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The Fennel Family

August 18, 2017

Fennel – Fennel is in the family with celery but is also a relative of anise (licorice).  It has a very similar smell and flavor to that of licorice.  Fennel is not as commonly used as celery, parsley, dill or coriander, but it has medicinal properties that make it worth getting to know.  It has many antioxidant phytonutrients including quercetin, kaempferol, rutin, and anethole that protect cells from oxidative damage and promote health.  Anethole (responsible for the licorice flavor) is a powerful anti-inflammatory as well as an antioxidant.  Fennel is also high in the antimicrobial vitamin C which supports a healthy immune system.

 

Another medicinal use for fennel is in babies with colic.  The flavonoid compounds anethole, limonene, and quercetin, found in fennel oil, have been shown to counteract spasms of the smooth muscle in the gut, therefore relieving gas and cramps.  It may also aid in digestion and freshening the breath!

 

Suggestions for incorporating fennel into the diet include adding raw fennel to green salads or to citrus to make a salad.  Put fennel on a sandwich or add to tuna.  Use fennel seeds in cooking as a spice.  Experiment with incorporating fennel or fennel seeds in creative ways.

 

Preparing Fennel:

  • Take a thin slice off the bottom of the bulb

  • If the outer part of bulb is tough peel with a potato peeler

  • Start at the root and cut thin slices up to the stalk

  • Save the stalks for using in vegetable broths

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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