Ever wondered what’s Common in Onion Bajhees, Cheese and Onion Pie for events, onion fritters on platters and the dishes alike, well, you guessed it, its ‘onion’
Many people seem oblivious as to the benefits of various fruits and vegetables skins that are in fact full of antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients that can improve human health. Many get peeled off and binned at first opportunity without being given a chance to do their trick. Well, today, you could change your ways.
We look at one vegetable, the simple old and humble onion and particularly its skin. While it is inedible, it is full of quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that regulates blood pressure and prevents cardiovascular disease, including atherosclerosis.
Adding the skin of an onion in any regular meal, including soup, broth or any home creation will strengthen your meal with powerful antioxidant but also other beneficial nutrients.
It’s a matter of record that onions are some of the healthiest vegetables going on the planet best regarded for its strong antibacterial properties. But, onions are equally useful in helping balancing blood sugar levels, stopping bleeding from the nose and the destruction of cancer cells. They’re also cited in helping strengthening the immune system with the vitamin C.
Darker vs brighter for more phytonutrients
The darker onion has one up on its brighter counterpart as it contains higher amounts of quercetin, a bioflavonoid which is excellent for the destruction of free radicals in the body. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, quercetin is also excellent in the fight against cancer, fungal and bacterial infections, and inflammation.
Study after another have been unanimous in showing that it effectively prevents and controls the formation of polyps, fights against the virus, treats psoriasis and stops the occurrence of herpes. The darker onion is also associated with a reduced risk of developing stomach cancer.
One study goes further to suggest that all you need is half an onion a day to reduce the risk of stomach cancer by as much as half.
The health benefits of onion shell
Scientists from Cranfield University in the UK, conclude in a study that onion skin can be used as an ingredient rich in dietary fiber, mostly insoluble, and phenolic compounds such as quercetin and other flavonoids.
It is important to say that the other two fleshy layers of onion are too rich in fiber and flavonoids. Researchers say that the introduction of fiber reduces the risk of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases, and diabetes, colon cancer and obesity.
Phenolic compounds are those which will be most effective in preventing the occurrence of heart disease. Large amounts of these compounds with strong antioxidant properties can be found in the outer layers of the skin of onion.
So what dishes could you indulge in when hosting friends and Family?
Well, besides the basic use of onions in cooking bases, onions can many times define the dish itself like these simple dishes below.
1. Soupe a l’oignon Lyonnaise - An unmistakably complex dish that adds class to any event. BUT, done right, it never disappoints – the onions melt into a buttery beef broth enriched with cream and egg and topped with grilled cheese. The guest queues will keep coming…
2. Sausage-stuffed onions – If you are after a dish that wants to celebrate sausages and onions, there is none other than this in terms of texture and taste. Guests will always be wowed with Stuffed veg creations; In this dish, the savoury filling seeps into its slow?cooked casing to create melting parcels and a myriad flavours.
3. Chicken salad with onion pickle – One of many great instances when onions plays its central role to bring vibrancy, punchy flavours that lift and brighten up a dish using onion as a pickle.
4. Onion fritters – These are a main stay for many of our buffet menu ideas and the reason is; well, like onion rings on burgers, they’re the maddeningly addictive morsel many guests just want more of.
5. Egg salad with onion – In this dish, simplicity meets creativity when Eggs and onion make a steadfast duo. Spring onions add piquancy to this dish that should come as an excellent topping on toasted sourdough. Your guests will surely be wowed!!!
6. Caramelised onion and goat’s butter pasta – This is a perfect match between the sweetness of caramelised onions with the earthy creaminess of goat’s butter and cheese, a marriage meant to be!!!
7. Harissa lamb with spiced mash and cinnamon onions – If you haven’t tried this yet, then you’ve already missed a great deal….. In this dish, onions are spiced with cinnamon to make a beautiful relish to top this moreish plate of aromatic lamb and mash. When made well, it’s something that’s out of this world.
8. Onion tart with thyme and gruyere – This creamy and cheese-filled tart best comes with hints of thyme and mustard – for a comforting slice in which the onions are the star players.
9. Vegetables à la Grecque – This white wine, olive oil and herbs simmered broth comes added with onions for a delicious and tasty sweetness. Remember to pair with olives, feta, and good bread for a satisfying tasty meal.
10. Turkish pomegranate onions – When looking for a perfect side to grilled meat, fried halloumi and slow-baked root veg, this is it, reach no further.
The ten dishes above are some of the ways you could use the onion and its skin to improve your overall health
To extract quercetin and other healthy compounds from the shell of onions, you simply have to put one or two whole onions in soup or stew or whatever the dish may be. You can also save the skin and put it before cooking in a pot, removing it when the soup starts to boil.
Using this simple technique ensures your dishes are enriched with antioxidants and have a rich brown colour, depending on how you used it.
We are the exquisite corporate caterers in Manchester and looking out for your great onion based event menu ideas and inventions. You could have a cupa on us…