There’s not much more I need to do to convince you to make these—they're onion rings, after all. And healthier, too: less grease, fewer calories, and less guilt. In addition to baking them, I use a vegan “buttermilk” to soak the onions before seasoning them.

Never underestimate the nutritional prowess of onions. They often complement a dish, but they sure have star power in terms of your health. Research has shown that onions can have both have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects Anti-bacterial action of onion (Allium cepa L. extracts against oral pathogenic bacteria. Kim, JH. Yongin University, Kyunggi-d0, Republic of Koria. The Journal of Nihon University School of Dentistry, 1997 Sep;39(3):136-41. Anti-inflammatory effects of onions: inhibition of chemotaxis of human polymorphonuclear leukocytes by thiosulfinates and cepaenes. Dorsch, W., Schneider, E., Bayer, T., et al. Children's Hospital, Johannes-Gutenberg University, Mainz, FRG. International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology, 1990;92(1):39-42. . Plus, one study found that a compound in onions can help prevent osteoporosis.

Serves 1 as a snack or 2 as a side

What You'll Need:

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup vegan milk (soy, rice, almond)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Olive oil spray

What to Do:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar 1 cup milk of your choice. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. (This is the "vegan buttermilk.")
  2. While that's sitting, chop off the ends of the onion and remove the skin. Cut crosswise, creating 1/2-inch thick rings.
  3. Pull apart the onion rings, making sure they keep their full shape around.
  4. Layer the rings in a shallow dish and pour the buttermilk mixture on top. Let sit for one hour. This moistens the onions, infuses them with tartness, and allows the flour to stick to them more easily.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the flours and dried basil.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  7. When the onions are done soaking, pick them up one by one and cover with the flour mixture until they have a light, even coating (making sure it doesn't get too lumpy!).
  8. Arrange the breaded rings in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet lightly creased with cooking spray.
  9. Lightly spray the rings with a bit more cooking spray and pop into the oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until they have browned slightly.
  10. Season with a bit of salt, and serve with ketchup or eat as is. Enjoy!
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