpkin-roulade-with-ginger-buttercream

53 Ginger Recipes That Are Just The Right Amount of Spicy https://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/slideshow/13-recipes-make-want-linger-ginger

About Judi
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Resources
https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-ginger

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=72

https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/diet/ginger-nutrition-facts-health-benefits-alternative-uses-more/

https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/spices-and-herbs/191/2

https://www.thekitchn.com/heres-the-best-way-to-store-fresh-ginger-tips-from-the-kitchn-214681

https://www.finecooking.com/article/whats-the-best-way-to-store-ginger

https://www.thekitchn.com/store-grated-ginger-in-the-freezer-to-make-it-last-longer-tips-from-the-kitchn-186709

https://producemadesimple.ca/goes-well-ginger/

Carrots and Parsnips with Orange, Honey and Ginger

Carrots and Parsnips with Orange, Honey and Ginger

Carrots and parsnips seem to be a classic combo. Here’s an easy and delicious way to cook them on the stove with very little effort. AND it beats making the house hot with the oven (roasting vegetables) on a hot summer day! The recipe is below the video demonstration. Enjoy!

I hope this helps!
Judi

Carrots and Parsnips with Orange, Honey and Ginger
Makes About 5 Servings

2 cups carrot slices, cut diagonally*
2 cups parsnip slices, cut diagonally
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup orange juice
1 (½-inch x ½-inch) slice of ginger, peeled (left whole, not grated)
1 Tbsp honey
1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped, optional
Parsley flakes, optional garnish

Peel the parsnips and carrots, and cut into bite-size diagonal slices. Cut the carrot slices a little smaller than the parsnip slices, so they will cook at the same rate.

In a skillet, melt the butter then add the prepared carrots and parsnips. Stir to coat them with the butter. Add the slice of ginger then the orange juice. Cover the pan and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat, cock the lid, and simmer until the vegetables are about half-way done, about 8 to 10 minutes into the cooking process. Remove the lid and add the honey. Stir to combine. Continue cooking without the lid, allowing remaining liquid to reduce and thicken, stirring occasionally to coat the vegetables.** When they are almost fork-tender, add the chopped walnuts to allow them to soften slightly and warm up. After about 20 minutes (total cooking time), the vegetables should be fork-tender, and the glaze should be reduced and very flavorful. Remove the slice of ginger. Transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl and sprinkle with parsley flakes, if desired. Serve.

* Tip! Cut the carrots a little smaller than the parsnips. This will help them to cook at about the same rate.

** If your juice thickens and reduces too fast while the vegetables are not cooked to your liking, simply add a little more orange juice for the vegetables to absorb as they finish cooking.

About Judi
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Quick and Easy Soup for One or a Crowd

Quick and Easy Soup for One or a Crowd

If you’re looking for a fast, easy and flexible soup recipe, you found it! This simple recipe can be made for one or two people and enlarged to make enough for a crowd. The ingredients can easily be changed to meet your needs and taste preferences. Below is a video demonstration. The recipe is below the video. Enjoy!

Judi

Quick and Easy Soup for One or a Crowd
(That’s Not Out of a Can)
Makes 2 Servings

This truly is an easy and fast soup to make. It’s ready in the time it takes to cook pasta!

The recipe can easily be adjusted to serve from 1 up to a crowd.

4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups frozen vegetables of choice (ie California blend-cauliflower, broccoli, carrots)
½ cup frozen corn*
1 cup cooked beans of choice**
½ cup uncooked Rotini pasta, or any shape you have available
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced (¼ tsp garlic powder)
1/3 cup chopped fresh onion (or 1 Tbsp dried minced onion or 1 tsp onion powder)
½ tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
1/8 tsp dried hot pepper flakes, or to taste

Place everything except the uncooked pasta in a medium size pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add pasta. Cook uncovered until the pasta is tender, according to the time recommended on the pasta box. Enjoy!

* If you don’t have corn on hand, you could substitute one small potato, peeled and diced, or add another starchy vegetable of choice.

** If you prefer meat instead of beans, add 1 cup cooked, chopped meat of choice. Beef, chicken, turkey or sausage would work well in this soup.

Easy Way to Liquefy Crystallized Honey

Raw honey will crystallize at some point in time. This is a very natural process and should be expected. There are a number of ways to liquefy it again, but some of the ways will destroy the raw properties and eventually degrade the quality of the honey. Here’s an easy and effective way of removing the sugar crystals without destroying the raw properties of the honey. Note, that honey will crystallize again over time because of the unstable nature of the sugar to water ratio within the honey.

To learn about why the sugar crystals form in honey and what to do about it, see the following videos. Instructions for a simple and effective way of removing the crystals is below the video links.

I hope this helps!
Judi

To decrystallize honey using an electric range or a gas range without a constantly lit pilot light:
Place the jar of honey on the rack in the middle of the oven away from the light bulb. Turn on the light, but do NOT turn on the oven. Leave it there and eventually it will liquefy. The heat from the light bulb will gently warm the honey, while keeping the temperature within a safe range so the raw properties of the honey (ie. enzymes) are not destroyed. This will take hours, with the actual length of time unknown. It depends on how much honey is in the jar and the type, size, and amount of sugar crystals that were formed. This process could easily be accomplished overnight, or while you’re away at work during the day.

If you have a range with a constantly lit pilot light:
In this case, your oven may already be warm. It’s advisable to take the temperature inside the oven, measuring the heat generated only from the pilot light. If it’s between 80F and 110F, it may be enough to bring the honey back into its liquid form without the added heat of the light bulb. Simply place the jar of honey on the rack in the middle of the oven and leave it there for an extended period of time, usually overnight or while you’re away at work during the day. The length of time it takes will depend upon the actual temperature of the oven and the type and amount of sugar crystals in the honey.

Is Crystallized Honey OK?

Have you ever wondered what happened to your honey when you found chunks of sugar in it? Is it safe to eat? Can you restore it back to the liquid state? I answered these questions and others in the video below. To see my notes and resources on this topic, see below the video link. Enjoy!

I hope this helps!
Judi

Is Crystallized Honey OK?

Why does honey crystallize?
Raw honey tends to crystallize because the water in the honey is supersaturated with sugar…it has more sugar molecules in it than it can naturally hold, making it unstable. The sugar naturally separates and forms crystals, making the water more stable molecularly. This is a natural process and nature’s way of stabilizing the liquid. It is not spoiled, nor moldy.

Not all honey will crystallize in the same way. Some will crystallize uniformly with fine crystals throughout, while others will form large, gritty crystals. How the crystals are formed and how fast they form depends on the type of nectar used to make the honey, the temperature at which it was stored, and whether or not it was filtered by the processor (raw, unfiltered honey will crystallize more readily than filtered honey).

Is it safe to eat honey that has crystallized?
Crystallization can affect the color and texture of honey. Crystallized honey tends to be lighter in color. But these are natural processes and the honey is perfectly safe to eat. Some people prefer crystallized honey as it will spread easier on toast and not drip off.

How can you restore honey to the liquid state?
To remove the crystals and liquefy the honey, place your honey jar in a bowl of warm water and allow it to slowly warm up. To preserve the enzymes and nutrients in raw honey, use a food thermometer and place the honey jar in water no hotter than 110F. A yogurt maker (if you have one) will maintain this temperature as long as needed to liquefy the honey. Placing the jar of honey in a slow cooker on low setting, half way filled with water, may also work. However, if you’re concerned with maintaining the raw qualities of the honey, use a quick-read thermometer to monitor the temperature, making sure it does not go over 110F. Another resource suggests using a crockpot as a water bath, turning in on high for one hour, then either turning it off or turning in on low until the honey is liquefied. Again, using a quick-read thermometer and making sure the water temperature does not go over 110F will maintain the raw state of the honey.

If your honey is in a plastic jar, do not place it in a pot of boiling or very hot water on the stove. The high heat may melt or warp the plastic bottle, leaching chemicals into the honey.
Some sources recommend briefly microwaving honey to liquefy it. However, that can cause it to heat up too quickly and unevenly, and may scorch the honey. Microwaving honey is not recommended by those who produce honey and keep bees. Repeated microwaving will eventually reduce the quality of the honey and will also destroy the valued properties (ie enzymes) that were in the raw honey.

According to https://AshevilleBeeCharmer.com, it’s best to only liquefy what honey you need at one time. Liquefying it numerous times can degrade the quality of the honey.

Can you prevent crystallization?
Raw, unfiltered honey will naturally tend to crystallize. To slow down the crystallization process, store your honey in a warm (but not hot) location. This will not stop the process, but will slow it down. According to https://CarolinaHoneyBees.com the best temperature for storing honey is between 70 and 80F. This will slow the process, but not stop it. They also suggest that honey never be stored in the refrigerator, as the colder temperature will cause the honey to thicken and invite crystallization.

It is also suggested that honey be stored in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and a wide mouth, so it can easily be scooped out when needed, crystallized or not. The glass jar can withstand any heat it is subjected to (during reliquification) without leaching any chemicals or other factors into the honey during the process. The tight-fitting lid will prevent any evaporation during storage.

If you really don’t want to see your honey crystallize, purchased processed honey. That will not crystallize.

Resources
https://blog.beeraw.com/real-raw-honey-crystal

https://honeypedia.info/why-does-honey-crystallize

https://ashevillebeecharmer.com/honey-tips/keep-raw-honey-from-crystallizing/

https://www.wired.com/2014/03/crystalized-honey/

http://www.beehacker.com/wp/?p=1079

https://ashevillebeecharmer.com/honey-tips/how-to-decrystallize-raw-honey/

https://carolinahoneybees.com/how-to-store-raw-honey/

About Judi
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Easy Green Beans (from frozen)

Easy Green Beans with Garlic and Lemon (Using Frozen Beans)

Here’s a fast and easy way to cook frozen beans without them being mushy. This is a flexible recipe allowing you to adjust flavorings your way. Here is a video demonstration showing just how easy and fast it is to cook frozen green beans. The recipe is below the video link. Enjoy!

I hope this helps!
Judi

Easy Green Beans with Garlic and Lemon (Using Frozen Beans)
Makes About 4 Servings

½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced*
1 (12 oz) bag of frozen cut green beans (This will also work just as well with a one pound bag)
Water
Salt and pepper, to taste
Wedge or two of fresh lemon

Heat a large skillet (that has a lid) on medium heat. Add the oil and butter and allow the butter to melt. Add the minced garlic and sauté it briefly, just until aromatic. Add the frozen green beans and sauté briefly to coat with the oil and butter. Add a small amount of water (2 or 3 tablespoons) then cover the pan. Allow the beans to thaw then cook to your desired degree of tenderness. Stir and monitor the water level often. Do not allow it to go completely dry to avoid burning the beans. If more water is needed, add 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time until they are cooked to your liking. The process takes about 5 minutes to bring the beans to being tender, but not mushy. When cooked, remove from heat and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice. Toss to disburse the seasoning and serve.

* Note: If you prefer, you can use dried garlic. When doing this, skip sautéing the garlic and simply add the green beans to the warm oil/butter mixture. Add the dried garlic substitute when first adding water to the beans. This will allow the garlic to hydrate during the cooking process. Below are the conversions for 2 cloves of fresh garlic:

Garlic powder = ¼ teaspoon
Granulated garlic = ½ teaspoon
Garlic flakes = 1 teaspoon
Garlic salt = 1 teaspoon

Carrots

Should We Peel Carrots?

I know there are a number of people out there with the question, “Should we peel carrots?” Well, to answer the question in the simplest way, carrot peels are perfectly safe to eat. But even if you’re an avid carrot peeler, there are circumstances where peeling is truly unnecessary and others where you may want to peel them. All that is discussed in the video below. A copy of my video notes is below the video link. Enjoy!

I hope this helps,
Judi

Should You Peel Carrots?

Do you have to peel carrots? Can you eat carrots with the skin on? Should you eat carrots without peeling? These are questions that many people have. Well to answer that in a word: NO…you do not need to peel carrots. Carrots are perfectly safe to eat with the peel, as long as they are thoroughly washed. So scrub them well to remove any dirt and debris, and also cut off the stem end and any areas that don’t look fresh.

Even if you’re an avid carrot peeler, here are circumstances where you really don’t need to peel:

1. When you’re making stock. They will be strained out anyway!

2. When you’re juicing carrots.

3. When they will be pureed. (Who would know they weren’t peeled?)

4. When they’re in a thick and chunky stew.

5. When they’re roasted (with the change in color/texture, the peel would be unnoticeable).

6. When they will be grated or finely chopped.

7. When you’re trying to get the most nutrients from your food. Vitamin C is most concentrated in the peel and immediately below the peel. Whether it’s peeled or not, it’s still very nutritious, but why not take advantage of the added nutrients in the peel?

So when would we want to peel carrots?

1. If you’re buying standard-grown carrots, those grown with the use of chemicals, those chemicals may be concentrated in the peel. So, if you want to avoid eating any added chemicals, in this case you may want to peel your carrots. Note that scrubbing them well under running water or soaking them for 15 minutes in a vinegar or baking soda solution will also remove most of the chemicals from the surface. Rinse and scrub them well after soaking in these solutions. No worries with organically grown carrots.

2. Some people find that carrot peels have a bit of bitterness to them. If you are in this camp, then by all means, peel away if this bothers you! It’s more important to enjoy your food than struggle to eat something you don’t like. Or even worse, to avoid some nutritious food because the peel doesn’t taste good to you. In this case, peel them if that’s what it takes to eat them!

3. Appearance. Peeled carrots certainly look nicer than unpeeled carrots. If you’re presenting raw carrot sticks to guests or taking food to some special occasion and you want your food to look its best, then peeling them may be something you want to do.

Whichever way you prefer to go…to peel or not to peel (THAT is the question), just know that as long as they are scrubbed well, and they look fresh and are blemish-free, there’s not a food safety issue with eating unpeeled carrots.

Resources
https://www.thekitchn.com/5-times-you-dont-have-to-peel-carrots-tips-from-the-kitchn-220405

https://www.livestrong.com/article/518814-should-carrots-be-peeled-or-are-they-more-nutritious-with-the-peel-left-on/

https://www.nutritionletter.tufts.edu/issues/13_10/ask-experts/Q-Is-it-true-that-most-of-a-carrots-nutrients_2222-1.html

https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/article/why-you-shouldnt-peel-your-vegetables

Onions

Onions 101 – The Basics

If you do any cooking at all, you’re probably familiar with onions. We grill, roast, saute, and caramelize them, add them to soups, stews, casseroles, and sauces, eat them raw adding them to salsas, salads, sandwiches and more! In the 101 series video below, I go in-depth about the onion including nutrition tidbits, how to select, store, and preserve onions, cooking methods and what herbs, spices and foods go with onions, as well as providing many helpful links on the preparation and use of this pungent bulb, and much more! Watch the video below to learn many interesting facts about onions and how to use them!

My complete video notes are below the video link. Enjoy!

I hope this helps!
Judi

Onions 101 – The Basics

About Onions
What we call an “onion” is also called a “bulb onion” or “common onion.” It is a member of the Allium family, so it is closely related to garlic, leeks, and chives. Onions are grown around the world and are commonly used cooked, as a vegetable or part of a savory dish. It is also used raw to flavor sandwiches, salads, pickles, and chutneys. Onions provide flavor, color and texture to a wide array of foods.

There are many varieties of onions, including scallions, Spring onions, Vidalia onions, ramps, yellow, white and red onions, shallots, pearl onions, Cipollini onions, and leeks. They vary in flavor from sweet and mild (as in Vidalias and leeks) to strong (as in older yellow onions). This web page shows pictures of common (and some not-so-common) types of onions https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/06/differences-between-onions-yellow-red-vidalia-what-are-ramps-shallots-how-to-cook-with-onions-guide.html

This website shows yet more types of onions, some of which are not commonly found in most grocery stores https://www.finedininglovers.com/blog/food-drinks/types-of-onions/

The average American eats 20 pounds of onions each year! Try preparing some common dish that you like without the usual addition of onion, and you’ll have a new-found appreciation for this humble bulb!

Fun fact: According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest onion recorded weighed 10 pounds 14 ounces, and was grown in England.

Nutrition Tidbits
Onions are high in Vitamin C, are a good source of fiber and folic acid and contain an array of other nutrients as well. Onions also contain quercetin, an important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory flavonoid that helps to protect against heart disease and cancer. Onions have been found to help to control blood sugar, boost bone density, have antibacterial properties, and boost digestive health with their fiber content. So, in addition to the flavor they add to our food, onions also are providing many health benefits at the same time!

How to Select Onions
Bulb onions should be firm and dry with thin papery skins and little to no scent. Avoid those with cuts, bruises, blemishes, and soft or wet spots. The “necks” should be tight and dry.

How to Store Onions
Onions keep best when stored at room temperature in a single layer or hung in mesh bags in a cool, dry, dark, well-ventilated area. The colder the temperature, the better (as long as it is above 32F). Do not store them in plastic bags because the lack of air and accumulated moisture will cause them to spoil easily.

Onions can draw moisture from other vegetables that are stored nearby. Do not store them near potatoes, which release moisture and gases that cause onions to spoil quickly.

Freshly harvested onions taste sweeter. The flavor intensifies the longer they are stored through the winter months.

How to Preserve Onions
Freeze: Fresh onions can easily be frozen by simply peeling and cutting them into desired size pieces, then placing the pieces into freezer bags. They do not need to be blanched. For most cooked dishes, frozen onion pieces can be used with little to no thawing and are a great convenience when time for cooking is short.

Dehydrate: Onions may be dehydrated. Follow your dehydrator manufacturer’s instructions for the best temperature and length of time for your machine.

Raw vs Cooked
Onions can be eaten both raw and cooked.

Raw onions are used in sandwiches, salads, relishes, pickles, salsas, and more. There are some other medicinal and creative uses for raw onion including:

Repel insects by rubbing a raw onion on your skin.

Soothe insect bites and stings by rubbing raw onion on the area.

Soothe a sore throat by drinking onion tea. Bring to a boil 1 cup of water with the peel of half of an onion. Remove the onion and serve.

Soothe burn pains by rubbing the area with raw onion.

Remove a splinter by taping a piece of raw onion to the area. Leave there for about an hour before removing the onion.

Make your own dye by placing onion skins in nylon panty hose. Tie the top shut and boil in a pot for about 20 minutes.

Cooked onions are used in an almost endless array of dishes, ranging from soups to jams and even cakes. Cooking onions reduces the pungent flavor of raw onions. Depending on the type of onion and how it’s cooked, the flavor can turn from pungent to literally sweet, as when they are caramelized.

Fresh vs Frozen vs Canned
Fresh onions are the most versatile and can be used raw, cooked, pickled, or any way you need.

Frozen onions need to be used in cooked dishes, as their texture changes (becomes softer) after being frozen then thawed. Frozen onions would not be suitable in a dish calling for raw onions.

Canned or Jarred onions have been pickled, French fried, or packed in a salt-water brine. Those packed in the salt-water brine can be added to any dish calling for onions, although their flavor will be less intense than if raw onions were used. The other varieties were packaged for specific uses such as for pickles, alcoholic beverages, and casseroles.

How to Prepare Onions
Cutting fresh onions often causes a stinging sensation in the eyes, resulting in tears. When onions are cut, a series of reactions causes a gas to be released. The gas irritates eyes, which causes them to release tears. To avoid this reaction, cut onions under running water or in a bowl of water. Leaving the root end intact also helps to reduce the reaction because there is a higher concentration of sulfur compounds in that part of the bulb. Also, refrigerating an onion before cutting may also help to reduce that reaction.

The National Onion Association has a video showing how to dice an onion. Here’s the link https://www.onions-usa.org/all-about-onions/how-to-select-cut-prepare-store-onions

Here are detailed instructions on how to peel and chop an onion: https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/preparation/chop-peel-onion

Cooking/Serving Methods
Onions can be used with foods from savory to sweet. They can be grilled, sautéed, stir-fried, steamed, added to soups, stews, casseroles and sauces, roasted, caramelized, sweated, browned, battered and fried, pickled, added to salsas and relishes, added raw to salads and sandwiches, and more!

When prepared in certain ways, such as when roasted or caramelized, onions can be wonderful side dishes in themselves, served with many types of meals. More often, they are prepared in a variety of ways and used as flavoring in a whole host of foods.

Whether onions are to be combined with other foods or eaten alone, the following website gives simple details on how to fry, sweat, brown, caramelize, stir-fry or sauté, and roast onions… http://www.professionalsecrets.com/en/ps/ps-university/chef-de-partie-vegetables/onions/cook-onions/

Herbs/Spices That Go Well With Onions
Paprika, celery, salt and pepper, coriander, basil, garlic, marjoram, sage, oregano, tarragon, thyme, parsley, rosemary, dill, mint. This is only a partial list, as the versatile onion can pair well with SO many flavorings and foods.

Foods That Go Well With Onions
The list here would be extremely long and practically impossible to be all-inclusive. Here are just a few examples of specific foods that pair well with onions: bacon, bread, cheese, milk and cream, garlic, oil, mushrooms, beef, beets, cucumbers, and potatoes.

Recipe Links
26 Ways to Use up Onions https://www.hungryharvest.net/blog/2016/8/9/26-ways-to-use-up-onions

The Best Onion Recipes: 14 Ways to Use a Bag of Onions https://www.babble.com/best-recipes/the-best-onion-recipes-25-ways-to-use-a-bag-of-onions/

National Onion Association’s Onion Recipes https://www.onions-usa.org/recipes

Herb-Roasted Onions https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/herb-roasted-onions-recipe-1950695

50 Onion Recipes https://www.saveur.com/gallery/onion-recipes

Onion Recipes https://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/onion

21 Recipes That Make Onions the Star of the Meal https://www.epicurious.com/recipes-menus/our-best-onion-recipes-gallery

How to Make Caramelized Onions https://www.spendwithpennies.com/caramelized-onions/

Caramelized Onions https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/caramelized-onions

Onion Recipes (100+ recipes in this collection) https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/collections/onion-recipes

About Judi
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Resources
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion

https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/06/differences-between-onions-yellow-red-vidalia-what-are-ramps-shallots-how-to-cook-with-onions-guide.html

https://www.onions-usa.org/all-about-onions/colors-flavor-availability-and-sizes-of-onions

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/onion-benefits#section10

https://garden.org/learn/articles/view/502/

https://www.onions-usa.org/all-about-onions/trivia-and-other-fun-stuff

https://www.care2.com/greenliving/14-surprising-uses-for-onions.html

https://www.hungryharvest.net/blog/2016/8/9/26-ways-to-use-up-onions

https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/preparation/chop-peel-onion

http://www.professionalsecrets.com/en/ps/ps-university/chef-de-partie-vegetables/onions/cook-onions/

https://www.wikihow.com/Match-Herbs-and-Spices-to-Vegetables#Pairing_Vegetables_O-Z_sub

https://www.thespruceeats.com/herbs-used-to-season-onion-dishes-1762130

https://producemadesimple.ca/what-goes-well-with-onions/

Green Beans with Garlic and Lemon

Easy Fresh Green Beans with Garlic and Lemon

Fresh green beans can be found in most grocery stores, often year-round. Yet, as easy as they are to cook, many people are uncomfortable dealing with them. Here’s an easy recipe using green beans and flavoring them with garlic and lemon. They can be cooked to any degree of crispness that you want. It only takes about 7 minutes to bring them to crisp-tender. Give it a try! The recipe is below the video link. Enjoy!

I hope this helps!
Judi

Easy Fresh Green Beans with Garlic and Lemon
Makes About 5 Servings

½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb fresh green beans, washed and cut into desired size pieces
Water
Salt and pepper, to taste
A wedge or two of fresh lemon

Heat a large skillet (that has a lid) on medium heat. Add the oil and butter and allow the butter to melt. Add the minced garlic and sauté it briefly, just until aromatic. Add the green beans and sauté briefly to coat with the oil and butter. Salt and pepper (to your taste) can be added at this time. Add a small amount of water (about 3 tablespoons) then cover the pan. Allow the beans to cook to your desired degree of tenderness. Important! Stir and monitor the water level often. Do not allow it to go completely dry to avoid burning the beans. If more water is needed, add 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time, then cover the pan again, allowing the beans to cook more. It takes about 7 minutes cooking time to bring them to crisp-tender. When cooked, remove from heat and adjust seasonings, if desired. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice and serve.

About Judi
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.