Onions as the next great ingredient in ice cream? Believe it.

In the dead of summer, ice cream is a necessary, and as we get well into National Ice Cream Month, we wondered how creative we could get with adding onions into ice cream.

Before you say “Ew!” hear us out.

We’ve had onion ice cream before at a special event. It made for a great dessert. However, we couldn’t get a recipe. So we worked with Chef Aran Essig, CEC, CCA, executive chef at the University of Northern Colorado, to develop his own version of onion ice cream.  Why is this important? We at the National Onion Association believe strongly in getting vegetables in the diet. If you can get away with infusing the great nutrition of an onion into a sweet dessert, why not?

Onions naturally contain sugars. When you caramelize onions, the process draws out those sugars for a great flavor much richer than a raw onion any day. So Chef Essig came up with Caramelized Onion Brandy Ice Cream.

Caramelized Onion Brandy Ice Cream is easy to make and so sweet!

Making onion ice cream

See video here.

But this recipe is not like stringy onions are winding their way through your ice cream cone. This recipe uses caramelized onions that are deglazed with a bit of brandy, then puréed into a liquid with the traditional milk, cream and sugar.

After the liquid is pureed, heat to a simmer — careful not to boil over — then let it steep for 15 minutes.

Another unique element is that you don’t need an ice cream maker to make it. Just pour it in a clean, metal pan and put in the freezer from 2-3 hours, popping in every 20 minutes for a stir to get air into the mix.

After 2-3 hours in the freezer, this ice cream is ready to scoop!

This recipe calls for cardamom, too, which infuses a hint of citrusy-spicy flavor to the onions and the brandy. Chef Essig also put some chives and shallots into this recipe, giving it a hint of savory, which could almost make this ice cream perfect a perfect replacement for the salad before dinner. Trust us, this ice cream is yummy and easy to make. Try it out and tell us what you think.

Caramelized Onion Brandy Ice Cream


1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 ¼ tsp vegetable oil
6 teaspoons brandy
2 cups heavy cream
1 ½ cups milk, whole
1 ½ cup sugar, granulated
¼ teaspoon salt
3 cardamom pods
2 teaspoon dried shallot (optional)
2 teaspoon chives (optional)


Thinly slice onion.Heat oil in sauté pan and deeply caramelize onion over medium heat. Deglaze the pan with brandy and cook off all alcohol. Reduce any liquid until dry. Weigh out 2/3 cup of the onion. Combine the heavy cream, milk, sugar, salt, cardamom, and 2/3 cup of the caramelized onions in a sauce pot. Bring to boil and remove from heat. Be cautious not to allow it to boil over. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 15 minutes. 

Transfer to a blender and blend till smooth. Transfer to a clean, shallow, metal pan appropriate for the size of the liquid. Add dried shallot and chives if desired. Place the pan in the freezer. Stir every 20 minutes until the ice cream reaches the desired consistency. This could take up to 3 hours. Yields approx. 1 1/3 quart

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Balsamic-laced caramelized onions make for great sandwich

You don’t have go to the hottest brewery to get a great sandwich and some caramelized onions!

Roast Turkey and Caramelized Balsamic Onions sandwich photo.
Try this Open Face Roast Turkey Sandwich with Caramelized Balsamic Onions for a brew-pub like lunch in the comfort of your own home.

You can easily amp up your next tavern-style spread at home, and all it takes is a little balsamic vinegar, and not a lot of time.

All you have to do is caramelize your onions, then put in some balsamic and pile them atop some great roasted meats with whatever veggies you please. Get a good roll, toast it and you’ve got a hearty lunch guaranteed to keep you satisfied through dinner.

Our version is rather cleverly called the Open Face Roast Turkey Sandwich with Caramelized Balsamic Onions. Now, there’s nothing magic about this sandwich. It does, however, offer same great off-setting tastes that gives your sandwich the perfect bite — at least from what we’d normally eat with a slab of turkey and cheese with mayo.

We got adventurous with ours, however. Last week, we made Asian Plum-Onion Chutney, and that stuff sticks around for a while – meaning you don’t need to use a lot of it. Layering that on our sandwich instead of regular condiments turned it into something special. But even without it, the caramelized onions offer a nice tang.  And don’t forget the loads of nutrition you’re getting!

We suggest turning this into lunch at your next picnic. What a great sandwich to bring on the next trip to the park or the outdoors.

Open Face Roast Turkey Sandwich with Caramelized Balsamic Onions

Roast Turkey Sandwich with  Caramelized Balsamic Onions photo.
Avoid the tavern and make this onion masterpiece at home.


2 cups sliced yellow onions
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil 
2 tablespoons Balsamic or red wine vinegar 
1 pound roast turkey, sliced 
4 crusty rolls, split, buttered and toasted 
Cracked black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves (stripped from stem) 
8 cherry tomatoes, halved 


Gently sauté onions in oil until tender and golden. Add balsamic vinegar and cook about 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly gone. Divide lettuce and turkey onto rolls. Top with onions, black pepper, oregano and tomatoes. 
Makes 4 servings.

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Jazz up your meats and sandwiches with the sweet kick of onion chutney recipe

Asian Plum chutney with meats, breads and cheeses
Could this be the best chutney recipe ever? Chutneys go great with meats and cheeses, or even savory sandwiches.

Chutney used to be a foreign word. But when you cook one, and serve one, and taste one with the right ingredients, things change. Then you go on a search for the best chutney recipe ever.

So what are chutneys? Think of Thanksgiving and the cranberry sauce. That, in effect, is like a chutney. They are relishes that go great with meats, appetizers such as crackers with meats and cheeses or sandwiches — really any dish for which you’d like to enhance the flavor. Chutneys also are easy to make — just put all the ingredients in a pot and boil, then chill.

According to the Joy of Cooking, a long cooked chutney is a British invention, while fresh chutneys are traditionally Indian. Originally cooked with green mangoes, cooks over the years have added exciting new flavors, such as plums or rhubarb.

Our chutneys add a dose of sweetness to any savory dish, and they offer a great break from your typical dip or mayo, and pair really well with savory sandwiches or burgers.

We have three chutneys on our website for consumers to try:

Asian Plum-Onion Chutney

Onion Mango Chutney

Onion Raspberry-Jalapeno Chutney

We most recently made two of them — and for someone whose never tried a chutney knowingly before, they were a pleasant surprise.

A great part about chutneys is they can last a long time. According to the Joy of Cooking, “With its wealth of vinegar, sugar and spices, a tightly closed charge of chutney can hold its quality — even improve — in the refrigerator for several months. ” The recipe below makes a lot of chutney, though. If you’re just wanting it for a specific meal, or week, try halving it.

Asian Plum-Onion Chutney recipe

Onion Chutney on meats and breads.
This Asian Plum-Onion Chutney adds a sweet kick to any savory dish you crave — and it’s easy to make.


3 cups chopped yellow onion (2 to 3 medium onions)
3 cups chopped red onion (2 to 3 medium onions)
8 cups fresh plums (3 to 3-1/2 pounds), 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup candied ginger, chopped
1-1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups cider vinegar
3/4 cup hoisin sauce (7 ounces)
1 tablespoon mustard seed
2 teaspoons salt


Combine all ingredients in large kettle. Cover and bring to boil. Uncover and boil gently 30 minutes or until thickened and glossy, stirring occasionally. Pour hot chutney into sterilized jars and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or can using USDA canning guidelines for longer storage.
Makes about 5-1/2 pints. 

Also try these other chutney recipes:

Raspberry Onion-Jalapeño Chutney recipe

Raspberry-Jalapeno Onion Chutney in a bowl

Onion Mango Chutney recipe

Onion Mango Chutney on chicken
This Onion Mango Chutney pairs nicely with roasted chicken.


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Cooking short cuts will help ease prep time crunch

Cooking in today’s times are much different than our parents. In fact, most busy young professionals are parents leave the cooking to the pros — and in today’s world, that means meal kit services or restaurants.  While meal kits offer the benefit of a fully assembled, gourmet meal, and may fare better in the nutrition department, you’re still in the kitchen doing the cooking, just with less prep time. Adding cooking shortcuts will reduce prep time.

Millennials eat out more

Millennials eat out of the home and order more pre-prepared meals than older generations.

According to a survey by Money.com, roughly 29 percent of millennials and 26 percent of Gen. Xers have tried meal kit services, compared to 12 percent of those over 45. The same survey said while many try the services, they quit mainly due to the expense, and those most apt to try meal kit services brought home more than a$100,000 a year.

We’d venture to say that not every millennial is bringing in that kind of money. Kitchen.com compared meal kit pricing and decided the prices for the ingredients at the grocery store were negligible. But we ask, are you able to spend $24 per meal (roughly $15 per meal, plus a $9 delivery fee), seven nights a week?  For two people, that’s over $1,300 a month just for dinner. For many people, that’s rent!

Use cooking short cuts to east prep time

Since you’re cooking anyway, don’t let the perceived time it takes to make a great meal dissuade you. There are several shortcuts to help ease those time crunches — crock pots, Instapots, microwaves.  

Grocery stores today are increasingly aware that cooking is a time-consuming matter for most busy young adults. That’s why many have added pre-prepared meals, pre-cooked meals, shop-at-home and delivery options, as well as pre-cut onions and other vegetables in the produce aisle.

Incorporate pre-prepared veggies into your cooking

Buy pre-cut onions to save time on your meal prep.

Onions are a great example. Nothing strikes fear in the heart of many a younger at-home cook than having to dice an onion. When cooking with onions in your meals, you get that awesome flavor and solid nutrition, but you don’t have to do the chopping or slicing yourself. The produce aisle is a great place today to find pre-cut and pre-sliced options on many of your favorite vegetables. You can even find pre-cut onions in the freezer aisle. Time is at a premium today. But today’s shortcuts can make cooking less daunting. By devoting a little time to planning out your meals, you can make great and nutritious meals at home, without the expense.

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How will you celebrate National Onion Day?

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 Thursday, June 27, we can all celebrate National Onion Day.

National Onion Day, June 27

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.

Naturally sodium, fat and cholesterol free

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.

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