I really hate wasting food and produce! I’ve decided to try out all the different ways to store food and make food last. First up are green onions. There is a lot of advice on the web on how to store green onions to make them last longer. I tried a bunch of them (so you wouldn’t have to!) and found a clear winner.
What are green onions?
Green onions are a type of young onion that has a white and underdeveloped bulb with hollow green stalks. It is part of the onion family and related to leeks, shallots, garlic, and chives. It has a mild onion taste. Also known as scallion or spring onion, raw green onions are often added to fresh salads or used as a garnish. It is also used in recipes for soup or Asian stir fry.
The white parts of green onions have a stronger taste compared to the green leaves. Oftentimes, people only use the green leafy parts and throw away the white parts. Pro tip: keep the white parts! More on that later…
How to pick green onions
Choose fresh green onion that is bright green and clear of dark spots on the green and white parts. Avoid any bunches that look or feel slimy; that means that they aren’t fresh!
How to cut green onions
Once you have rinsed the green onions, place them on the cutting board and trim about an inch from the top and above the roots. Throw away the tops and set the bottoms aside.
If you need a garnish, simply cut the stems into rounds. Place the green onions horizontally on the chopping board, and hold the green part down with your non-dominant hand. Don’t press down too hard on the stems and crush them; you just need to keep them in place. Use a sharp knife to cut small “coins” about ¼ inch long. You can adjust the size as needed. For stir frys, cut the stems into ½-inch to 1-inch long pieces.
You can also make green onion “hairs” which are thin and can also be used as a garnish. Place the green onion perpendicular to the board and cut along the length of it. If you want a mild flavor, slice it thin and thicker for a strong onion flavor.
I find myself using a pair of scissors to cut green onions. It is an easier way to cut it! Just make sure to wash the scissors before and after cutting.
How to store green onion and keep fresh
Whether you have unused green onion from a recipe or want to prepare it for later use, there are a number of ways to store green onions and make them last longer
How to store green onion in the fridge
Most likely than not, you will be storing green onions in the fridge. They are really hardy and aren’t that sensitive to the cold environment of a refrigerator.
How to store whole green onions
You can keep the green onion in the plastic bag it came in or a produce bag. Simply wrap it in a paper towel, put it in the bag, and place it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. It will keep for a month, and you will likely have to switch out the paper towel if it gets too wet.
If you have space in your refrigerator, you can place the green onions in a jar with water that covers the roots. Store in the refrigerator door and replace the water every couple of days. The problem with this is that the green onion will continue to grow so the leaves can overtake the area it is in. They will eventually lose the bright green color if stored this way for long since it isn’t getting any light.
This green onion has been in the fridge for a month. The leaves continued to grow and ended up bending, they also became light green.
How to store fresh chopped green onion
If you have the time, you can chop up the green onions into coins and store them for later use. Place it in a storage container and top it with a paper towel to help absorb any excess moisture. Use it within a week. It will not last that long since it is chopped. I kept it for a month and it didn’t make it!
How to store green onion in the freezer
You can also prepare and freeze green onions. This is best when you bought too many or have time to do food prep. You can cut the green onion into coins or 1-inch pieces and use the frozen green onions later for soups or stir frys. It will work best if it is going to be cooked and not used fresh, like for salads.
Chop the green onions, then place them on a sheet tray before placing them in the freezer. Leave it for about an hour, and then you can transfer it to a freezer bag or plastic container until you need it. This way it doesn’t clump together and will be easy to portion later. It is best to use it within three months or as long as it doesn’t have any freezer burn.
How to regrow green onions from the grocery store in soil
Remember the root cuttings that we put aside earlier? You can plant it in a pot of soil! Poke holes in the soil and place the cuttings root side down. Cover it back with soil but leave the tops of the green onions free to grow. I placed mine with some oxalis plants and they grow together.
You can place it on a windowsill. Water every so often; the soil shouldn’t dry out in between waterings. If you notice that the green onions aren’t growing that fast, you can use a plant light to supplement the light needed for them to grow.
I’ve had them growing in the pot for a couple of months now, and I’ve started to notice that they aren’t growing as thick, so I’ll probably pull them up soon and start over with a new batch.
My herb plants love this plant light; it is great because it has a telescoping rod that you can place directly in the soil, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space.
How to regrow green onion scraps in water
If you’d rather use water to regrow green onion scraps, place the root end in a mason jar and cover the roots with water. Place it on a windowsill that gets lots of sunlight. You will have to switch out the water every couple of days because the green onions get slimy.
Pro tip: Place the jar of cuttings in something stable to avoid knocking it over and spilling onion-y water! I placed a couple of cuttings in a Keurig cup and then placed it in a bigger, more stable container.
You will probably get two to three cuttings from this, but eventually, you will have to throw it out. You can also try these small hydroponic setups to regrow green onion scraps.
How to dry green onion in the oven
I saw online that other bloggers dry fresh green onions. Some used a food dehydrator, but since I don’t have one now, I tried to dry green onions in the oven.
The oven cannot be too hot, somewhere between 150 to 170 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and then place the cut spring onion on top. It should take about four hours in the oven. It is done when you rub the green onions between your fingers and it becomes flakes.
Let it cool completely, then store the dried green onions in an airtight container. This method didn’t work that great for me! The leaves softened after a couple of days.
What is the best way to store green onions?
If you want to store green onions in the fridge to be used soon, then I recommend keeping them in a plastic bag and wrapping them in a paper towel.
For those of you who want to grow green onion scraps, I like the soil method. It lasts longer, but you may need a plant light to help it grow.
Undoubtedly the freezer method is the best way to store green onions. It lasts long, you set it and forget it, and it doesn’t take up much space.
I hope this was helpful! Do you use a method that I didn’t try? Please let me know what works for you!!
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