Fun Facts about Fennel:
In-season- May, June, July
- Fennel is a flowering plant species in the carrot family.
- Fennel is good for breastfeeding, it increases milk and gives it a sweet flavor. This happens because of the phytoestrogens in it, great for balancing female hormones, even during a menstrual period or menopause.
- Italy produces 85% of the world’s fennel (“finocchio” in Italian).
Health Benefits of Fennel:
- fennel and its seeds offer a wide array of health benefits and may provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects.
- Fresh fennel bulb is a good source of vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin critical for immune health, tissue repair, and collagen synthesis.
- Both the bulb and seeds contain the mineral manganese, which is important for enzyme activation, metabolism, cellular protection, bone development, blood sugar regulation, and wound healing.
Cooking with Fennel:
- Most commonly found as a spice on top of pasta and rice!
- All parts of the plant are aromatic and used in flavoring, and the bulblike stem base of Florence fennel and the blanched shoots are eaten as a vegetable.
- Try roasting it! Toasted fennel seeds are consumed with other seeds in India and Pakistan as “mukhwas”, a colorful digestive, it also helps keep the breath fresh.
Recipe Using Fennel:
- Roasted Fennel with Garlic and Herbs
- 2 large bulbs of fennel
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp thyme
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove any of the stalks from the fennel bulbs and then cut them in half lengthwise. Cut each halved fennel bulb into 1 inch thick slices and arrange the slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet ensuring that they are all laid out evenly and do not overlap.
- In a bowl combine the olive oil and minced garlic and brush it over the sliced fennel and then sprinkle the thyme, salt, and pepper over top to ensure they are all well seasoned.
- Bake the fennel in the oven for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes of baking, the fennel should be tender and caramelized on the edges. Serve warm.