Fennel is a winter vegetable which is said to taste a bit like black licorice or anaise. Fennel seeds are also used whole or ground into a powder. You can eat the bulb, stalk and leaves of fennel raw or cooked, or try fennel tea or essential oil.
Fennel has a high fibre content, vitamin C, and phytonutrients which helps with digestion, anti-aging and reducing inflammation. It has also been used after a meal to freshen ones’ breath. Fennel is easy to digest and should be a go-to when you have bloat, cramping and digestive upsets. It is actually recommended for those with IBS due to its oils that has been shown to calm an angry digestive system. In a 2012 study, fennel oil improved colic in 65% of colicky babies. Ancient Chinese medicine found fennel useful for congestion, conjunctivitis, appetite improvement as well as increasing flow of breast milk.
You can eat fennel raw for a nice snack, like celery, or add it to salads for amazing flavour. Cooked options are unlimited - roasting, sauté, braise, use in soups, as well as desserts due to its licorice flavour.
We get different benefits out of different types of vegetables, so it is important to mix them up and have a variety. Try new ones in different ways, like fennel!