Chive Onions Allium Schoenoprasum

A part of the same botanical family as onions, scallions and garlic, chives grow from small bulbs and have a long history of culinary and medicinal uses. In the Middle Ages, chives were promoted as a cure for melancholy and believed to drive away evil spirits. Today, we know that chives and chive flowers are high in vitamin C, folic acid and potassium.

Therefore, they should be routinely added to recipes to help restore vital nutrients lost in cooking. This herb's tangy, aromatic taste comes from its high concentration of sulfur compounds and other essential oils, which are also partly responsible for its healing properties.

Chives ease stomach distress, protect against heart disease and stroke and may help the body fight bacteria that can cause disease. In addition, the herb may increase the body's ability to digest fat.

Chive Flowers

The chive's delicate purple flowers have a milder flavor than the leaves and add a decorative touch to salads, herb oils and other dishes. To make chive-flower oil, add 7 '/2 oz. of the blossoms to 7 quart of vegetable oil. After a week, the oil will turn lilac and take on the fragrance of the chive flowers. Use the oil on salads or in cooking—keep it refrigerated when not in use.