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Scallions vs Green Onions: What’s the Difference?

Scallions vs green onions - what's the difference between them anyway? I explain all in this handy quick guide!
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Scallions and green onions are a perfect go-to when you want to add an onion flavor to your dish.

But what are scallions and green onions exactly?

And what’s the difference between them anyway?

I explain all below.

What Are Scallions?

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Scallions are young onions that have not formed a bulb onion yet as mature onions. 

Spring onions and green onions are also one and the same plant, sometimes referred to as bunching onions.

Identified by their tender green stalks and white base and root they have a mild flavor. 

Left to grow these onions will develop into a yellow onion, with the leaves drying out. 

However, there are some varieties of green onions that have been specifically bred to never form white bulbs.

They are grown just as scallions, harvested early with the white part of the onion giving the strongest flavor.

Scallions vs Green Onions

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Yes, scallions are also called green onions and are the same thing with different names. 

In the UK, Canada, and Australia you can add shallots to the list when it comes to identifying these green onions

However, in the US  a shallot is a completely different thing although a type of onion. 

Spring onions on the other hand is just another way to refer to the scallion. 

The green onion, or scallion is a member of the Allium cepa family, with the word scallion coming from askolionion in ancient Greek. 

Referring to the port of Aasqelon in Palestine that has been in existence since neolithic times. 

The port was known as the home of the onion since the scallion was native to Asia.

Do Green Onions and Scallions Look Like?

Made of layers growing around each other tightly together creating a stalk that has a white base and root, possessing a stronger flavor.

The top gives way to pale green leaves that turn to a dark green with a milder flavor. 

Remember green onions and spring onions are interchangeable.

Health Benefits of Green Onions and Scallions

Loads of  fiber, and antioxidants, scallions are also jam packed with vitamins and nutrients. 

Onions have cancer fighting compounds, and antibacterial properties. 

They also have been found to control blood sugar and benefit heart health. 

Many onion varieties may boost bone density, and are very good for digestive health. 

Residents of ancient Egypt were known to not only use onions in a culinary delight, but more importantly as a medicinal antiseptic compound. 

All of the benefits that come from a stalk which only has 25 calories. 

What’s not to like?! 

Make sure to add some green onions to your diet today.

Can You Plant your Own Green Onions?

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These are such easy plants to grow and keep fresh in your garden or container in your kitchen.

If growing from seed, it will usually take about 20 to 30 days to get on the road to fresh onions.

Once the onions have grown you can cut them low down close to the root when harvesting.

Leaving the root in the ground will allow the onion to begin to regrow shoots that will grow into new green onions.

Another way to get them to regrow indoors is to pull the onions out by the roots and cut the root end off.

Cover the small root end with water and keep them moist and you will soon find that you are able to grow new onions indoors.

What Parts of the Scallion are Edible?

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The whole of the scallion is edible, from tip to tip with just the very end of the root cut off. 

They are very tasty in whatever way they are prepared, cooked or raw. 

Scallions are often used in salads, stir fries or as the garnish on a baked potato for example. 

I like to grill the whole green onion which can be added as a side dish to the meat cooked on the barbecue.

How to Cut Scallions

The best way to cut scallions vs green onions in order not to bruise and break the delicate leaves is to slice, not chop them. 

Place them in a single layer, place a sharp knife over the top of the scallions and pull the knife back steadily.

Gently slice (while pulling the knife towards you) through the layers until your knife meets the cutting board.

Can You Freeze Scallions?

scallions vs green onionsScallions can indeed be frozen, but keep in mind that the consistency of the thawed onion will be very different and only good for incorporating in cooked dishes. 

No blanching is necessary for scallions, simply clean them and pull off any damaged leaves, slice into the required sizes. 

Place the pieces flat on a tray and freeze for half an hour, so that the onion pieces can freeze without clumping. 

Place frozen scallions vs green onions in a zip lock freezer bag and use as needed.

How to Store Scallions

Buy the freshest scallions or green onions you can from the grocery store.

Remove the thin outer layer from around the white stalk, and any other compromised leaves. 

Leave the white roots intact, place a bunch of green onions in a jar with about an inch of water. 

Put plastic wrapped around the greens secured with rubber bands to keep them fresh. 

Change the water every couple of days for best results.

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Hello! I'm Chef Tariq.

Welcome to ChefTariq.com, your #1 resource for Middle Eastern recipes! I’m Tariq, raised in Jordan to a Michigan Mother and a Palestinian Father. Influenced by my Sitti and my love for Middle Eastern food, I share my favorite recipes for others to experience and recreate in their own kitchen.

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Hello! I’m Chef Tariq.

Welcome to ChefTariq.com, your #1 resource for Middle Eastern recipes! I’m Tariq, raised in Jordan to a Michigan Mother and a Palestinian Father. Influenced by my Sitti and my love for Middle Eastern food, I share my favorite recipes for others to experience and recreate in their own kitchen.