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(Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Whole30)
“Banish the onion from the kitchen and the pleasure flies with it. Its presence lends color and enchantment to the most modest dish; its absence reduces the rarest delicacy to hopeless insipidity, and dinner to despair.”
~ Elizabeth Robbins Pennell
If you've ever made caramelized onions the traditional way, you know they take almost an hour in a skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally. While this is an opportunity for cooking meditation, it can be challenging for the impatient among us! That's where this recipe is a godsend. Just pop the onions in your crockpot in the evening and walk away. In the morning, your house will smell amazing and you'll have enough caramelized onions to store and use at a moment's notice.
- Prebiotics: You've heard of probiotics, but do you know what prebiotics are? Mark Sisson calls them “food for our flora.” They feed the beneficial bacteria in our digestive tract, which is vital to nutritional healing. Onions are a potent prebiotic food.
- Antioxidants: Onions are high in polyphenols and flavanoids, which are antioxidants that support our health in a myriad of ways. As long as they are cooked over low heat, these nutrients remain in the onion.
- Detox: Dr. Wahls lists onions under the category of sulfur-rich vegetables, which support our bodies' natural detoxification pathways, another important component of a healing diet.
- Research has shown that onions are a potent anti-inflammatory, can increase bone density, and even have cancer-prevention benefits.
- Vitamins: Onions are also a decent source of Vitamin C, B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.
- Carbs: They are also a good source of carbohydrates, which can come in handy when you're on a grain-free diet and find yourself accidentally eating too low-carb for your health.
- Varieties: All onions are good for you, but here's an important fact: sharp onions have 5 times more antioxidants than sweet onions. They also caramelize better, so choose them for the recipe below.
Recipe: Crockpot Caramelized Onions
adapted from Shockingly Delicious
4 lbs. onions
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Peel onions, slice thinly, and toss in the crockpot.
- Drizzle oil over the top. Use two spoons to toss until evenly coated.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours, until onions caramelize. They reduce greatly in size, become a deep brown in color, and develop a sweet and intense flavor. (If you're using an Instant Pot, choose the Slow Cook “Normal” setting and cook the same amount of time.)
- This recipe makes 3 cups. They’ll last in the fridge 1 week or in the freezer 6 months.
- Uses: They're delicious by themselves as a side dish. They also taste great on top of burgers, steak, or liver. You can add them as a topping for a grain-free pizza, sandwich or wrap. They're also delicious sautéed with your favorite vegetables. Anywhere you add them, they'll bring a rich burst of flavor.
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