Like the first
flowers appearing out of the snow, the first spring onions are peeking out of
produce bins right about now. Spring onions are basically more developed than
the green onion, but not as mature as a regular onion. These spring shoots tend
to be milder in flavor and more tender than full-grown onions. Here’s how to
pick the best of the bunch.

Health Benefits. Spring
onions are packed with powerful flavonoids known for their health-promoting
effects. In addition, these onions are very rich in vitamin C and chromium, a
trace mineral that helps cells properly respond to insulin. Research indicates
that spring onions may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart
attacks and strokes. These onions also have excellent antibacterial and
antifungal properties.

Selecting the Best. Choose
onions with healthy, dark-green tops. Avoid any that appear to be dry, wilted
or slimy on top, or that have a soft bulb.

Varieties. Spring
onions are available in several versions, including white, yellow and red
varieties.

Storage. Store onions
in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer in the fridge. Use within 1 week of
purchase. Do not freeze spring onions.

Use. Spring
onions can be eaten raw or cooked. They are great sautìed, baked, blanched or
even grilled.