Green onions or scallion onions are some of the best vegetables to grow in your garden. They give a good return in just a few weeks, sometimes more than you need. You may attempt to give your green onions away after harvesting, thinking that they will spoil before you use all of them. Well, it’s always a good gesture to share what you have, but not because they will otherwise go bad.
You can significantly increase the shelf life of green onions by proper preservation. There are many methods you can use, but freezing is the most effective one. But can you freeze green onions without compromising the quality? Let’s find that out in this post. We will walk you through the green onion freezing method and answer all your questions.
Do Green Onions Go Bad?
Fresh green onions have bright green, tubular leaves, and firm white roots and stems. That should be at least how green onions look like when you pluck them off from your garden. Store-bought scallions may have slightly varying texture and color, depending on how long they have been in the store.
Whether store-bought or sourced fresh from the garden, green onions are perishable and should be used within a week. Beyond that, they spoil and become unsuitable for use as a salad or cooked recipes. But how can you know that your green onions have gone bad?
Spoiled green onions are soft and discolored. They may also be slimy to the touch and awful odor that may or may not be present in some cases. These signs should warn you against using such green onions. They have lost their value and can cause food poisoning. The best thing you can do is to discard them. Throw them in the dustbin or bury them in the ground.
How Long Does Green Onions Last?
Green onions can last between 1 and 2 weeks if stored in a freezer, assuming that you have freshly harvested them from your garden. Store-bought green onions can last much less than that if they have been on the shelves for some days.
If you want your green onions to last longer, then you need to freeze them. Frozen scallion can last for 6 months or even longer but are best used before then. Keep reading to find out more about how you can freeze green onions.
Can You Freeze Green Onions?
Yes. Green onions can be frozen to extend their shelf life. But why do you need to freeze them, and yet they are nearly available all year round?
If you are a gardener, then you are likely to produce more green onions than you need. Instead of selling or giving them away, you can always freeze them for future use. That way, you will use all your garden produce without wasting even a piece.
Green onions can also be in season, just like other vegetables. They are much cheaper during such periods. So, you can opt to buy in bulk and stocking for use when they become scarce. Freezing allows you to take advantage of the season when green onions are bountiful.
You may also have some green onion leftovers that you purchased for an event. Should you give them away or toss them out? No. You can use them for many months to come if frozen appropriately. Whatever your reason for freezing green onion is, you will save money and time. You preserve the onions and only use them when called for.
How To Freeze Green Onions?
We have stated some reasons for freezing green onions and agreed they can be successfully preserved for months. But how can you free green onions? That’s what we will discuss in this section.
Before getting to the main topic, let’s inform you that green onions are pungent and can cause tears trickling down your cheek. Be careful when handling them, especially at the chopping stage. The sulfur compound that triggers tears is concentrated in the bulb. So, we recommend chopping the green onions from the leaves to the stem, leaving the bulb untouched. You can also do it outdoors to allow the moving air to carry away the sulfur-packed onion fumes.
Flash-Freezing Green Onions
This method is preferred over the one discussed next because the texture or consistency is more maintained. The vegetables will remain fresh for longer, and you can thaw the amount you need for your serving without disturbing the rest.
For this method, we recommend separating the bulbs and stems and packaging them differently for storage.
Step 1: Wash your onions
Green onions are likely to have soil particles and other dirt, whether store-bought or harvested from the garden. Wash the vegetables to remove all debris and peel off the outer layer to leave you with clean green onion.
Step 2: Dry the onions
Once washed, you should pat them dry before freezing. This step is necessary to remove water lodged between the crevices that would otherwise freeze into ice to destroy the texture of your vegetable.
Step 3: Pre-freezing the onions
Chop the washed and dried onions into your preferred sizes and line them in a baking tray. Put in the freezer for about an hour or until the chopped vegetables become solid. Take them out of the freezer when ready.
Why do you need to pre-freeze chopped green onions? If this step is skipped, the vegetables will clump together into one big chunk when frozen. That makes it challenging, if not impossible, to thaw what you need without disturbing the rest. It will force you to defrost everything at once. And once green onions are defrosted, you cannot re-freeze them.
Step 4: Packaging and freezing
Divide the vegetables into serving-size portions and scoop into different freezing bags. Drive out as much air from the bags and seal them. The last action is to label the bags with the current date and keep them in a freezer until needed.
Freezing Fresh Green Onions
If you don’t want to go through flash freezing the vegetables, you can use this method. All other steps remain the same except the pre-freezing one. So, start by washing and patting dry your vegetables with a paper towel. Ensure there are no debris or water molecules still hiding in the crevices.
The next step is to chop the onions into the preferred sizes or sizes of your container. Once done, back them in an inside airtight container or resealable freezer bags. Don’t pack the vegetables tightly. In other words, leave a space so that the chopped green onions won’t hit on each other and get slimy.
The last step is to label the bags with the current date to help you to track the freezing period. Remember, green onions are best used before six months of storage.
Freezing Green Onions Tips
- Dry the onions with kitchen towels to avoid any leftover water molecules from crystallizing. The ice crystals, if formed, will ruin the texture and taste of your vegetables.
- Pre-freeze your green onions avoid sticking together as one solid ball
- Don’t overfill the freezer bags or containers. Always allow room so that the green onions will not bruise each other.
- Ensure proper packaging of the chopped green onions to avoid transferring the pungent smell from the vegetables to your freezer or other frozen foods.
How To Defrost Green Onions?
Frozen green onions can be used in cooked recipes without thawing. They will defrost pretty quickly in the frying pan or cooking pot when heated. But if you must thaw your vegetables before using them, put them in the fridge overnight. They should be ready for use the following morning.
Tips For Using Frozen and Thawed Green Onions?
Freezing and thawing will make green onions lose their crispy texture. As a result, they are not suitable for salads or when eaten raw. Instead, use your thawed green onions in cooked recipes. Most people use defrosted green onions to prepare soups, marinades, fried rice, potato cakes, omelets, and other dishes.
Can You Freeze Green Onions? Yes, green onions freeze well and can last much longer. You, therefore, have no excuse tossing out or giving away your excess vegetables. You can freeze them for later use, as outlined in this article. Ensure you follow the procedure and use all the tips to maximize the shelf life of green onions in the freezer. Remember to always dry your onions and pre-free before finally putting them in labeled freezer bags for final freezing.
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