June 27 is National Onion Day — How will you celebrate?

Contact: René Hardwick Director of Public and Industry Relations (970) 353-5895

Load up on your onions — National Onion Day is just around the corner

A very special day is looming – a day that celebrates one of the oldest vegetables grown in America — the onion. It’s a day to cheer one of the nation’s most popular and versatile vegetables. Come June 27, we can all celebrate National Onion Day.

The onion — Nature’s Ninja — is the third-most consumed fresh vegetable in the United States, and it is packed with heart-healthy nutrients to keep disease and some cancers at bay. The most recent study in China determined that regular allium (onions, leeks, garlic) consumption could reduce bowel cancer incidence by as much as 79 percent.

While it has a solid nutrient value, unlike many diet foods, its flavor continues to shine in a variety of forms from grilled or stuffed, to sautéed or pureed. This is a day you can slice and dice and caramelize to your heart’s content.

The many varieties all contain their unique flavors by the way they are prepared and by the variety used. Let the luscious smells waft through the kitchen to tempt the hungry bellies and serve up onions for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack — even dessert.

Try all varieties and spread them throughout the day. Have an onion dinner party, and pack it with onion dishes. See how much red, white and yellow onions you can incorporate in your day of onions.

How about a healthy Chipotle Egg Breakfast Sandwich to start your day, or serve up a hearty Onion and Egg Hash for the family? A Spicy Onion Panini or that French Onion Soup could easily turn lunch into a decadent treat. Maybe try a little Creamy Onion Dip for an appetizer before dinner? How about a dinner of Pasta Primavera with Caramelized Onions or Garden-style Fish with Onions and Bell Peppers?

Let’s not forget dessert. The sweetness of the onion complements the chocolate and pecans in our Vidalia Onion and Georgia Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies (see recipe below). See the National Onion Association website, www.onions-usa.org, for these and more recipes for inspiration.

Don’t worry about overeating this phenom of Mother Nature. One onion – Nature’s Ninja — contains 20 percent of your daily Vitamin C needs and 12 percent of your fiber needs. And don’t forget, it’s naturally sodium, fat and cholesterol free and only 64 calories per one-cup serving.

Can you do it? Can you take on the challenge of a day full of onions? Ditch the breath mints and go all in to celebrate National Onion Day on June 27.

Vidalia Onion and Georgia Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup butter softened

½ cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

2 ¼ cup all purpose flour

1 tsp fine salt

1 tsp baking soda

12 oz semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup Georgia Pecans, chopped

1 cup Vidalia onion, diced small

Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter, add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add flour, salt and soda and mix until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Rinse the Vidalia onion with ice water and drain well. Fold the onions into the dough to blend. Drop dough by large spoonfuls on a parchment or wax-paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned (add about a minute to time at high altitudes). Remove from oven and enjoy immediately.
Note: These cookies are meant to be eaten warm; if you want to keep them past the day you make them, add some dried cranberries to the batter to absorb some of the moisture.



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