Green onions, also known as scallions, are versatile items that may be used in various cuisines. They provide taste and color to a dish and can be cooked or eaten raw as a garnish. So it makes sense to keep them on hand, but they can become floppy and sticky before you get around to using them. This is frequently caused by incorrect storage. Green onions will keep days longer if you use one of three methods for storing them instead of simply putting them in the refrigerator. This reduces food waste while also saving you money at the grocery store.
If you want to store scallions, there are a few things you need to know. These include how you can plant the seeds, how you can store them, and how they taste.
What Exactly are Green Onions?
Green onions (Allium cepa), often known as scallions, are young, fresh onions distinguished by their slender shape and mild flavor. When scallions are first picked, they emit a strong odor (similar to ordinary onions) that is visibly bright and earthy, with undertones of garlic and apple. The white stalk has the same hash and sulfury flavor as other alliums but with less bite. Meanwhile, the dark green leaves taste fresher and more grassy.
The phrases “scallion” and “green onion” occasionally use interchangeably to describe allium plants that grow in clumps with stringy roots, long, sensitive green leaves, and thin, bulb-less white stalks. Green onions are sometimes referred to as “bunching onions.”
Methods for Storing Scallion
A jar, a plastic bag, and a paper towel are all you need to store green onions and keep them fresher for longer. Remove all packaging materials from the scallions before beginning any procedure.
Keep on a Windowsill
Because we don’t need to store other varieties of onions in the refrigerator, it seems natural that we don’t need to store green onions in the fridge either. This approach recommends storage on a windowsill. Place the onions in a heavy-bottomed jar tall enough to keep the scallions from flopping over. Fill the jar with an inch or two of cold or room temperature water and place the green onions root-side down (just enough to cover the roots). Then place the jar on your kitchen’s windowsill. Your onions will not only stay fresh, but they will also thrive. As needed, change or add water every couple of days.
Please keep it in the Refrigerator.
If you don’t have a windowsill in your kitchen, you may keep green onions in the fridge by following the same steps as above, but then covering the tops of the onions with a plastic bag—this can be the bag they arrived in or a zip-top bag.
You want to preserve humidity within the bag, so cinch it up a little. Place a rubber band or string around the grocery bag where it meets the jar’s opening; for a zip-top bag, close each side a tiny bit. You don’t need a completely airtight seal, just enough to keep the humidity. Refrigerate once everything is in place. Simply place the jar somewhere it won’t be knocked over, and remember to replenish the water every couple of days.
Please keep it in a Damp Paper Towel.
You can use a paper towel and storage bag instead of a jar to store the scallions. Wrap the green onions in a slightly damp paper towel first. The moisture provides the humidity required for appropriate storage; however, if the towel becomes excessively wet, it can promote decomposition. If you like, sprinkle the towel with water after wrapping the green onions. Place the wrapped scallions in a plastic bag or storage container; the bag or container does not need to be airtight. If the paper towel dries out, rewet it and replace it if it becomes too wet.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Storing Green Onions
Controlling moisture is essential for preserving green onions. They must be kept in a humid atmosphere to remain firm, but excessive moisture might cause them to rot. Remember to keep the scraps to produce your green onions! This paper towel approach provides humidity without adding more moisture.
1. Remove the Root
Remove the rubber band and any additional packaging first. Line up the green onions and remove the root. Keep them for later (more on that below).
2. Slice in half
Keep the green onions lined up and chop them in half to fit into a plastic bag.
3. Pat them Dry
Pat the green onions dry with a paper towel to remove any extra moisture.
4. Wrap them
Tear off about three sheets of paper towel per bag to wrap the green onions (six total). Half the green onions should be placed on one paper towel and the other. To avoid crushing the green onions, avoid wrapping them too tightly.
5. Refrigerate the Wrapped Green Onions in a Bag.
Place each green onion bundle in a plastic bag. Date the container. Place the bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
6. Use as Needed
When ready to use the green onions, remove them from the bag and carefully pat them dry to remove any excess moisture. Any unused green onions should be rewrapped and placed back into the plastic bag.
Additional Suggestions for Storing Scallions/Green Onions
- Make sure to check your scallions/green onions every few days, no matter how you keep them.
- Remove any dried, shriveled, or slimy portions and utilize the rest of the bunch as soon as possible.
- To keep the onion from rotting, cut off the root end before keeping it in a plastic bag.
Place green onions in the back of your refrigerator, where they will be the coldest but not frozen.
- Your scallions are still edible if they get limp but not slimy. (They’re dehydrated!). Chop them and toss them into a cooked dish where they will soften. You could alternatively rehydrate the scallions by placing them in a dish of icy water. To keep it fresh, place it in a bowl of cold water with ice cubes.
- If you’re storing them in water, change the water every couple of days to keep deterioration at bay.
Maintain Onions Past their Prime
If you have rotting onions, you don’t have to toss them. You can utilize a few different strategies to encourage them to regrow. To begin, cut off one inch of the green part of each onion (leaving the white part with the roots intact) and plant in your garden or a pot on your windowsill, root-end buried in the dirt.
Snip off some of the tops whenever you need fresh green onion, leaving the white section with the roots planted in the ground. The onions will regrow, and you can do this if you don’t disrupt the roots. Green onions may even survive the winter in many areas.
How should Green Onions be Preserved?
Green onions can be preserved in three ways. Keep them moist with a damp paper towel or in a jar of water, then cover them in a bag and store them in the fridge. Alternatively, omit the bag and place the jar on the windowsill.
Is it Possible to Freeze Raw Green Onions?
These vegetables can be stored in the freezer. Place them in a freezer-safe container after cutting them into smaller parts. Toss the green onions after 1-2 hours to keep them from freezing in chunks. This is an excellent guide on freezing green onions.
Green Onions Freezing
To minimize freezer burn or ice crystals, pat the green onions dry first.
Place them in a freezer-safe container after cutting them into smaller pieces. After 1 hour, toss them to keep them from freezing to each other. Alternatively, you can flash freeze them on a sheet pan for 1-2 hours. Then, please place them in the container where they will be stored.
How Long do Green Onions Keep in Water on a Windowsill?
Using this procedure, you may expect them to survive for months. They keep for a long time and continue to grow, so you will end up with more green onions than you started with!
This procedure only works if the root ends of the scallions/green onions are still connected. If they’ve already been severed, place them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, as indicated later in this article.
Get the Regrowing Crops From Scraps booklet for complete instructions on how to keep regrowing green onions (and other veggies) like this!
Regrowing Veggies from Scraps is an ebook that shows you how to regrow green onions, celery, romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, and butter lettuce from scraps you’d ordinarily throw! It also teaches you how to grow microgreens!
How to Know if Green Onions have Gone Bad?
Examine the green onions visually for any signs of mold or discoloration. If you see any, it means the green onions have gone bad. To see whether your green onions have gone bad, try the following:
Green onions should have a fresh, light onion aroma. They may have gone bad if they have a strong, pungent odor or no odor.
Squeeze the green onions gently for a touch test. They have probably gone bad if they feel slimy or soft.
If you’re unsure whether the green onions are still edible, conduct a taste test. Take a little slice of green onion and taste it. If it tastes odd or ruined, toss the remaining green onions.
If the green onions pass all of these tests, they are most likely still edible. However, when judging the freshness of your food, it’s always a good idea to use your best judgment. If in doubt, it’s best to toss it.
What Happens if you Consume Bad Green Onion?
Green onions contaminated with hazardous bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) or Salmonella can cause food poisoning. Symptoms of these bacteria include stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Food poisoning can lead to more serious problems in difficult situations, such as kidney failure or death.
It’s critical to carefully verify the freshness of your food before eating it, especially perishable products like green onions. If you have any worries about the freshness of the green onions, toss them out to avoid food poisoning.
If you suspect you have eaten contaminated green onions and are experiencing food poisoning symptoms, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
How do you Cook Green Onions?
Every few weeks, I get a bundle of green onions at the farmer’s market and use them in some ways. Here are a few of my favorite ways to incorporate green onions into our daily meals.
- Stir in the chopped green onions. Green onions cook quickly, so add them near the end of the cooking time or sprinkle them on top of the stir-fry.
- For a light onion flavor, sprinkle chopped green onions on baked potatoes, frittatas, salads, omelets, fried rice, and soups.
- For a quick grab-and-go breakfast, mix chopped greens into the filling of egg muffins.
- When creating homemade chicken broth or vegetable broth, add whole green onions.
- Freeze extra vegetables in a bag and use them to create broth; this is a fantastic way to use up extra green onions.
- Green onions and eggs complement each other well. When making fluffy scrambled eggs, sauté chopped green onions in butter before adding eggs. Before adding the eggs, I like to sauté some chopped greens (Swiss chard, kale, or spinach) with the green onions.
- Green onions can be regrown by cutting off the roots and immersing them in water.
You’re wondering how to keep green onions or scallions fresher for longer. The good news is that there are numerous ways to keep green onions fresh!
You can keep them in a jar of water on the windowsill, a jar in the fridge, a plastic bag in the fridge, loose in the fridge, or even on the counter.
Each technique of keeping green onions has advantages and disadvantages, so keep reading to learn the tips, tricks, and troubleshooting, as well as which approach is ideal! Please keep in mind that scallions and green onions are interchangeable.