Did you know that California is the largest producer of onions among all the states of America? While this state may produce most of the country’s need for onions, in the past, many people viewed this staple vegetable with reverence. This may be why people have learned how to dry green onions and preserve them for future use.
Ancient Egyptians were known to worship them. They even buried their pharaohs with it, believing that the round bulb and the internal rings in it were a symbol of eternity.
Even during the Middle Ages, onions, including green onions, worked as a currency to pay for goods. Today, while green onions may have lost their worth in stories and folktales, they still play a valuable role in adding aroma to any food.
Are green onions and scallions the same?
Before we move on towards learning how to dry green onions, we need to clear this query first. While green onions and scallions may be called different names, they are the same type of onions.
Both green onions and scallions belong to the genus Allium family and can work interchangeably for one another in any recipe. Other distant members of the Allium family include:
- Shallots and
Learning how to dry green onions
Learning how to dry green onions is quite common, especially if you are a chef or a food enthusiast. The process is also simple. Freeze and dry the onions, then store them so you can use them later.
Having a stock of dehydrated green onions in your pantry is better than buying bland store-bought versions.
How to dry green onions using the food dehydrator method
The dehydrator method is one of the most popular means of drying green onions. It starts by lining a tray with a paper liner and then spreading pieces of onions on top of it.
Since green onions dry, it is best to check the humidity in your area first and then start the dehydrator. Green onions start to smell as soon as the drying process begins. So if you find the smell of the green onions drying too strong or overpowering, you can move the process outside to your patio or the garage.
Drying green onions using a dehydrator includes washing and chopping the green onions. Then spread them on dehydrator trays. Keep them here for 3 to 5 hours at a preset temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit to 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once done, store the dried green onions in plastic zip lock bags, mason jars, or even glass jars. Learning how to dry green onions using the dehydrator method is an easier process. The dehydrated green onions will last longer this way.
If stored, these can last for months, if not years. No doubt, green onions are not only easy to grow and preserve. But they also add delicious flavor to any food that needs an onion.
How to dry green onions using your oven
If you are still wondering how to dry green onions, especially when a food dehydrator is unavailable, you can also use your kitchen oven.
To do this, you must first cut the green onions’ root ends. Now wash the green onions under lukewarm water so that all the debris stuck in them is removed. If the outer layer of the onion is about to strip off, then remove that as well.
Once the onions are clean, pat dry and place them on a chopping board, chop the green onions evenly. The white bulbous smell consists of a more pungent smell than the stem, so you might want to chop and dehydrate it separately.
Now set the oven at the lowest possible temperature and keep the oven door ajar. Next, take a baking tray and line it with parchment paper. Spread out the chopped green onions on the baking tray and keep checking it after every five to six minutes since the onions dry.
Allow the baked green onions to cool down at room temperature. Once done the onions should crinkle and break easily.
Storing dry green onions effectively
Drying green onions is only half the battle, especially if you plan to enjoy them over the next few months. Once the green onions have cooled down and dried, you must also ensure that they are adequately stored.
If you intend to store the onions for more extended periods, then airtight containers or mason jars are your best bet. This way, you can access them whenever you need to use some. You can add an oxygen absorber or vacuum seal the containers.
Having a supply of dried green onions in your kitchen can be quite a blessing. You can use them throughout the day, from your breakfast to dinner.
Health benefits of green onions
Did you know that more and more people are now engaging in growing their produce? Growing your produce is an effective way to beat many health, economic, financial, and environmental issues. When it comes to green onions, the case is no different.
They belong to the allium family and contain sulfur in the form of organosulfur compounds. One raw green onion consists of 0.3 grams of protein and 4.8 calories. The large and chunky stemmed produce does not require any special care.
Moreover, besides the distinct aroma, green onions’ health benefits are endless. Green onions contain antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. They also help boost one’s immune system, preventing blood clots and any potential signs of anti-aging.
Other health benefits of green onions include:
- It supports bone health and reduces the risk of osteoporosis
- Green onions reduce the risk of myeloma, gastric, colorectal, endometrial, lung, and prostate cancer.
- The various antioxidants and bioactive compounds in green onions help fight against obesity. This may be why the Mediterranean diet encourages consuming so many green onions along with other leafy greens.
- The fiber content present in green onions helps in aiding digestion and reducing intestinal disorders
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are green onions a superfood?
Yes, given the nutritional value of green onions along with its long list of benefits, green onions are a superfood.
How should you dry green onions?
Since green onions have moisture in them thus, keeping them out to dry at room temperature could lead to molding. To avoid this, try keeping them sealed in a zip lock bag for 15 to 20 days for them to dry.
Is it easy to dehydrate green onions?
Green onions or scallions tend to dehydrate quickly. So if you live in an area with a warm and dry climate, you can air dry them. You can also use a dehydrator or oven to dehydrate them.
How long can I store dried green onions without compromising their quality?
Dried green onions can last from a few months to a year, depending upon how they have been prepared or dried and how you store them. If your dried green onions are chopped and crispy, they can last outside for a few hours. But if you keep them in airtight containers, they can last for months.
How long does dried chopped green onion last at room temperature?
If properly stored, then dried chopped green onion will retain its quality for about 2 to 3 years. If you want to maintain its flavor and potency, try switching to tight-fitted lids, zip lock bags, or airtight containers.
Is it a good idea to freeze green onions?
While dehydrated green onions taste a lot better than frozen ones, freezing green onions does not need blanching. Start by chopping off the roots and the tips of the onions. Now wash the onions carefully and pat dry. Stash the chopped green onions in zip lock bags or freezer containers and pop them in the freezer till needed.
Are green onions and scallions the same?
Yes, both green onions and scallions are the same and can work interchangeably.
Are spring onions and green onions the same thing?
No, spring onions are quite different from green onions. One can differentiate between the two by looking at the bulb. A spring onion has a larger bulb, while green onions tend to have a smaller one.
Can I grow green onions in my garden?
Based on the climatic conditions and soil quality, you can plant the bulbs from store-bought green onions in your garden.
If there is one thing the ancient Egyptians have taught us, it is how to value green onions. While many of us may choose to pick some green onions, learning how to dry green onions can also come in handy. Learning the skill set of drying green onions is nothing less than art, and to master it requires a steady hand, patience, and some experience.
If green onions are dried, they will retain their flavor and potency for months.