Onions

Onions come in many different varieties including yellow onions, sweet onions, red onions, white onions, shallots, green onions and leeks, just to name a few.

According to a 2017 article published in the International Journal of Scientific Research, the majority of research suggests onions originated in central Asia, but other research pinpoints Iran and West Pakistan as the locations where onions were first grown. It is believed that wild onions were a staple of the prehistoric diet, and onions have been cultivated for 5,500 years or more.

Onions are not only flavorful and versatile but are also packed full of the nutrients our bodies need to thrive. Onions are a rich source of vitamin C and also contain a good amount of folate and fiber.

Onions provide an antioxidant known as quercetin, which has been shown to protect our cells and tissues from damage. Research shows preventing this damage can reduce your risk of heart disease, metabolic disorders and certain cancers. Studies also demonstrate that we absorb twice as much quercetin from onions compared to tea, and three times as much compared to apples, making them a great choice to incorporate into your meals.

Crispy Oven Baked Onion Rings

Adapted from frommybowl.com/healthy-vegan-onion-rings

Ingredients:

2-3 yellow onions (3 medium or 2 large)

1/2 cup flour of choice

2/3 cup low-fat milk, or unsweetened non-dairy

1 tsp. paprika, divided

½ tsp. garlic powder, divided

½ tsp. turmeric, divided

½ tsp. salt, divided

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Carefully peel outer skin off each onion and remove ends. Cut each onion into ½-inch circles. Note the “layers” that comprise each onion portion; you will use two layers per onion ring. Form hollow rings by carefully separating center portion of each onion circle from two onion layers. Repeat to create as many rings as possible, and then continue separating the remaining onion portions. Add ½ cup flour, 2/3 cup milk, ½ tsp. paprika, ¼ tsp. garlic powder, ¼ tsp. turmeric, and ¼ tsp. salt to medium bowl and stir well. In separate bowl, add 1 cup panko, ½ tsp. paprika, ¼ tsp. garlic powder, ¼ tsp. turmeric, and ¼ tsp. salt and mix well. Evenly divide dry mix into two separate bowls to prevent is from becoming too sticky to use. Using separate hands for wet and dry mixes, dip each onion ring into wet mix, then coat evenly with dry mix. Place rings onto greased or lined baking sheet, being careful to not overlap them. Bake onion rings for 30-35 minutes, flipping halfway through. Serve warm with dipping sauce of choice or plain.

Oats

Oats are a type of cereal grain and are the edible seeds of oat grass. Modern oats are believed to have originated from Asian wild red oat which was a weed that grew among other grain crops.

Oats were the last of the cereal grains to be cultivated and began being purposefully grown in southeast Europe or Asia Minor. Prior to being used as a source of food, oats were used for medicinal purposes.

Oats are whole grains which makes them a rich source of fiber. They also contain high amounts of manganese, phosphorus, thiamin, magnesium, copper and iron, which are all important in building strong bones and maintaining their health.

This makes oats a great food choice for breakfast or snacks. Enjoy this granola recipe as-is, in a bowl with milk and sliced fruit or in a yogurt parfait – the possibilities are endless! Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks or freeze for longer storage time.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

Adapted from minimalistbaker.com/peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-granola

Ingredients:

3 heaping cups rolled oats

2 tbsp. cane or granulated sugar (optional)

¼ cup olive or canola oil

¼ cup creamy natural salted peanut butter (add ¼ teaspoon of salt if using unsalted)

¼ cup maple syrup, agave nectar or honey

1/3 cup chocolate chips of choice

Preheat oven to 340 degrees. Combine oats and sugar in large mixing bowl. In small skillet or saucepan, warm peanut butter, oil and sweetener of choice until thoroughly combined and pourable. Pour over oats and quickly toss or stir to combine. If mixture seems too wet, add more oats. Spread evenly on large baking sheet or two small baking sheets. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until golden brown, making sure to toss around after 15 minutes for even baking. Watch closely because oats can brown quickly. Remove from oven, toss gently to release heat and allow to cool completely on pan. Transfer to mixing bowl or storage container, add chocolate chips and stir or shake.