2 large Vidalia (sweet) onions
1 qt. low fat buttermilk/buttermilk substitute
3-4 egg whites
2/3 cup whole wheat (or all purpose) flour
3/4 cup ground cornmeal
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt, pepper, paprika, any other desired seasonings, to taste
Oil spray (nonstick oil, olive oil, or coconut oil)
Peel onions and cut into 1/2 in. slices, being careful to keep rings intact. Then, pop each layer of each onion slice out to form the rings.
Place onion rings in a dish and pour in buttermilk-don’t need to completely cover the rings but make sure they’re at least partially submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4-12 hours, or up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Line baking sheet(s) (you can either line 2 sheets or do it in 2 batches using the same sheet) with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with a fork. Combine flour, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, and seasonings in a large, shallow dish.
Remove soaked onion rings from the refrigerator. Take each ring out of the buttermilk and dip in the egg whites, then coat in the crumbs mixture. (If the crumbs aren’t sticking, dip back in the egg whites and then try again.)–If you run out of the crumb mixture, mix more up.
Place coated rings on baking sheet(s) in a single layer. Spray each lightly with the oil spray to seal the breading.
Bake 10-15 minutes (15 minutes if the pan is full and the rings are large). Remove and flip each ring over, spraying with the oil again. Bake 10-15 more minutes, or until browned and crisped to your preference.
Let finished onion rings sit for 10 minutes, then enjoy immediately!
Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator, and then reheat in the oven for optimal crispness.