Red onions have the same hydrating crunch as white onions, but their flavor is sweeter and more palatable than their primarily pungent counterparts. Due to their durability, they thrive in the cold season and are planted in spring to be ready for the autumn harvest. Red onions can be eaten on their own as garnishes to salads, sandwiches, meats, and other savory dishes.
The pigmentation in red onions comes from their phytonutrient/antioxidant composition. These compounds are known as quercetin and allicin; quercetin is an antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Allicin is cardioprotective.
- Fiber important for digestive health and keeps you feeling full
- Vitamin C important for immune system, healthy skin, and wound healing
- Antioxidants important to delay cell damage
How to Shop
Red onions should always be firm and have a thin, flimsy outer skin for protection. Do not choose them if you see dark spots, mold, or feel wetness.
How to Grow
When: The weather is cool not cold, and it won’t dip below the freezing point. This is usually late March or April.
Where: Full sun with loose, Nitrogen-rich soil. Avoid compacted soil, rocky soil, and clay.
How: Add manure or compost to the soil a few weeks before planting, add Nitrogen fertilizer to the soil when planting, and make sure you are rotating crops. Plant 2-6 inches apart no more than 1 inch deep. Water 1 inch per week.
Harvest: After 3.5 months when the onions have sent up “flower stalks”.
How to Store
- 1-2 months in a cool, dry, dark, and aerated place. 7-10 days in the refrigerated if they are in a sealed container.