Chives is a perennial bulb used in a variety of foods. Even though they are most popular with the culinary arts, they are considered to be very versatile. They can be used in a variety of recipes and cooked with a wide variety of ingredients. Here, we will take a look at a few tips on how to care for your chives and enjoy them fresh year round.
Like other members of the Allium genus, chives plants grow tall and narrow, with glossy leaves that are about two to three inches in diameter. They are generally found growing wild in fields and along roadsides, and have been known to be as useful as a digestive aid in infants. Since they do not have edible leaves, they are an excellent choice for adding flavor to soups, salads, sauces, mustard, and other salty or savory items. Chives is also used in the production of garlic bulb juice, although they do not produce bulbs of garlic. They are commonly found in salad dressings, as a garnish, in foods where there is a mild onion flavor, such as vegetable dishes and cheese, and in tomato paste.
Chives has a wide variety of health benefits, thanks in large part to the rich, intense green color that helps to amplify the taste of natural ingredients. Chives is an excellent alternative to spinach, a green leafy plant that is also good for your health. But green leafy vegetables cannot grow where water is scarce, which is why chives are perfect for growing in pots and containers. When kept in a sunny window box, they will keep growing for several years until the soil becomes too depleted to support the plant.
Unlike green onions and garlic, chives do not require a lot of maintenance. The only care needed is regular harvesting and washing to remove leaves, dirt, and grime. They can be stored in a refrigerator for up to six months, but then must be cut off the stems to preserve their green color. Store them on shelves at room temperature in a dark place. If you want to harvest your chives quickly for use in recipes, be sure to use a sharp knife to trim them. Otherwise, they will lose their shape and crispness.
Many people find that eating chives makes them feel full and satisfied, even as they are in the middle of a heavy meal. This is because chives contain natural vitamin C. And by preparing them in salads, using them to season soups and other dishes, and by adding fresh chives to your daily diet, you are helping your body to fight off upset stomachs. Chives are also said to help relieve heartburn and acid reflux, so adding a few to your food when you experience a bout is also beneficial.
Whether you use chives for their culinary or health benefits, or you simply love them as a delicious part of a healthy diet, the boldness of their flavor will leave you wanting more. Because of their mild taste, they pair well with many different cuisines, although their strong flavor is most commonly found in the classic green leafy vegetable recipe. Chives will make a great side dish or simple addition to a grilled steak or chicken dish. Their crispiness won’t overpower the taste of your meal, but it will certainly enhance it. With their naturally rich nutritional profile, chives is one herb you cannot do without!