Aussie parents fight a daily battle to get their little ones to eat more veg, but according to market research undertaken by Australian Onions, the secret to success lies in the preparation.
The research showed that children tend to shy away from meals where onions are obvious, and this often means the whole family skips them in order to keep the peace. But now onion is back on the menu, thanks to a series of simple tips from Australian chef and ex-My Kitchen Rules (MKR) finalist Scott Gooding.
From delicious cooking tips to handy hacks for avoiding the tears, Scott has revealed how he prepares onions for his family in a bid to encourage Australians to boost the vegetable content of any meal.
“Many people think of onions as a flavour, something they chuck in with the garlic before the rest of the ingredients. People often forget that they actually count towards
your daily serve of vegetables,” said Scott.
“For busy families, onions are a perfect way to quickly boost the nutritional value of any dish. Best yet, they are so easy to hide, making them the perfect secret serve of vegetables for fussy eaters,” he says.
According to Nutritionist Kathleen Alleaume, onions also support children’s development, aid a healthy heart and boost immunity.
“Less than seven percent of Australians are meeting the recommended daily intake for vegetables, so it’s important to be looking at ways to get more vegetables into your diet. Onions are filled with nutrition, making them a great choice for growing kids and adults alike, ” said Alleaume.
“Cooking does not significantly alter the nutritional value of onions, so this gives parents the opportunity to blend, sautée, bake or fry them to your taste while you still reap the the great health benefits,” she says.
Scott has teamed up with Australian Onions to launch a new e-book filled with family friendly multi-meal recipes. Sharing easy ways of adding a secret serve of onions into any dish, the e-book enables has pre-planned for mums to create three meals cooked in one that make dinner-time quicker and easier.
Master the onion yourself with Scott’s top five tips for cutting and preparing onions:
- Cutting it fine – Using a blunt knife to cut an onion damages the skin and causes it to release a chemical into the air which stimulates your tears ”. A sharp knife will also make dicing easier and faster.
- Totally hidden – Finely dice your onion or put through a food processor so you can sneak onion into meatballs, rissoles, fish cakes, spaghetti bolognese or pasta sauce without fussy eaters even noticing!
- No more tears – Peel your onion under cold running water, and run your knife under the tap before chopping. It is said the water helps to absorb the sulfur compounds.
- Take the bite out – Raw onion can have a bit of a bite to it, making it difficult to hide from sensitive little tastebuds. Slice your onion, then submerge in a bowl of ice cold water for at least ten minutes. Stir once or twice before draining and using as per recipe. You can also soak your onion slices in lime or lemon juice, or vinegar for added flavour. It helps if you put the onion in a sieve before submerging so its easy to simply drain and use
- Chill out – Pop your onion in the fridge for 30 minutes or freezer for 10 minutes before chopping. The sulfur compounds that make your eyes water react slower when cold!