Ahh, Christmastime. A magical time of year that brings people together with familiar carols, festive decorations, and delicious holiday treats. The tree is lit, the fire is crackling, snow is falling, and best of all, the aroma of onions cooking in the kitchen wafts through the house as special Christmas meals are prepared.
This season brings with it warm feelings of comfort and joy, and food is a huge part of the picture. But why is cooking such an important part of this holiday season? What makes food, especially onions, so special this time of year?
What Makes Onions So Special During Christmas
At Gills, we always feel happy when we eat onions, but scientifically speaking, onions make us feel good because that is what they are programmed to do. When you’re hungry, eating triggers a dopamine response, letting your brain know your body is safe and fed. This “happy chemical” makes us feel at calm and at ease.
Plus, eating carbohydrates—a key component of so many holiday meals—causes a spike in blood sugar, temporarily making you feel more alert and full of energy as your body regulates insulin. Onions contain carbs, but are also commonly paired with other foods high in carbohydrates around this time of year. (Think puff pastries, potato casseroles, cheese balls, etc.)
Onions are also packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, which fuel your body, boost immunity, aid in digestion, and make you feel good all around. This is a great reason to add onions to as many dishes as you can.
All of these physiological reactions, combined with the comforts of tradition and family, create the perfect formula for warm fuzzies during Christmastime. Put simply: the holidays + onions = happiness. It’s science!
Tips for Making the Most of This Christmas
Aside from all the scientific reasons to eat onions this season, cooking holiday meals is simply a great way to build relationships and bring a happy holiday spirit into your home.
Of course, your Christmas may look a little different this year in the wake of everything that’s been going on. Maybe you won’t be doing your usual traveling due to the pandemic, or maybe the stresses of 2020 have put a strain on family relationships. Whatever the circumstances, preparing special recipes can still lift your spirits and make this season feel special.
Here are some more ideas for how to make the most of this Christmas season, while experiencing the joy of holiday cooking:
- Experiment with a new recipe. Broaden your horizons and try something new. We highly recommend making a dish with caramelized onions. They can be added to both savory and sweet recipes to improve flavor and add nutrients.
- Give a homemade meal to someone in need. While you’re experimenting with new recipes, share a meal with someone who could really use it. Drop off food to a new parent or a family dealing with illness, or find a local charity that delivers meals to the less fortunate.
- Teach someone how to cook. If you’ve mastered a recipe or specific skill, use this season as a chance to bond with a loved one over a cooking lesson. Not only will you feel happy for helping them learn a new skill, but it will also be something that will stick with them for years to come.
However you celebrate this year, cooking holiday meals, especially with onions, can make your season brighter.
Ready to try onions the Gills Way? For more information, contact our sales department.