To find shallots, look in the grocery store produce section near the other vegetables, such as lettuce and bell peppers. Shallots are elongated, small onions that have a mild garlic taste.
They’re typically much smaller than regular onions, though. Shallots have a wide variety of uses, as do regular onions. They also have a plethora of excellent health benefits.
They’re tasty, yet often very overlooked in the health advantage department, despite the many pros. If you have trouble finding them, though, there are plenty of great substitutes to hold you over until you land a few of them.
They’re Highly Nutritious
Nutrition isn’t always the first thing to mention when speaking of onions and their little brother; shallots. However, shallots are indeed very nutritious! Just 100 grams includes up to 9% of your DV in folate, iron, and magnesium. They’re also very low in calories, making them an exceptional food to consume daily.
Shallots Improve Heart Health
Shallots are also great for keeping our heart and blood healthy. Thiosulfinate, a compound found in shallots, helps prevent the formation of blood clots. Furthermore, the same compound also helps improve our circulation, allowing our heart not to have to work as hard. Other compounds found in shallots promote nitrous oxide release!
Great For Allergies & Inflammation
The first idea most of us think about when we imagine onions are tears. Yet, shallots, the little brother of onions, are incredible at fighting inflammation! They’re able to do this due to their high concentration of Quercetin, a naturally occurring flavonoid. These are proven to help by inhibiting inflammatory molecules released from mast cells.
Onions are the best substitute, simply because they’re essentially the same as shallots. The primary difference is that shallots have a garlicky taste, versus onions only having — well, an onion taste. The couple go hand in hand, although with a little garlic, onions can go a long way and taste virtually the same as shallots!
Scallions are another excellent substitute for shallots. Their flavor is a little milder than shallots, but they retain much of the texture. They’re virtually identical in taste to sweet onions, only in a smaller and more concentrated package. You could also add a bit of garlic to scallions, which will make them have a bit more kick than they'd have otherwise.
While they come in a very different form, Leeks are actually incredibly similar in taste to shallots. The most similar part is the green area, which is typically furthest from the root. The taste is so identical that garlic isn’t necessary. However, they’re still much milder, so a little garlic may be just what you need to hit the nail on the head.
Shallots caramelize well, much like onions do! This means that they’re the perfect candidate for stir frys of all kinds. Most notably, though, chicken stir fry. By tossing them into the pan before cooking chicken with just a tad bit of olive oil, the resulting meal is outstanding. They’re also great with beef stir fry too, mostly when seasoned well.
Salads are one of the most flexible foods, and so are shallots! Shallots have a distinct flavor, which is perfect for a salad. Fried shallots, in particular, will make your mouth water. If you fry them in olive oil, there’s no worry about excess calories. You could even supplement a bit of vinegar into the salad to add some tang to the mix.
A forgotten traditional method to preserve food is by pickling it. However, pickling brings more to the table than just preservation. By pickling them, you give your gut better health, and it delivers an exquisite taste by preserving them with vinegar. It pairs perfectly with shallots and truly brings out the full potential of this delicious food.
Shallots aren’t as popular as other foods used for the same purposes. However, they’re a perfect choice; and often an even better option than onions. The two have many similarities, so you’ll have to be the judge of which is best.
Moreover, shallots’ health benefits are some of the best out there when considering all the factors, such as the size of the vegetable itself, serving size, and calorie density.
Furthermore, the substitute can be an excellent replacement if you love the recipes, but perhaps shallots are not your pallets’ preference. Shallots have such a large recipe potential, so it’s no surprise that they’re starting to trend around the world.