Onions are an essential ingredient in cooking, regardless of whether they are red or yellow. They feature a variety of soups, stews, and homemade sauces, as well as salads and sandwiches. So, how do you keep onions fresh longer?
Due to this fact and the fact that onions can remain fresh for months, it is practical always to keep a supply of onions in your kitchen. However, how they are stored will determine how long you will preserve their flavor.
How To Know When To Harvest Homegrown Onions?
If you planted your onions in early spring, you should begin to pay closer attention to them around the beginning of July. Locate where they are emerging from the soil to see where the seedlings are starting to form.
Yay! They are carrying out their intended function.
Technically, once the onions have begun to form bulbs, you can harvest them anytime. If I’m out of storage onions in late June or early July, I’ve been known to take a growing onion from the garden for a recipe.
However, waiting until the onions have completely stopped growing would be best. How did you learn that?
The tops of the onions start to droop over.
They indicate that they have reached maturity and will no longer develop. The top green portion of the plant bends over at the “neck” (the area between the bulb and the foliage) and begins to seal off the bulb so it can start to dry.
You will observe that the falling over occurs progressively. Each onion’s neck will flex at its own pace. Before harvesting, I typically wait until all the onion tops in a garden bed have fallen over.
Within about a week of all the onions bending over, you should harvest them. Do not leave the onions in the garden for weeks to bake in the sun and be drenched by rain. You should begin the curing procedure as soon as they reach maturity.
The Best Way To Store Onions
Onions prefer air, dry climates, and mild temperatures in general. Maintaining optimal storage conditions will significantly extend their shelf life.
Store In A Cool, Dry Place
According to Farm to the People chef Matthew Yee, the optimal storage temperature for scallions is between 45 and 55 degrees. According to him, onions should be stored in a cold, dry location, such as a cellar, pantry, or garage. While you can keep onions in the refrigerator whole, Yee warns that this can cause them to convert starch to sugar, resulting in limp or soggy onions.
Reduce The moisture
Before storage, remove onions from any plastic grocery bag and keep away from produce that emanates moisture, such as potatoes. “If you leave whole onions in a shopping bag without air circulation, it can decrease shelf life by retaining moisture and promoting the growth of spoilage microbes like mold.” “Onions can sprout when exposed to high levels of moisture.” If the bag you buy or store the onions in from the store is impermeable, transfer them to a mesh bag or airtight container.
Never Expose Onions To Light.
In addition to locating a calm, dry, and well-ventilated area, you should keep onions out of direct sunlight. Cooper states that heat generated by sunlight or other sources can promote the growth of spoilage microorganisms such as mildew.
How To Store A Cut Onion: Fresh?
The storage location and method for onions depend on whether they are whole or chopped. In contrast to entire onions, cut onions are best stored in a plastic bag or airtight container in the refrigerator. “It is important to note that pears, apples, and celery will soak onion odors if stored near them, so ensuring the onions are sealed can help prevent this,” Cooper says. “Onions themselves can also soak apple and pear odors.”
How To Freeze Onions?
While it is not recommended to preserve whole onions, chopped or sliced onions can be frozen, according to Cooper. To accomplish this, dice or you should place chopped onions in a freezer container with as little air as possible. Cooper suggests using frozen onions for cooked dishes rather than defrosting and consuming them fresh in a salad or sandwich because freezing alters the texture of the onion.
How Long Onions Last?
The longevity of scallions is dependent on their storage conditions. According to Cooper, peeled onions will last 10 to 14 days in the refrigerator, while sliced onions will last 7 to 10 days. Cooper says there are better locations than the refrigerator to store whole onions, but they typically last two months. “If stored in a cool, well-ventilated, and dry area of your home, whole onions have a shelf life of three to six months, provided they are dry, firm, with intact skins, and are not sprouting,” she says. Frozen onions should be ingested if stored in a freezer at or below zero degrees Fahrenheit for eight months.
How To Tell If An Onion Is Bad Or Spoiled?
There are three ways to identify spoiled onions: color, texture, and odor. Onions that have gone bad might get dark spots, ultimately building mold. It would help if you also avoided scallions that have sprouted, as this indicates that they are about to spoil.
You can also feel your scallions to determine their freshness. Onions that have soft or mushy areas are becoming spoiled.
Who could forget the smell test? As shallots deteriorate, their aroma will inevitably change. Of course, some people don’t like the fragrance of raw onions, so if your onions start to smell like anything other than onion, it’s probably time to replace them.
Thank you for reading…..