Chives: Good for you

Chives ease stomach distress, help digest fats, protect against heart disease and stroke, and may help the body fight disease-causing bacteria.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco —

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are a member of the same botanical family as onions, scallions and garlic, and have a long history of culinary and medicinal uses. Chives, and their flowers, are high in vitamin C, folic acid and potassium, and contain a high concentration of sulfur compounds and other essential oils.

Chives ease stomach distress, help digest fats, protect against heart disease and stroke, and may help the body fight disease-causing bacteria. They also speed recovery of a cold by helping the body to expel mucus.

When cooking with chives, do not chop them; rather, snip the stems with kitchen shears as you are ready to use them, in order to preserve their vitamins, aroma and flavor. Do not heat them, or they will lose their valuable vitamin C and digestive properties. The purple flowers have a milder flavor than the stems and add a decorative touch to salads, herb oils, vinegars and other dishes.

Chive Blossom Oil

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 ounces chive blossoms
  • 1 quart oil

Instructions:

Add chive blossoms to the oil. Refrigerate. After a week, the oil will turn a lilac color and take on the fragrance of the chive flowers. Use on salads or in cooking. Refrigerate when not in use.

 

Joanne Henning Tedesco is editor of AzNetNews.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 2, April/May 2006.

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