Onions and Garlic: November’s “Harvest of the Month”

Health Benefits, Tips for Shopping, and Recipes for Onion & Garlic Meals

onions and garlic

Each month, the North Country Region of Eat Smart NY chooses a locally-grown fruit or vegetable to feature as its “Harvest of the Month” — providing nutritional information about that ingredient, as well as tips for purchasing or preparing it. The Harvests of the Month for November 2017 are onion and garlic!

Why They’re So Great

Onions and garlic are both part of the onion family and pack some amazing healthy benefits, including:

  • B vitamins to help our cells grow and stay healthy
  • Vitamin C, which helps our immune system stay strong and our bodies to heal more quickly

Onions also contain fiber, which helps with good digestion and a healthy heart, and allicin — an antioxidant that protects our cells and heart. Garlic contains manganese, a mineral that helps keep our bones and nervous system healthy.

Shopper’s Tips

When purchasing onions, look for those that are dry, hard, and firm and have small necks. The skin around the onions should be shiny and smooth. Avoid onions with wet or very soft necks, as well as those with thick, hollow, or woody centers in the neck. Also avoid onions with fresh sprouts.

Store dried onions in a cool, dry place for 3 to 4 weeks. Store fresh onions in the refrigerator. Fresh onions will last for about a week.

When purchasing garlic, look for fluffy heads with no broken skin. They should be firm, not soft, when squeezed. Avoid garlic that is soft, shriveled, moldy, or that has begun to sprout. Garlic can be kept in a cool, dark place for several weeks.

Healthy Serving Ideas

onions and garlic

Onions and garlic have strong flavors, but they are perfect when added to salads, vegetables, and other main dish meals. Raw onions can add flavor to sandwiches and burgers, and cooked onions and garlic can make a great addition to chicken, beef, or vegetable crock pot meals.

Try out this recipe and serve your family “Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Onions”:

onions and garlicIngredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup diced onion
4 cups slided Brussels sprouts
2 cups diced apple
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste

Instructions:
1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.
2. Add onion. Cook for 5 minutes, until soft.
3. Add Brussels sprouts and cook 5 minutes.
4. Add the apple, cook 5-10 minutes, until apples are soft.
5. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice, pepper, and salt. Mix well.
6. Serve hot and enjoy!
7. Refrigerate leftovers.

Find more recipes and information at: northcountryeatsmartny.org or by calling 1-844-3MY-ESNY. This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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