Onions were a great deal at our farms market this weekend so we bought a big bag. Onions are a hardy vegetable and can be kept fresh for many months if stored correctly.
1. To store fresh onions I put the onions loose in a basket and place in the coolest darkest part of my kitchen. As I use an onion I check the others and I remove any onions that are rotting. Generally onions will last several months like this.
2. How to make onions rings and freeze
I peel the onions and slice them into about quarter inch slices. The large outside rings I use for the onion rings.Here is how I make the batter for my rings
1 cup corn starch
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
12 oz liquid ( I use beer but okay to use water)
mix together and let sit for a few minutes before using
I dredge the onion rings in the batter and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
After the sheet is full I place in the freezer for several hours to freeze. I then transfer the frozen rings to a large size freezer bag.
When cooking the frozen rings take from freeze and fry or place on cookie sheet drizzled with olive oil or cooking oil and place in hot 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
3. The small inside pieces left over from making the onion rings I chop and freeze to use in recipes that call for chopped onions. By freezing the chopped onions on a large cookie tray and parchment paper the onions will freeze individually and be easy to measure out for recipes.
4. I like to dehydrate the small pieces. The dehydrated onions can be used in any recipes like soup, stew, and chili. As the soups and stews cook the onions will rehydrate. The Nesco American Harvest FD-1018P 1000 Watt Food Dehydrator Kit makes it easy to dehydrate many vegetables. For vegetables like onions I set the temperature to 130 degrees. This insures the onions dehydrate but does not cook them or make them turn brown. The lower temps take longer to dry out the onions but the onions remain white and fresh looking. I purchased my dehydrator on Amazon last year and I have more than got my monies worth.
5. From the dehydrated onions I also make onion powder. I process the dried pieces in my coffee grinder (the grinder I use for spices only)until it turns into a powder. Place the onion powder in a glass jar and it will keep for years but I generally run out way before then.
With all my prepared onions I can quickly add a little onion flavor to sauce or gravies with my onion powder, or use a cup of frozen chopped onions in a stir fry. I have my dehydrated onion pieces for soups and stews, and frozen onion rings on hand for a quick side dish.
So the next time you find onions at a great price or grow extra onions in your garden I hope you will use some of the ideas on storing and preserving your onions.