Green onions can be used in stews, soups, stir-fries, and even as a garnish. They’re versatile but what happens if you buy too many or decide not to use them right away?
There are many ways to store green onions. Before simply tossing them in the fridge, read on to find the best ways to store green onions so they will be ready when you are.
How to store green onions? The trick is to keep them in an environment where they are moist and humid. The way green onions are cultivated actually makes it easier for you to store them. When you purchase green onions, their root area is still intact. Make sure you don’t cut this area off right away as it will actually serve to keep the onions fresh for longer. You can place green onions, root-side down, into a glass of water and if you place the jar near sunlight, they will actually keep growing. Alternately, there are a few ways to store your green onions in the fridge. Finally, if you think your green onions are past eating, you may be surprised to learn they can actually be planted.
By following a few simple steps, you can take those old green onions and replant them so that you can have fresh onions whenever you want. For such a little vegetable, there are a lot of easy ways to keep them fresh.
How to keep your green onions fresh?
Green onions may be an onion, but because they have a leafy green stem, they can not be merely stored in the pantry until needed. Instead, green onions need a moist, humid environment to stay fresh.
The best way to keep your green onions fresh is to decide when you will be eating them. If it is within the next few days you can place them in the fridge, but if you decide you won’t need them for another week or ever two, then you can place them in a jar of water.
The more you plan, the fresher your green onions will stay.
Different Ways on How to Store Green Onions
Jar with Water
There is a common perception that all produce needs to go in the fridge for it to last. However, this is not the case for many fruits and vegetables.
Remarkably, you can actually keep green onions on a windowsill, although there are a few important steps you need to take, first.
Start by finding a clean, tall jar. A mason jar or even an old pickle jar will be fine. Just make sure it is sturdy and won’t tip over.
Then, fill the glass jar with 1 to 2 inches of water. Don’t overfill or else the green onions will become soggy.
Take your green onions and place them, root down, into the jar. The glass jar should be tall enough that the green onions don’t flop over the rim. Also check the water level as it should just cover the roots of the green onions.
Once the green onions are securely placed in the jar, you can then put the jar on a windowsill. The light from the window and the water in the jar will actually allow the green onions to keep growing, so that you can use them as needed without worrying about them spoiling.
If you plan on leaving the green onions for a while, check the water level every few days and add fresh water so it always stays above the root area.
Green onions in a jar on the windowsill will last for 3 to 4 weeks.
Green onions don’t need to be placed in the fridge to keep fresh, although if they aren’t place in a cool space they will spoil quicker.
If you don’t want to keep your green onions on a windowsill, or if you simply don’t have enough room to do so, then you can definitely use the fridge to store them.
Similar to the windowsill method, find a clean, tall jar for your green onions. Place them root down into the water, with 1 to 2 inches of water just covering the root area.
While you can simply leave the jar alone in the windowsill method, there is an extra step you need to take before placing the jar into the fridge.
Cover the tops of your green onions with a plastic bag. They key is that the bag has to be fitted well to provide enough humidity around the onions.
Take a produce bag and place it over the onions so that it drapes both the tops and some of the jar. Then, take an elastic band and gently move it over the jar. This will keep the bag secure and provide that much-needed humidity.
An alternative is to use a Ziploc bag. In this case, pinch the sides of the Ziploc bag, again locking in some of that important humidity.
Store your green onion jar in the fridge in an area it won’t easily become knocked over. Check the water level and add water every few days.
The only factor to be aware of when placing green onions in the fridge is that certain parts may be colder than others. Sometimes, the back of a fridge is too cold, to the point where produce can actually freeze.
If this is the case with your fridge, place the jar closer to the door so you don’t damage your green onions.
Green onions in a jar in the fridge will last for 2 to 3 weeks.
Ziplock with Paper Towel
If you’re short on vertical space in your fridge, then there is yet another way to keep your green onions fresh.
Wet a paper towel so that it is slightly damp. It needs to be the right consistency, however, as a soaking wet paper towel will cause the green onions to rot.
You can either wet a paper towel and wring it out, or you can sprinkle water on the paper towel to get the right consistency.
Next, wrap the green onions with the damp paper towel. The slight moisture from the paper towel will provide the right level of humidity to preserve your green onions.
Finally, place the bundle into a plastic bag or a storage container. However, you don’t need to seal the bag or container as a bit of airflow is still recommended.
Check every day or two to see if the paper towel needs to be re-moistened. If it is dry, you can either sprinkle more water on it or replace it with a new, damp paper towel.
Green onions wrapped in damp paper towel will last for 1 to 2 weeks.
While there are some types of onions, like white or yellow onions, that should be stored at room temperature, green onions are not the case. This is because they have a larger green, leafy area, making them more susceptible to rot.
While you can leave green onions at room temperature for a short while, you should not make it a habit. In less than 24 hours, they will start wilting and become inedible.
Planting in a pot or Regrowing
There comes a time, when despite our best intentions, produce that we have bought looks like it is no longer edible. However, before you throw out your green onions and turn them to food waste, there is an innovative solution.
You can actually regrow your green onions. And the best part is that it isn’t as difficult as you think.
How to regrow green onions
- Find the top of the green onions, or the green part, and cut off 1 inch
- Be sure to not cut the white part which is where the roots are
- Plant the green onions in potting soil in a small pot or even in your garden
- Water well at first but don’t flood the onions if they are in a pot
- Place the potted onions where they have access to sunlight
- Every time you need green onions, cut off your green tops and stems as they will re-grow
- Depending on your climate, green onions should grow back after winter
Why Regrow Green Onions
At first, it may seem like a lot of work to regrow onions. However, once you get started you will realize how easy it actually is.
Growing small vegetables, such as green onions, is a great way to take control of your food. With just a bit of effort and upkeep, you can have fresh green onions whenever you need them, and because they grow back, you won’t have to pay money for them.
There are many innovative ways to store green onions and it is kind of neat to get to be so creative while knowing you’re prolonging the life of this flavorful vegetable.
Whether you place your green onions in a jar on the windowsill or in the fridge, or decide to plant them for continuous access to fresh onions, take heart knowing they will stay fresh long enough for you to enjoy them.