Green onions add glorious color and flavor in many dishes. Yet, they have a disappointingly short shelf life. I adore their fresh flavor, but all too often I have opened the crisper drawer to find them either slimy or completely dried out.
But, all that has changed! I found a method of not only keeping them fresher far longer, but also using every single scrap of the plant.
That’s right! I recently discovered several life-changing kitchen hacks for keeping green onions fresh for weeks! Not only that, by following these steps you will be able to use, literally, every part of the onion, insuring zero waste.
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This post is sponsored by Garden Spot Vegetable Farm. Located in Princeville, Illinois, owner, Jim Buckley and his family, cultivate 34 acres of vegetables and 375 fruit trees. Garden Spot is a no-spray farm, offering a variety of CSA packages. Check their Facebook page for current programs and options for available produce.
Use the Root Ends to Grow New Onions
Yes, you read that right! If you save the roots, you can grow new shoots!
Simple place the onion root (with a little of the white part of the onion in tact) into a shallow dish, add a shallow layer of water in the bottom, and place in a sunny spot. Watch the water level. If you add too much, you will get root rot and the possible plant will die. Think “damp”, as if it were planted in the ground.
Harvest the Shoots or Plant Them Outside
Kept on the windowsill, you’ll be able to harvest new shoots several times before the plant weakens and stops bearing new growth.
Alternately, after the green onion shoots grow to four inches in length, you can replant it outside in the soil. The onion will then continuously create fresh shoots, which you can cut for use in the kitchen. Just be sure to leave enough of the green above the ground so that photosynthesis can occur so the plant will grow.
If you allow the plant to grow, rather than periodically using the green shoots, it will produce a regular green onion of impressive size. Any flowers can be harvested and eaten, too.
Cut the Onions in Half
Now that we’ve dealt with the roots, let’s talk about how to use the rest of the onion.
Wash the onions thoroughly, shaking off as much water as possible. Then, make two piles, one for the white parts and one for the green tops. Each part of the onions is processed differently.
Flash Freeze the Green Onion Tops
Slice the green tops into thin, even pieces. Place on a tray, lined with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (This is exactly what I own. They are very inexpensive. I have used them hard. Yet, they have worn exceptionally well and wash up easily.)
Place the entire baking sheet in the freezer. When the onion pieces are frozen, remove from tray. The silicone liner makes a really handy funnel. Pour the onion pieces into freezer bag and label each bag with the date and contents.
Return to the freezer for long-term storage up to 6 months.
Wrap the White Parts in Paper Towel
Don’t slice the white parts any further.
Simply, lay the onions on a slightly damp paper towel which is large enough to fold over and wrap the onions (like a present).
The paper towel will hold enough water, while leaving adequate moisture to ensure that the onions don’t dry out.
Place white onion tops in a freezer bag and label with date and contents. Place it in the fridge – not the freezer.
When you take onions from the packet, check to see if you need to replace the paper towel with a newly dampened version.
Processed in this way, green onions will stay fresh for several weeks.