Every year, I purchase a minimum of 50 pounds of onions. This has prompted some people to ask me what do I do with them. So, I thought I’d share some of the things we have done with our onions and a new experiment we are doing this year.
Onions are so versatile and easy to process. To start with, I cut the tops and bottoms off of the onions and peel away any non-edible parts. This year, I am keeping all those parts to make stock out of. We haven’t gotten to the actual stock yet since we are not done with our bag of onions but we’ve been tucking all the parts into the freezer. Once done, we’ll make the stock and can that. (That’s our new experiment but I guess I will have to give an update when we actually finish it.)
To start with, we slice onions using a mandoline. That gives us the option to freeze the onions or dry them or can them.
To freeze the onions, we lay them on cookie sheets and freeze them solid. Then they are ready for ziplock bags or being vacuum sealed.
To dry – lay on dehydrator trays and let dry until they are hard. Sometimes this can take days because they can have so much water.
In the past, we have dehydrated onions we previously froze. To do that, thaw the onions in a colander over a pot (save that juice). Once they stop dripping, lay on trays and dehydrate. Take the juice and pressure can as stock (10/15 pounds for 60 mins (pints) and 75 minutes (quarts)).
Speaking of canning, smash a bunch of onions into your jar and top with beef broth for a quick soup or additive to other dishes. I would use the same time as for the stock (which is the soup amount). Previously, I mentioned I canned my onions in beef broth for 40 minutes. I can’t say where I got that time so err on the side of caution and go for the whole 75.
We still had some dried onions from last year so before processing this year’s bunch, I ground up the leftover into onion powder. It is the best onion powder we have ever had. First of all, we had a malfunctioning dehydrator so the onions were dried a little hot making them these golden brown crunchy bits. Not sure we can get that again but, we also used Walla Walla Sweet Onions which have a different flavor. So far, we are in love.
One last thing I want to share. My mom discovered you can process the onions quite quickly using an apple corer. The pieces are bigger and chunkier but that’s what they like. We’ll be finishing off our onions using this method which will give us some variety in our pantry.
Hope this helps you discover ways to preserve your onions. Buying in bulk saves so much money and having a bunch processed ahead of time saves you time.