Abundant Chives

Published on 28 March 2024 at 12:01

I'm getting an early start on my herb harvests this year.  I was out checking the herbs on a rare warm day this week to see how they had fared the past winter.  Surprise, surprise!  The chives are up and at 'em.  Hey, I am going to cut them up and dry them in the dehydrator!


Each year I usually procrastinate and end up trying to get my harvest of chives as they end are blooming.  The flower heads are perfectly edible, but I just want to dry the greens. Specifically, I am going to use them in some pantry mix recipes, as well as just adding them to dishes.  Last time I checked, a little bottle ranged anywhere from $3 to $15! Look at the money I will be saving.  I imagine too,  it will be easier and a much stronger onion flavor if I do this early in the season. And my own herbs are sure to be free of any pesticides or nasty extras. 


The dried herb is very handy to have on hand and I plan to dry enough to last me the whole year long.  Why not?  My stand of chives (and garlic chives) has been going strong for over 20 years.  But you know how it is.  Something always gets in the way and you kinda leave it on your to-do list...at the end.  But not this year.  I dust off the dehydrator and cut the chives.  I've chopped the chives pretty well, so I cut pieces of parchment to go on the shelves (so the herb doesn't fall through) and begin the drying process.  It shouldn't take long and in a few days the chives will grow again so I can get another harvest.  This is great, getting to it before the big spring madness of a million jobs to do.


Why do I love chives so?  Besides being so easy to grow, this member of the allium family is a slight oniony flavor that reminds me a bit of leeks.  As I said before, I planted it one time 20 years ago and it is still going strong.  According to WebMD it has a bunch of health benefits and is linked to preventing cancer and osteoporosis due to its Vitamin K compounds. Some studies show chives can even improve your memory and sleep. Just a sprinkle as a garnish over one of your favorite meals is enough to pack a punch of nutrition and benefits.  Our family loves onions in every way possible, and chives are just another way to add the tasty flavor.  My favorite is adding it to omelets. 

According to the FoodData Central (usda.gov) 1 tbsp of chopped chives provides the following nutrients:

  • energy: 0.9 calories
  • vitamin K: 6.38 micrograms (mcg), or 5% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • vitamin C: 1.74 milligrams (mg), or 2% of the DV
  • folate: 3.15 mcg, or 1% of the DV
  • vitamin A: 6.43 mcg, or 1% of the DV
  • calcium: 2.76 mg, or less than 1% of the DV
  • potassium: 8.88 mg, or less than 1% of the DV


As you can see, it is a good idea to use this herb as abundantly as you can.  When the beautiful purple blooms come on, we can use those too.  We can make a beautiful pink vinegar to use as a dressing base, add blossoms as a garnish to dishes, toss the blooms into salads for a bright spark and deep-fry or pickle the fresh flowers.  I have never tried them pickled or fried, but this is the year I'm going to try it.  I will keep you updated as to how that goes.  If you try it, let me know how you enjoyed it.  To pickle them, pack the blossoms into a mason jar, and pour a nice wine vinegar over them.  Let them steep 1-2 weeks in a cool dark spot, then strain, seal with a lid and refrigerate.  You can add the pickled blossoms to salads, dressings or even use as a garnish to dishes that need a little punch of flavor.  For frying, prepare a simple batter by mixing flour, water, and a pinch of salt. Dip the chive flowers into the batter. Fry them in hot oil until golden. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt as you take them out of the fryer and serve immediately.  Chives and chives blossoms have a delicious light oniony flavor and if you enjoy onions, you will soon fall in love with them as I have.

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