Chives
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Native to Europe, Asia & North America, Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are the most minute species of the onion family.

The name “Chive” derives from the Latin word for “onion” and Chives have been cultivated in Europe since at least the Middle Ages, though wild chive was in use 5000 years ago. Chives are also sometimes referred to as "rush leeks" since they resemble both rushes and Leeks

Season

Chives are best in the Spring.

Availability

Chives are available all year long.

Cultivation

Chive is a perennial, that has insect-repelling properties (due to its sulfur compounds) and can be used in gardens to control pests but attract desirable bees (for pollination).

The chive juice is also reputed to be a good repellent for insects, mildews, and fungi.

Purchasing

Chives can be found fresh at most grocers all year. If grown, your harvest can be dry-frozen without much negative impact on its taste.

When buying fresh Chives, the spear should be dark green and crisp all the way through.

Storage

Fresh Chives will last about a 1-2 weeks refrigerated. It can also be wrapped in foil and plastic and frozen for several months with little loss of flavor.

Culinary Uses

We consume the Chive leaves and use them as an herb with a milder flavor than other onions. Chives are, along with Tarragon, Chervil, Basil and/or Parsley one of the "Fines Herbes" (Fine Herbs) of classic French cuisine.

As mentioned above Chives contains high quantities of Oxalic Acid and should not be consumed Raw in large quantities over long periods of time. The good news is that Oxalic Acid is reduced by Steaming, Boiling, Sautéing, etc. Just don't cook Chives in an un-coated Copper or Aluminum Pot or Pan because the Oxalic Acid will react with the metal ions and turn the foods brown (in a bad way). Anodized or Teflon coated Aluminum Pots or Pans will work fine.

Unless you want a pot full of Oxalic Acid, just make sure to toss out the cooking water when you are done.

The Chive Blossom may also be employed as a garnish.

Portion Size

Allow 1-2 t of Chives per recipe.

Substitutes

Green Onion

Nutritional Value USDA
CHIVES,RAW
Amount Per 100g
Calories 30
%Daily Value*
 
0%
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 3mg
6%
Potassium 296mg
1%
Total Carbohydrate 4g
8%
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 1g
Protein 3g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Nutrition

Chives are rich in vitamins A & C, Calcium, Iron and contain trace amounts of Sulfur that gives them (and onions) their distinctive smell. If over consumed, Chives can lead to some digestive ailments and even death. Chives contain Oxalic Acid which if over-consumed can interfere with Calcium absorption and even lead to death. The lowest lethal dose of Oxalic Acid on record is only .02 ounces per 2.21 pounds of body weight (600 mg per kg). For a sensitive, 150 pound person (68 kg) that could be as little as 1.36 ounces (38 g) of Oxalic Acid as a lethal dose. So be aware, but not ALARMED; at 150 pounds you would have to eat 5.7 pounds (2.59 kg) of raw Chives to accumulate a potentially lethal dose in a single serving. The toxicity can be reduced by cooking heat.

Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes