Onions come in various shapes the most common is oval-shaped. They also come globe-shaped with flattened tops and bottoms, and in small egg-shapes which are often sold for pickling. They come in a variety of colours – white, brown, red or yellow.
Onions contain oligosaccharides – which are complex sugars that are not digested in the small intestine but pass through to the large intestine where ‘good’ bacteria ferment them. This helps to promote the number of ‘good’ bacteria in the bowel, but does produce some harmless gases.
White onions provide approx. 131kJ and 2.2g of fibre per 100g. They are a great source of potassium and contain small amount of Vitamin C, Beta Carotene and minerals.
Onion are quite acidic which makes you cry when cutting and peeling them. To stop your eyes watering, put them in the freezer for 10 minutes or the fridge for 1 hour before cutting/peeling them!
Pickling Onions are small onions with thin, papery covering on our bulb. They are either white or brown and are used for pickling. Larger sized onions are sold as brown, white, red or yellow, depending on outside skin colour. Brown Onions have a brown skin and creamy flesh, are usually strong in flavour and used for cooking. Yellow Onions are a pale form of brown onions with yellowish-brown skin and creamy-white flesh. White Onions have white skin and flesh, are milder than brown onions and are suitable for salads, as well as cooking. Red Onions have red to purplish-red flesh, and are sometimes called Spanish onions. They vary in flavour and can be used in many cooked dishes and are also popular raw in salads.
Store onions in a cool dry, dark place for up to 2 months. Wrap cut pieces in plastic and store in refrigerator.
Check out Rick Grant’s recipe for French Onion Soup!
PLEASE NOTE: Fruits & vegetables in season may vary depending on where you live. Check with your friendly greengrocer.
Source: Nutrient Reference Values for Australia & New Zealand 2006; NUTTAB 2010.