Energetics of Scallions: How They Differ from Green Onions

photo credit: leezie5 via photopin cc

photo credit: leezie5 via photopin cc

While browsing the produce section of my local supermarket I encountered a perplexing revelation. I was looking at a very popular type of onion and wondering, “Is that a scallion or a green onion?” Is there a difference, or are they the same thing?

The Best Way to Choose and Store

“Scallion” is actually the group name for many members of the onion family, including green onions and scallions themselves. The difference being a green onion is a new onion harvested while its top is still green and its bulb small. Whereas, a scallion is younger than a green onion, and its white base is skinnier. A baby onion is considered a scallion until its bulb matures to about three-quarters of an inch, and then it’s called a green onion. So, essentially they are the same thing, just the name differs depending on age.

When buying scallions look for ones that have fresh, green tops that appear crisp and tender. The base blub should have two to three inches of whitish color. Avoid any that have yellow or wilted tops.

scallion nutrition

Energetics

Scallions are surprisingly full of nutrients.  They are a member of the Allium family, like garlic.  Most of flavonoids or antioxidants are found just under the outer skin, so try not to peel more than absolutely necessary.  The phytonutrient polyphenol content in onions is higher than in garlic, leeks, tomatoes, carrots or bell peppers.  Quercetin, a flavonoid, will transfer to the broth when simmered (low heat) in a soup or stew.

Scallions help promote urination and sweating, alleviates exterior conditions such as common cold or flu if taken during the first stages (especially when the cold is a “wind-cold” influence), it is a antifungal and antimicrobial, and relives dampness and watery accumulations like edema. They are also used to treat heart and chest pain, diarrhea, abdominal swelling and pain, arthritis pain associated with coldness disorders, and in tea form treats measles.

Caution: avoid when heat signs prevail, including yellow tongue coating, yellow mucus, fever, aversion to heat, and great thirst.

Spicy Scallion and Onion Salad

Spicy Scallion and Onion Salad

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

Preparation

Place onion and scallions in a medium bowl of cold water. Chill until scallions curl, at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk gochugaru, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1 tablespoon water in a medium bowl. Let sit, whisking occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and sauce looks shiny, about 10 minutes.

Drain onion and scallions and spin in a salad spinner or pat dry. Transfer to bowl with gochugaru sauce. Add vinegar and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper.

Do ahead: Onion and scallions can be soaked 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Source

Spicy Scallion and Onion Salad

  • Taswmom

    I have wondered about the difference many times, myself. But now I have even more questions. If a green onion is a very young onion, and a scallion is an even younger green onion, are onions, then, in the garlic family? Or are green onions and scallions from only a specific type of onion, that is really a garlic! And while we’re here, can we throw in chives? Thank you!

    • http://wellitude.com/ Donna Sigmond

      Great questions Taswmom!

      Scallions and green onions fall into the Allium family. While the Allium family is technically named after the Latin word for garlic, it is actually a family of monocotyledonous flowering plants. This family includes a variety of onions (allium cepa), garlic (allium sativum), chives (allium schoenoprasum), and leeks (allium ampelopraum).

      Scallions and green onions are young onions, of which their are a many varieties. The most common variety of scallions and green onions come from the White Lisbon onion, which is also the most common white onion found in supermarkets. Onions used to produce scallions and green onions are of the allium cepa branch (also known as common onions), meaning they only produce one root bulb. Shallots and potato onions on the other hand are of the allium aggregatum branch, which are referred to as multiplier onions. The bulbs are smaller than those of common onions, and a single plant forms an aggregate cluster of several bulbs. These variety of onions are of closer relation to garlic than common onions. The short answer your first question: Scallions and green onions are just cousins of garlic.

      Now chives are interesting, they are the smallest species in the Allium
      family and unlike its vegetable cousins, is considered an herb. Chives
      produce a root bulb and stem like a scallion and green onion, but are
      grown to full maturity. When harvesting, the stems should be cut off at
      the base, thus leaving the root bulb in the ground. During the growing
      season, the plant will continually regrow leaves, allowing for a
      continuous harvest. Whereas, scallions and green onions are harvested in its entirety, completely uprooting the whole plant. Also, chives are
      from one species, unlike scallions and green onions that are harvested
      from a range of common onion species.

      I hope that answered your questions!

      Best Health,

      Kaely Shull and the Wellitude Team

      • Taswmom

        Thank you for explains so clearly. I do understand now!

  • http://wellitude.com/ Donna Sigmond

    Great questions Taswmom!

    Scallions and green onions fall into the Allium family. While the Allium family is technically named after the Latin word for garlic, it is actually a family of monocotyledonous flowering plants. This family includes a variety of onions (allium cepa), garlic (allium sativum), chives (allium schoenoprasum), and leeks (allium ampelopraum).

    Scallions and green onions are young onions, of which their are a many varieties. The most common variety of scallions and green onions come from the White Lisbon onion, which is also the most common white onion found in supermarkets. Onions used to produce scallions and green onions are of the allium cepa branch (also known as common onions), meaning they only produce one root bulb. Shallots and potato onions on the other hand are of the allium aggregatum branch, which are referred to as multiplier onions. The bulbs are smaller than those of common onions, and a single plant forms an aggregate cluster of several bulbs. These variety of onions are of closer relation to garlic than common onions. The short answer your first question: Scallions and green onions are just cousins of garlic.

    Now chives are interesting, they are the smallest species in the Allium family and unlike its vegetable cousins, is considered an herb. Chives produce a root bulb and stem like a scallion and green onion, but are grown to full maturity. When harvesting, the stems should be cut off at the base, thus leaving the root bulb in the ground. During the growing season, the plant will continually regrow leaves, allowing for a continuous harvest. Whereas, scallions and green onions are harvested in its entirety, completely uprooting the whole plant. Also, chives are from one species, unlike scallions and green onions that are harvested from a range of common onion species.

    I hope that answered your questions!

    Best Health,

    Kaely Shull and the Wellitude Team