Onions are edible vegetable bulbs that are commonly used in the kitchen. Onions add flavour to the foods to which it is added. Onions exist in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Onions exist commonly in yellow, red and white colours.
Green onions (Scallions) are immature yellow, red or white onions, which are harvested before the bulb begins to form as well as spring onions salad.
To get rid of the onion breath after consuming raw onions or salads with onions, rinse your mouth with lemon juice or chew on a lemon or orange peel.
The Origin of Onions
Onions are thought to have originated in central Asia, in modern-day Iran and Pakistan. Onions are also known to have grown in Chinese gardens as early as 5,000 years ago. Onions were used as medicine, a diuretic, and they were also used to aid digestion and heal digestive issues, the heart, the eyes and the joints.
Onions are also known to have been planted as far back as 3500 B.Cin Egypt. Onions were objects of worship and symbolized eternity because of the circle-within-a-circle structure. Onion paintings can be seen on the inner walls of pyramids and other tombs. The strong scent of onions was believed to have magical powers which would prompt the dead to breathe again; they were therefore buried with mummies.
In Greece, onions were used to strengthen athletes for the Olympic Games. The Greek Athletes consumed onions, and drink onion juice and rub onions on their bodies.
FACTS ABOUT ONIONS
Onions produce a sulfur-based gas that reacts with the water in your eyes and forms sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid formed in the eye causes a fiery irritant burning sensation causing your tear ducts to work overtime and produce tears.
HOW TO AVOID THE TEAR CAUSING SULFURIC ACID FROM THE ONIONS
- Pull your head away from the onions as much as possible to let sulfur based gas to disperse in the air.
- Soak your onions in water for 1 hour before using them; this will help to reduce the sulfur in the onion.
- Chill the onions in ice for 30 minutes. Cut off the top and peel the outer layers leaving the root end intact.
COMMON TYPES OF ONIONS IN UGANDA
This type of onion has a deep purple and reddish colour. They have a peppery and spicy flavour to them. Red onions are good for salads, sandwiches and other raw preparations due to their appealing deep-purple colour. Red onions are the most common and used for cooking in Uganda. They may discolour light foods and ingredients like eggs to a bluish-grey colour. The red onion is especially good for Salads, grilling and pickling
Yellow onions have yellow outer skin which covers the inner white parts of the onions. This onion is regarded as a multipurpose onion and is most preferred for cooking. They’re severe when raw but mellow when sautéed, roasted, or caramelized. Yellow onions have a relatively high starch content. They are firm and sturdy and won’t dissolve to mush when cooked for long hours.
These onions contain less sulphur and have much more water than the yellow, red and white onion varieties. They have a mild taste, are crispy and are nice to eat when raw. These onions are commonly named after the region from which they are grown for example Washington’s Walla Walla’s, Georgia’s Vidalia’s, and Hawaii’s Maui’s, they have pale yellow skin with a white or yellowish inside. They are perfect for making Salads, relishes, garnishes
White onions are traditionally used in Mexican dishes. They have a strong initial taste a mild after taste when eating them. They are commonly served with steaks, barbeques meats,
Green onions are also called scallions. They are soft with a mild taste. Green onions are mostly added to food that is almost ready, or just before it is removed from the fire. They enhance the appearance of food with their fresh green colour. They can be eaten raw or cooked. Green onions are perfect for Asian and Mexican cooking and garnishes.
Spring onions are prematurely harvested onions before the bulbs grow big and mature. They can be eaten by grilling or roasting or added to several meat stews. They are mostly added in the last minutes of food preparation to maintain the green colour and garnishing advantages.
The sulfur in the onions acts as a natural blood thinner. It also prevents blood platelets from aggregating. Clustering of blood platelets risks the heart getting heart attacks and strokes.
Eating and inhaling onions has been found to clear and relax airway muscles. This provides relief to blocked noses due to flues and asthma symptoms. Most people in Uganda took to eating onions for good body immunity to fight coronavirus.
Onions have polyphenols which act as antioxidants, against free radicals. The quercetin in onions helps to build body immunity against allergic reactions by stopping your body from producing histamines, which make one sneeze, cry and itch.
Onions have fibre which promotes good digestion and good stomach health. Oligofructose is a soluble fibre found in onions, it promotes good bacteria growth in the intestines, which helps to prevent and treat kinds of bacteria.
Women tend to have several bone complications once they hit menopause. Eating onions daily and frequently is said to improve bone density in women during and after menopause.
HEALTH RISKS OF CONSUMING ONIONS
- Consuming onions risks one getting gas and stomach discomfort due to stomach bloating often caused by the carbohydrates in the onion.
- Eating raw is a trigger or increase for heart burnsin people who suffer from chronic heartburn or gastric reflux disease
- Green onions contain a high amount of vitamin K, which can decrease blood thinner functioning therefore over consumption of green onions, is potentially of danger to the body.