Spring Onion

By EAT SMARTER
Updated on 01. May. 2020
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What you should know about the incredibly flavorful and healthful spring onion.

spring onion

Spring onions…

  • ...are loaded with vitamins and minerals. 3.5 oz of spring onions contain 26 milligrams of vitamin C, a good quarter of the recommended daily allowance. In addition, 100 oz of spring onions boast several B vitamins, almost 2 milligrams of iron and 2 milligrams of protein.
  • ...boost your immune system. Spring onions get their distinctive flavour from their abundant sulphuric essential oils, especially allyl legume oil. These strengthen the intestinal flora, which plays a decisive role in developing good defences.
  • ...have an antibiotic effect. The essential mustard oils in spring onions have another advantage: they act as a gentle disinfectant, combatting bacteria in the digestive tract.
  • ...support strong vision. If you have difficulty seeing in the dark, you should incorporate spring onions more frequently in your diet. With 103 micrograms of vitamin A per 3.5 oz, they strengthen vision, especially at night.
  • ...help strengthen the gums. The allicin in spring onions, which belongs to the secondary plant substances, has an anti-inflammatory effect. This helps, for example, against inflammation of the gums or periodontitis.
  • ...may help with weight loss. Spring onions are a rich source of fiber, keeping you more full for longer. They also score points for their minimal calorie and fat content.
  • ...have a milder taste than onions. Even if you don't like onions, give tender spring onions and their more mild, delicate taste a try.
  • ...can cause bloating. If you have a very sensitive stomach and intestines, you may react to the mild spring onions with flatulence. You can curb this symptom by cooking spring onions instead of eating them raw.

What You Should Know About Spring Onions

The name is a bit of a misnomer- spring onions may be as green and white as spring, but they are available in every season. This is why their correct name, leek onion, is ultimately more accurate, as this slender little sister of the thick household onion also belongs to the leek family. 

With their small onion-shaped bulbs, spring onions reveal their close relationship with their larger, more robust sister upon a first glance. Without their bulbs, spring onions look very similar to baby leeks. Only if you take a closer look will you see the small but decisive difference: the green does not have a flat leaf shape as with the leek, but the tubular shape typical of onions.

Seasonality

Spring onions tend to taste best when grown outdoors from April to September, but they are available all year round. In autumn and winter they grow in a greenhouse.

Flavor

Even people for whom onions taste too strong usually really like spring onions, because the very young harvested onions only have a subtle onion taste.

Find All Our Favorite Spring Onion Recipes Here

Find our favorite spring onion recipes here.

How Healthy Are Spring Onions?

Just like the usual kitchen onion, spring onions contain many substances that are good for us. First and foremost, they contain essential sulphurous oils and other aromatic substances, such as allicin, which is a secondary plant substance that has anti-inflammatory and germicidal effects in the mouth and digestive tract. The list of the spring onions’ healing and soothing effects are long: they are considered to stimulate the appetite, promote digestion, have diuretic, blood sugar and cholesterol-lowering and antioxidant effects.

With 25 milligrams per 3.5 oz, spring onions cover about a quarter of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. A nutrient that is important for the formation of white blood cells (leukocytes) and thus for the defence against harmful pathogens.

The fibre contained in spring onions has a prebiotic effect. This means that they serve as food for the good bacteria in the large intestine and can thus contribute to a better-functioning intestinal flora.

Among the healthy ingredients of the leek plant is beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. Its tasks include building up the skin and mucous membranes and maintaining good vision.

Abundant polyphenols are mainly found in the white part of spring onions. The cell protectors improve the flow properties of the blood, which means that dangerous deposits in the blood vessels occur less frequently.

Spring Onion Nutritional Info (100 g)  
Calories 23
Protein 2 g
Fat 0.5 g
Carbohydrates 3 g
Fiber 1.5 g 


Shopping and Cooking Tips for Spring Onions

Shopping

Spring onions are generally sold in bunches and their freshness is easy to assess: the longer and crispier the onion green, the better. Their white bulbs look as intact as possible.

Storage

Fresh spring onions keep for about 2-3 days in the refrigerator, and can also be frozen for 3-4 months.

Preparation

Preparing spring onion is incredibly easy: simply wash under running water, shake dry and cut off the green. Then cut off the root attachments, peel the outer skin and chop the spring onions according to whatever recipe you are following. 

If a transparent jelly-like substance escapes when cut, it is plant sap, which is a sign of freshness and completely harmless.

What To Make With Spring Onions

Spring onions’ freshness and tenderness make them perfect for all dishes that are cooked only briefly or not at all. The main uses for spring onions are therefore not only in saladsbut also in egg dishes, vegetable dishes, dips, sauces, soups and mushroom dishes. 

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