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The Benefits of Onion Powder in Everyday Cooking

The Benefits of Onion Powder in Everyday Cooking
Turn to onion powder if the fresh ones don’t fit in your budget.

Fresh onions don’t come cheap anymore. A shortage of essential cooking supplies in the Philippines has resulted in price increases and the occasional hoarding. But worse, it has left many without kitchen staples. If you’ve had zero luck sourcing red or white bulbs, it’s time to consider onion powder. Here are the essential details that cooks need to know about this wallet-forgiving and shelf-stable seasoning.

What Is Onion Powder?

You don’t need a lot of this powder to bring the flavor of onions to a recipe.

Onion powder is a type of concentrated seasoning derived from dehydrated onions. Unfortunately, many cooks overlook its potential because of their undeterred preference for the fresh variety. But this spice is versatile beyond compare! And it acts as a terrific substitute when the actual bulb is challenging to source – or when it carries an exorbitant price tag.

Compared to regular onions, this powdered version has a longer shelf life. That means you don’t need to shell out for a new pack on every grocery visit. Think of your first purchase as a worthy investment – one with benefits you will reap for years! 

How to make onion powder?

Next time you score a big batch of fresh onions (hopefully soon!), you might want to turn them into this seasoning. You can keep the powder in stock and even consider selling it someday – maybe when there’s a shortage again!

Making onion powder is a straightforward process. First, you need to dry the fresh onions in a dehydrator or your trusty ol’ oven. Next, grind the dried onions until fine and powdery, almost like beach sand. From here, you can already package it for consumption. Others like to season this with salt and other flavorings, but authentic onion powder shouldn’t have additives or preservatives.

The Best Ways to Use Onion Powder

Upgrade your homemade sauces with onion powder.

Spices are effective and economical substitutes for fresh ingredients. Here’s an easy-to-remember conversion guide: for every piece of medium onion, you can use one tablespoon of powder. Or if a recipe calls for ¼ cup minced or ½ cup chopped of the raw stuff, simply mix in a tablespoon of the seasoning. Here are a few ways to utilize the spice in everyday cooking – with no tears involved.

  • Soups: Make miswa or creamy malunggay and squash more affordable with dehydrated onion powder.
  • Stews and sauces: Use powdered onions to enhance the flavor profile of sauce recipes. Add a spoonful to your spaghetti sauce, menudo, or lamb stew.
  • Dips: Try it in a honey, mayo, and mustard dip that you can pair with chicken tenders.
  • Dressing: Add some next time you make macaroni salad! Elevate Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise with a few dashes.
  • Fried food: Make pritong pork chop, fried chicken, and calamari more malinamnam with the onion spice.
  • Dry rub: Use the powder as a fuss-free dry marinade for grilled meats. Combine it with garlic salt, rosemary, or thyme. Coat the meat with the rub and refrigerate for at least eight hours before cooking.

Onion Powder Storage Tips

Avoid keeping herbs and spices near heat sources to extend their shelf life.

Onion powder can last 3 to 4 years when properly stored. Follow these tips to extend this precious ingredient’s shelf life.

1. Store it in airtight containers.

Buying the powder in bulk offers more savings, but opening a large pack exposes the spice to air. Prolong the shelf life by transferring the powder into airtight containers. And remember to label the jars clearly before storing them in a cool dark place.

2. Use moisture absorbers.

Clumping and caking are typical in powdered spices, especially in humid kitchens. A quick trick to avoid moisture build up is to add food-safe desiccant packs. Leave a piece inside the spice jar to keep it in tip-top shape.

3. Use a blender or processor for hardened powders.

The simplest solution to loosen hardened onion powder is to run it through a blender or food processor. Break the spice into small chunks and pulse until it returns to its granulated state.

Get your hands on some onion powder, stat! Soon, you’ll bask in its versatile benefits and might even pass on fresh onions. Don't miss out!

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