posted Oct 9, 2014, 11:53 AM by Ivy Hunter   [ updated Nov 12, 2014, 2:03 PM ]
The sweet taste of mild onions with zest is the flavor of the chive. All foods where onion is indicated can be done with chives. The best chive uses
include salads, baked potato, cream cheese, appetizers, and garnish.

Allium shoenoprasum is a perennial 18 inch tall plant with lavender flowers. Each plant should be planted about 6 inches away from one another. The seeds are the best way to plant this herb. Plant in full sun, rich soil. sow thickly to make clumps of plants.  Dress with compost or manure since they like very fertile soil.  Divide the clumps every year to prevent overcrowding. This is best dried in low heat over a day in the dehydrator or oven. Chives give color when cut or blended into a cream soup, salad, or potato soup.

Nutrition: According to The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, The healing Power of Vegetables, chives along with the rest of the onion (Allium cepa) family, are a very good source of Vitamin C, B6, biotin, chromium, and detary fiber. They are also a great source of folic acid, B1 and K. A serving of 3 1/2 ounces of chives gives us 44 calories, from a nutrient dense complex carb source along with 1.4 grams of fiber.

Benefits of eating chives: The health benefits listed for this sulfur compound containing vegetable is found in the enzymes allinase which is released when cutting or crushing. This is also the crying factor of the onion. Onions also contain flavonoids: quercetin, phenolic acids (ellagic, caffeic, sinapic, and p-coumaric), sterols, saponins, pectin and volatile oils. These contents of the onion contribute to it's potential effect of lowing blood lipid levels, prolonging the life span of insulin, supporting the liver metabolism of glucose, and preventing clot formation.

Chives may have the most mild effect of the onion family since it is traditionally used sparingly. Onions are also used in cases of asthma, onion extracts have been studied and found to destroy tumor cells in test tubes, and stop tumor growth when implanted in rats. Shallots as well,  have been shown to reduce leukemia in mice. These medicinal benefits are when the onion family is used liberally - garlic, leeks, onions, chives, shallots - almost daily use.

Preparing onions: The good medicinal parts of the plant make you cry. You have a good onion when you are crying over the cutting board. To reduce the tears, chill the onion for an hour in the refrigerator before cutting, and use a very sharp knife to carefully cut.

Safety: Onions contain small amounts of oxalate. Calcium oxalate is the most common kidney stone, so individuals with a history of kidney stones may want to avoid over-consuming them, and avoid combining onions with a high calcium food in the same meal or within 4 hours of that meal. It would also be important to say if you do have a history of kidney stones, without renal failure, then stay hydrated and don't combine oxalates with high calcium foods.

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