What is fennel?
Fennel consists of a white or pale green bulb
with green celery like stalks. The stalks are topped
with feathery green dill style leaves and completed with flowers, which produce fennel seeds.
The bulb, stalk and seeds are all edible with the flavour of sweet anise and make a great addition to soups, salad, pasta and more. Fennel is closely related to carrots, parsley, dill and coriander as they are all part of the Umbelliferae family.
What are the health benefits of Fennel?
Like many spices fennel contains a combination of phytonutrient's including the flavonoids Rutin, Quercitin as well as Kaempferol Glycosides that give it strong antioxidant activity. Anethole can also be found in fennel and is the primary component of its volatile oil. In studies Anethole in fennel has repeatedly been shown to reduce inflammation and has been found to have anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. In addition to its unusual phytonutrients, fennel bulbs are an excellent source of Vitamin C.
Nutritional information provided by the College of Naturopathic Medicine.
CNM is the UK's largest training provider of a range of natural therapies, with Colleges nationwide
to find out more please visit our website: www.naturopathy-uk.com
or call: 01342 010505
How do I store fennel?
Store fresh fennel in the fridge where it should keep for approx. 4 days. Fresh Fennel can also be frozen after first being blanched in boiling water, however it can lose some of its flavour during this process.
So how do I eat fennel?
Why not try a delicious fennel side salad?
Simply thinly slice the fennel bulb and arrange the slices onto a dish.
Drizzle the slices with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice adding salt and pepper to season as required.
Chop the remaining fronds together with fresh parsley and sprinkle over the top.
Or Roasted Fennel?
Roughly chop the fennel bulb into wedges and place in a bowl. Lightly cover with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar until covered. Lay the wedges onto a baking tray and put into a preheated oven of approx. 200 C for 40 minutes or until the edges are beginning to caramelize.
Or Creamy Fennel Soup
½ onion, diced
1 organic garlic clove, diced
1 large organic fennel bulb, white part only, diced
2 cups (packed) spinach
3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1 teaspoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sized pan brought to medium heat, add olive oil, onions and fennel.
Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the onions begin to turn translucent and brown slightly,
add the garlic. Cook for another minute. Next, add the spinach, stock and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook
for 15 minutes.
When finished, let the soup cool before transferring to a blender, in portions (to avoid overfilling), and blend until smooth. Reheat slowly over the stove and serve hot. You can also serve cold, as the flavours intensify. The flavours are also more pungent the next day when all the ingredients have time to marry together.
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