Green onions, commonly referred to as scallions or spring onions, are simply immature onions - in other words, any onion that is harvested before the bulb forms. Green onions have a similar flavor to white onions, but are often milder. Both the green and white parts of the plant are edible and have different uses. The greens are more pungent and are typically used as an herb, like chives. The whites are more mild and can be cooked with.
Green onions have the same compound, Allicin, than is found in garlic. In traditional Chinese medicine, the white part of green onions are used to treat anything from the common cold to kidney stones!
- Fiber important for digestive health and keeps you feeling full
- Vitamin A good for vision
- Vitamin C important for immune system, healthy skin, and wound healing
- Folate important for preventing neural tube defects and may help prevent cancer
How to Shop
Look for green onions that are about 12 inches long, with white tips and hollow, bright green ends. The upper end should dark green with no signs of yellowing. The root ends should have straight roots - curled roots are a sign of aging. Thinner green onions will have a mild taste, whereas thicker ones will have a more pungent onion flavor.
How to Grow
Green onions are best planted in the spring for a summer harvest, but can be harvested year-round. Pick a sunny spot with well draining soil; they also grow well in containers! Sow seeds about 1/4 inch deep and space 2 to 3 feet apart. They are ready to harvest when the plants reach about 6 to 8 inches in height and are the width of a pencil. You can either cut the leaves to use the greens or pull the plant from the soil to use the whites. Store-bought green onions can be regrown by setting the roots in a jar of water and placing them near a window sill. Be sure to regularly replace the water. Within a week or two, the onions should be long enough to use!
How to Store
Wrap green onions in a damp paper towel or a reusable plastic bags to keep them fresh and crisp.