Get to know your onions
N O PANTRY is complete without onions and you can add them to pretty much everything. But chances are, you’ve been chopping them wrong. There really is a way to do it without crying and get the perfect dice.
The secret to a good dice
We all know that chopping onions can make you weep. That’s because onions contain sulphur compounds, and when you cut into them molecules are released in the air that react with the water in your eyes to create sulphuric acid, which burns. There are some easy ways to reduce this problem, like refrigerating the onion an hour before slicing, or popping it in some iced water for five minutes. But the best way is to chop it as follows. The trick is not to cut the root, which releases the majority of the evil gas:
1. Cut onion in half lengthways.
2. Slice off the top (not the root).
3. Make parallel cuts from the end, being careful not to chop through the root. Note: For a finer dice cut cross ways through the centre of the onion at this point.
4. Then turn onion 90 degrees to make cuts across onion.
Six healthy facts about onions you don’t know
1. THE FORGOTTEN VEG: Just half an onion each day counts towards your five serves of vegetables, making them easily disguised for fussy eaters in family meals.
2. IMMUNE BOOSTER: One onion provides between 1520% of an adult or child’s recommended daily intake of vitamin C. This essential nutrient is important for normal growth and development and warding off the winter bugs.
3. PLANT POWER: Onions deliver a unique bundle of plant compounds, like quercetin, which help fight inflammation, as well as sulphur-containing compounds that protect against some cancers and assist in removing the stress on our bodies from environmental factors, such as UVB damage.
4. GOOD FOR YOUR GUT: Onions contain prebiotic fibres that help with digestion and assist with increased mineral absorption, including calcium, magnesium and iron.
5. SLIM PICKING: A 75g serve of onion provides only 96 kilojoules — a great waistline friendly choice.
6. HEART HEALTH: Onions are packed full of flavonoids — a type of antioxidant which is proven to reduce the risk of heart disease.