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DSCF4142Studies have shown that foods from the allium family, which include garlic, onions, scallions, shallots, leeks and chives, may be associated with a decreased risk in some cancers, lower stroke and heart attack risk and a reduction of high blood pressure.

As a skeptic of most studies, I am more inclined to believe that those who regularly consume foods from the allium family are more than likely eating an overall healthy diet. This may or may not play a role in the reported benefits.

Regardless of those studies, you may want to consider some of the advantages of incorporating the exquisite onion into your diet.
In addition to being low in calories they are:
high in fiber – good for digestion
high in calcium – good for bone strength and repair, muscle contraction, maintaining a normal rhythmic heartbeat
good source of manganese  – aids in bone health, metabolizes protein and fats, speeds up recovery for athletes
good source of Vitamin C – protects against immune system deficiencies, reduces damage to body tissue and muscle as a result of physical activity
good source of Vitamin B-6 – aids the heart in blood-circulation health, helps in formation of red blood cells, aids in cognitive function
good source of chromium – a mineral that aids cells in their response to insulin
Onions contain phytochemicals. In particular quercetin, which helps decrease inflammation.

While we typically augment one bulb of garlic a week in a variety of recipes, we easily consume at least a 5 lb. bag of onions.

We eat them raw, we eat them roasted. We eat them “fried”, we eat them toasted!

Three onions on a white background.

This recipe is based on one that I read in Food and Wine Magazine. The only changes I made were in the type of rice and stock used and the omission of oil.

Serves 6

2 cups red lentils
1/2 cup long grain brown rice
2 medium sweet onions – chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground allspice
sea salt to taste
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

Rinse rice.
In a small pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add rice, cover, reduce heat to low and cook until tender about 30-45 minutes.
While rice is cooking, in a large pot, bring lentils, onions, vegetable broth, water, cumin and allspice to a boil. Add 1 tsp of salt, cover and simmer over medium-low heat. Cook until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.
Add rice to the large pot.
Allow soup to cool for a bit. With a blender or vitamix, purée soup until smooth. Once pureed, add salt if necessary and water if a thinner consistency is desired.
About an hour before serving, on a very low heat, slowly sauté (with a little water, vegetable broth or a wee bit of cooking spray) thinly sliced onions. Add as a garnish.

What is your onion intake? Please leave a comment…