Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Let's Talk Onions

During the month of October, I will be participating in the Write 31 Days hosted by Crystal Stine. My category is Food, Health & Wellness and my theme is "Into The Kitchen". 

An onion is an onion...or not.  Who doesn't love a basket of freshly made onion rings? However not just any onion can be an onion ring. Keep reading to see which one makes the cut.

One can do a lot of reading about onions, and there is more information than we can cover here in detail, so we are going focus on type and sizes of onions, the best use for each and a few of their health benefits.

Have you ever looked at a recipe that calls for one large onion, chopped. What is a large onion and how much does that yield? I much prefer when the recipe states the amount in a quantity like one cup. Truthfully, I rarely measure, but if I know I need a cup, I can eyeball that. On the other hand, if it calls for a large onion, what is that comparitively?

Okay, let's break that down because there is an actual onion size chart.

Super Colossal

4½" and up

yellow, red, white


3¾" and up

yellow, red, white


3" and up

yellow, red, white


2 - 3¼

yellow, red, white


1¾ - 3" 

yellow and white


1 – 2¼"

yellow and white


1 - 1 7/8"

yellow and white


under 1"

yellow and white

This chart gives you an idea as to labels and sizes, but you need to know these equivalents, too.

Small onion = 1/2 cup chopped
Medium onion = 1 cup chopped
Large = 2 cups chopped

Types of onions

These onions have the strongest flavor and good for caramelizing, especially in French Onion soup, because of their higher sugar content.

Red onions are often served raw and usually used on sandwiches, burgers and salads. They are also used for grilling and roasting.

You want to look for these when you need a little texture in your dish. They are used in salads, white sauces and Mexican cuisine.

To more easily spot sweet onions, look for a more orange skin. Walla Walla and Vidalia are types of sweet onions. They have a mild flavor and a higher water content, which makes them good for salsas. These are also the best onions for onion rings.

Green Onions (also known as Scallions)
These are the stalks of onion bulbs and are best used raw or lightly cooked. They add a mild flavor to your dish, and are often used as a garnish.

In addition to their great taste and wide variety of uses, onions of all kinds are good for you, too.

Health Benefits

What makes them healthy? Onions contain high amounts of:
  • Vitamin C
  • Sulphuric compounds
  • Flavonoids
  • Phytochemicals
  • Significant source of antioxidents
In summary, onions of all kinds are flavorful, healthful additions to our diet. I hope this helps you choose the right onion for your dish and your taste buds. 

Personally, I seriously do not like red onions as the taste and smell is very off-putting to me. My favorites are the sweet onions, followed by regular yellow onions, for all my cooking needs.

Which onions do you prefer? Do you have a favorite onion-centric recipe?

If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Replies
    1. We had some excellent onion rings on vacation, but unfortunately did not think to take a picture. A half order fills up a full size take out container.

  2. How amazing ... I'd have never thought there was this much about onions for us to know about ... well done! Cheers Hilary

    1. Thanks Hilary! I didn't know all that either. This kitchen challenge is helping me too.


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