Onions are members of the allium family. The vegetable has been in cultivation for more than 5,000 years, both for its culinary value and as Egyptian currency and spiritual gifts for dead kings. Onions also have been used for their medicinal properties. Onions are one of the most consumed vegetable in Albania.
You've probably come across this situation plenty of times— you bring home a bag of onions and a week or two later, you notice that one or two (or all) of them have put out roots and green shoots. Can you still eat them or just throw them away? Can you plant them?
In this AgroWeb.org we'll give you some helpful tips on what to do with onions when they've sprouted.
Can You Still Eat a Sprouted Onion?
Probably. If the roots and shoots are still small, it's probably still perfectly good. Some people even like the taste of sprouted onion (they have a lot of protein, so they're popular with vegans), but some think the garlic shoots are too bitter. The roots aren't usually very green— they're white. Just chop the sprout off (unless you want to eat it— take a taste to decide), cut the onion clove in half, and remove any remnants of the shoots. Of course, you should also check for mold and rot, especially if the item in question has been sitting around in a cool, dark place for over a week. If there's only a little mold, just cut it out and eat the rest. If the onion feels mushy, though, throw that thing away.
Onions are best stored at cool temperature of around 32 degrees and start to produce sprouts at temperatures warmer than 40 degrees. Sprouts only indicate an older age of the vegetables and are not a sign of decay or spoilage.
Using the Sprouts
The sprouts produced in onions may be removed and used in salads, soups or as garnishes. To remove the sprout, cut the onion lengthwise in half and pluck out the sprout. You can also place the onion in a small pot of water with the root side down to encourage more sprouting. Snip off the sprouts continually as they grow and use them in fresh salads. As opposed to sprouting, onions with wet necks indicate decay and rot.
Store onions in a well-ventilated area out of heat and bright light. The vegetable does not require refrigeration unless it is the green onion variety. It is best to use a perforated storage vessel or wire basket because this allows for maximum air ventilation. Yellow onions store well for up to a month under optimal conditions. The white, sweeter tasting varieties have a shorter storage life. Scallions keep good for about a week in the refrigerator. Keep onions away from potatoes because these absorb the ethylene gas and moisture from onions and cause spoilage./AgroWeb.org