What You May Not Know About Onion Chives

Onion Chives

by Rita Shimniok of Purely Living Wellness

At Purely Living Wellness we have been expanding our herb and medicinal plant gardens with new raised beds. When I transplanted the onion chives into the beds I snipped the flower heads so the plant could focus on root establishment. Before doing so, I admired how profuse the blooms were this year, and was grateful for their beauty. More than pretty, chives are a source of Vitamin K and quercetin, the latter has been made well-known recently as one of the preventatives in a holistic regimen for the 2020 pandemic.

Chives are not only lovely as a plant, they provide health benefits. Naturally high in potassium, chives can help strengthen regulate bone cells. Potassium helps bones to remain strong and prevents demineralization. It also helps maintain bone density as it produces a bone protein called osteocalcin.

Chives contain more allicin, a nutrient that helps to reduce LDL cholesterol an increase HDL cholesterol levels, than either garlic or onions. Allicin has been shown to reduce blood pressure an prevent clots. For men, fresh chives are an excellent food choice for prostate health and cancer prevention, although one would have to consume quite a bit to realize the benefit. Still, if you are focused on vitality for men, adding chives to your food choices is one more piece of the puzzle as we all try to age with grace and the vitality to enjoy life in our wise years.

For culinary uses – beyond fresh chives must not be dried or they will lose flavor. Snip your chives into 1/4 inch or so pieces and freeze for use in winter.

To use the lovely flowers – place them in vinegar as they open. Cutting the flower heads will force the plant to make more flowers. The infusion will make a lovely base for a salad dressing. Although the recipes I have found use white vinegar, which produces a lovely rose-colored vinaigrette, I personally use Apple Cider Vinegar, since I don’t use the white variety, as a health choice. Another option to consider is infusing the blossoms in extra virgin olive oil, as I did with my fresh basil several years ago, which is lovely drizzled across savory dishes.

Chives make excellent container plants – they are tall, about 12-18 inches, and make a nice backdrop accent for shorter flowers. In the tomato garden members of the allium family make great companion plants as the smell deters pests. When making a summer salad to share you can delight your guests with lovely pale purple flowers, chopped if they are large,
adorning your salad. They have a light onion flavor and are completely edible.

There are so many joys from the garden – I hope you will consider onion chives as an addition to your garden or patio.

All rights reserved Purely Living Wellness, LLC – Rita Shimniok 6-4-2021. Content may be shared without charge.

PubMed resources:

 Cholesterol lowering effect of allicin

Anti-cancer potential in garlic extract

 

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