National Onion Day–June 27th
National Onion Day is the celebration of a special, albeit common vegetable. Everyone knows it, and most absolutely love it!
The day to recognize and celebrate the wonderful onion is June 27, 2020. This vegetable, however, is so special that it can be celebrated any day of the year.
The onion—a natural super food—is the third most consumed fresh vegetable in the United States. It is packed with heart-healthy nutrients to keep disease and some cancers at bay. A recent study in China determined that regular Allium plant consumption (onions, leeks, garlic) can help our bodies fight bowel cancer.
Onions are not only healthy, but they are economical too. This makes them even more of a super food.
Here are some key health benefits of the mighty onion.
Onions are a leading source of antioxidants (especially quercetin) worldwide. It is the antioxidants and sulfur-containing compounds in onions that make them such a powerfully nutritious food.
They are also high in vitamin C, which aids a healthy immune system and maintains healthy skin and hair.
Digestive Tract Health
Onions promote a healthy digestive tract as they are a great source of prebiotics, which is a type of dietary fiber that feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut.
Quercetin, an antioxidant flavonoid that is found abundantly in onions, has been found to lower blood pressure and leads to improved cardiovascular health.
Potential Cancer-Protective Effects
The sulfur-containing compounds (sulfides and polysulfides) of onions may have some protective effects against cancer.
Additional sulfur-containing compounds (thiosulfinates) that are found in onions (also abundant in garlic) may also suppress the growth of harmful microorganisms.
Decreased Diabetes Risk
This potential benefit is associated with the beneficial effects onions can have on blood glucose regulation and lowering blood sugar levels. Most studies have been in animals, but one clinical study in humans showed that daily consumption of 100 grams of raw onion led to a significant decrease in blood glucose.
Improved Bone Health
There have been studies in animals that have shown that onions may increase bone mass and likely have protective effects against bone loss. One human study in women over age 50 showed a correlation between increased onion consumption and increased bone density.
There are many reasons to love onions, and we celebrate this mighty vegetable with an excellent recipe for French Onion Soup.
Let’s learn how to make a delicious French Onion Soup.
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 pounds Vidalia onions (about 4 medium), halved lengthwise, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 6 cups homemade beef broth or store-bought low sodium beef broth
- 10 sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 baguette
- 1 garlic clove, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons sherry, preferably Fino or Manzanilla
- 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
In a large pot, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the oil and onions; cook onions until softened, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, and sugar; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are deep golden brown and caramelized, reducing heat slightly if onions seem to be browning too quickly, 35 to 45 minutes more.
Add wine and raise heat to high. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.
Tie thyme and bay leaves into a bundle with twine. Add broth and herb bundle to pot with onions. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until broth is thickened and flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Heat the broiler. Cut two 1/2-inch baguette slices for every serving of soup. Place baguette slices on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until crisp and dry but not browned, about 1 minute per side. Rub one side of each toast with the garlic clove and set aside.
Place ramekins or oven safe bowls on a rimmed baking sheet, add 1/2 teaspoon of sherry to the bottom of each and ladle soup on top. Top each serving of soup with two garlic-rubbed toasts. Divide cheese among the servings, covering the bread and some of the soup. Carefully transfer baking sheet to oven and broil until cheese is melted and bubbling, 4 to 8 minutes. (Alternatively, if using regular soup bowls: Top each garlic-rubbed toast with some cheese and return to broiler to melt, about 2 minutes more. Divide sherry and soup among bowls, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and top each serving with two cheese toasts.)
We hope you like these fun facts about the mighty onion. We also expect that you will enjoy this wonderful recipe for French Onion Soup.
June 27th is no ordinary day—It’s National Onion Day!