Green onions are also known as spring onions or scallions. They have a milder flavor than many other types of onions and are often used in salads.
Their slender white root sections and fine green tops are both edible, with the tops being comparable in taste and appearance to chives.
As with any other vegetable, green onions are best when used fresh, particularly because they are usually eaten raw.
It is important, therefore, that home cooks know how to tell if green onions are fresh, old, or even bad.
How To Prevent Buying Bad Green Onions
- These onions do not store for long periods like other types of dry-skinned onions so do not buy them in bulk. Just buy enough for the week that you will be using them.
- Purchase your green onions from the farmer’s market or fresh produce market to be sure they have been freshly picked.
- Grow your own! Green onions are very easy to grow and do not take up much space. You can even grow them on a sunny balcony in containers.
How To Tell If Green Onions Are Bad
There are a few indicators that can help you identify whether or not the green onions are in good condition.
First of all, you should inspect the appearance of the green onions. Ideally, you should only use green onions that have firm, upright leaves on the top of the onion.
If the leaves are wilted, dropping down, or mushy, then the green onions have gone bad. Similarly, if the color of the leaves is turning black or dark green, then that is also an indicator of bad green onions.
Take a good sniff of the green onions to decide whether or not it is a good idea to use them in your recipe. When the onions are in perfect shape, you won’t get any bad odor from them.
They have a natural grassy smell tinged with a mild odor of fresh onion that can be compared to other herbs. If the onions have developed a foul, strong odor, then you should discard them.
The leaves should be firm and able to stay upright on their own. The white part should also feel firm and crisp. Overall, there should be no softness or rubbery texture. There should definitely also be no sliminess.
Chopping the onions is also a good method to identify the freshness of this ingredient. Even if the leaves look fresh, you can chop the onions and check the color of the juice on the chopping board.
If this juice is not clear and you notice some yellowing, you should avoid using these chopped onions in your recipe.
The onions should have a sweetish, mildly pungent onion flavor that overall tastes fresh. If there is any unpleasantness or moldy pungency, the onions are probably bad.
You can rely on your senses to tell if green onions or any other fruit or vegetable is bad. Most of the time, you won’t have to bother with tasting or smelling the onions.
It is quite easy to tell whether the onions are good or bad by just looking at their appearance. If there is any spoilage, mold, or wilting of leaves, then you should stay away from using these onions in your recipe.
How To Preserve The Freshness Of Green Onions
If you’re struggling with bad green onions frequently, then you’re either not buying them fresh or not following the proper storage methods.
Green onions need to be refrigerated. They cannot be left out in the pantry like other onions. Here’s our step-by-step guide for storing your green onions for up to two weeks.
- Moisture control is the main thing here. The onions need a little humidity or they will wilt. However, excess moisture will cause them to rot.
- Remove the elastic band and any other packaging.
- Wash the onions in cold running water.
- Cut off the roots.
- Cut off any excess straggly green tops on the other end but do keep some of the green.
- Use a paper towel to pat the onions dry and remove excess water.
- Tear off some fresh squares of paper towel and wrap the onions loosely in them. Put them into plastic ziplock bags and seal them. Label with the date.
- Keep them in the vegetable drawer of your fridge.
We hope this short article has helped you to know how to tell if your green onions are bad. As always, use your sight, smell, and common sense to tell you when to toss old spring onions.
Remember to always buy the freshest produce possible to get maximum life from it.