This ancient European vegetable, which tastes similar to licorice, has an amazing nutritional profile and is quite versatile. It is a relative of dill, carrots, parsley and coriander (the Umbellifereae family). Because fennel’s licorice flavor is similar to the flavor of Anise seeds, the two plants are often confused – even though they are two distinctly different plants.
Fennel is a bulb that is white or light green in color. It has sturdy stalks, feathery leaves and flowers, which produce seeds. The entire plant can be eaten, either raw or cooked – bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds – and it is very nutritious.
Nutritional profile & benefits of fennel
- Vitamins C, A and B3 – Vitamins A and C are antioxidants which neutralize free radicals that damage our cells and cause illness.
- Potassium – which helps the heart by helping to lower blood pressure
- Fiber – helps the digestive system, can possibly protect the colon from cancer and has a positive effect when it comes to reducing cholesterol levels
- Panothenic Acid
- Phytonutrients, including rutin, quercitin, and kaempferol glycosides, which reduce inflammation and have an anti-cancer effect
Fennel’s versatility in cooking
Fennel is often used in Italian or French cooking, particularly in tomato or fish dishes. It can be roasted, braised, steamed, sautéed, boiled or eaten raw in salads. It also makes a very healthy addition to Smoothies, adding both fiber and a unique flavor. BBCGoodFood.com has a few interesting fennel recipes, which include fish dishes and salads.
Interested in finding out more about which foods are super nutritious and can help you build your health? Are you looking for some help and support around making healthy changes to your dietary lifestyle? Contact me – let’s talk!
Copyright © 2014 Cathy Ormon – All Rights Reserved