The daintiest member of the allium (onion) family, the chive is a wispy herb that offers the flavor of scallions and garlic all rolled into one. Dried chive flakes make for an intriguing building block to other dishes. Add chive powder to any number of spice blends to get a greener, mellower onion flavor as opposed to using onions flakes that can be papery and brusque.
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Chives vs. Green Onions
Green onions and chives should not confuse anyone, anymore. Green onions and chives are different visually. Chive stems are long, solid green very skinny, and tender, whereas green onions have more substantial and a thicker stem that is green toward the top and white at the bottom. Chives are delicate and tender and are best eaten raw or cooked very briefly.
Unknown Health Benefits of Chives
Several studies have been produced which suggest that alliums, including chives, could help prevent or fight against cancer. Certain compounds found in chives, including sulfur, can deter cancerous cells from growing or spreading throughout the body.
Vitamin A-containing foods, like chives, help prevent osteoporosis from developing later in life. Chives are packed with Vitamin K, a critical component in bone density.
Chives contain both choline and folate. Individually, each of these components is linked to improving memory functions.
The Choline element found in chives is helpful for lack of sleep problems, muscle movement, learning, and memory. Folate also helps with depression by preventing an excess of homocysteine from forming in the body.
The carotenes found in chives, namely lutein, and zeaxanthin, are directly responsible for reducing oxidative stress in the ocular system and delaying the appearance of cataracts in the eye.
Another of the essential nutrients in chives, folic acid, is essential for pregnant mothers who want to ensure the healthy development of their infant. Folic acid prevents neural tube defects in newborn infants, and this herb is a rich source of folic acid for conscientious mothers.
How to Prepare Chives
Chives have a unique, spicy flavor that’s somewhere between the taste of garlic and the taste of onions. Their pungent flavor is best enjoyed when chives are taken straight from the garden.
The most common way to eat chives is to chop them into small ringlets and sprinkle them on cooked food as a garnish. However, chives can be enjoyed raw or cooked in larger quantities. Their unique flavor palette makes them an easy substitution for garlic or green onions in recipes, or a quick addition to recipes that include those flavors.
If you’re looking to add more chives to your diet, some easy ways to do so include:
- Sprinkling them on garlic bread
- Dicing and cooking them with hamburger meat
- Sprinkling them on a baked potatoes
- Swirling them into homemade butter
- Tossing them in a fresh salad
Chives Powder is made by drying the chives and grounding them. With their mild onion flavor, chives complement potatoes, vegetables, fish, veal, creamy sauces, cheese, and eggs. Add chives at the last moment when cooking hot soups, sauces, and sautés, since extended cooking tends to reduce their flavor.