FoodDebunking myths: Are sprouting onions harmful or healthy?

Debunking myths: Are sprouting onions harmful or healthy?

Onion with sprouts. Can you eat it?
Onion with sprouts. Can you eat it?
Images source: © Canva | ogichobanov

9:55 AM EST, January 31, 2024, updated: 4:36 AM EST, March 7, 2024

Onions are a staple vegetable for many of us. Despite the occasional tears from chopping them, their health benefits, including vitamins, minerals, and beneficial sulfur compounds, make them worth it.

Trouble arises when stored onions start to sprout. This is typically associated with the unappetizing sprouts found in potatoes which, once green, make the vegetable inedible. Should we be similarly wary of onions?

Can You Eat Sprouting Onions?

If you've been leery of sprouting onions, you can relax. Such a vegetable isn't toxic. On the contrary, onion sprouts (and garlic sprouts as well) are very healthy. These inadvertent chives can diversify your cooking. However, there's a caveat.

If a sprouting onion isn’t immersed in water, the shoots will swiftly detriment the vegetable. The reason being, the chives need water to grow. Without an external source, they draw it directly from the onion. Consequently, the vegetable dries up rapidly, moves onto becoming soft, and eventually, spoils.

Onion with sprouts - is it still the same healthiness?
Onion with sprouts - is it still the same healthiness?© Canva | berezkophotos

With this in mind, it's wise to sniff a sprouting onion before consumption. Any pungent odor or visible signs of rot or mold should signal that the vegetable is no longer safe to eat. So, don't let onions with sprouts linger. Use them as soon as you can!

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