Fennel

Nutrition

Fennel is a nutrient-dense food, containing potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber, while only providing 27 calories per 1 cup serving [1-3]. When eaten raw, fennel provides 12% of daily Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body repair tissue and strengthen the immune system.

Dried fennel seeds also have a variety of nutrients and are particularly potent in manganese offering 17% of the daily recommended intake [1-3]. Some of the roles  manganese plays in the body involves assisting with bone development, metabolism, wound healing, and blood sugar regulation.

Fun Facts

Fennel is a member of the carrot/parsley family [4]. It was originally called Finocchio. The bulbs have a crunchy texture and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Raw fennel has a licorice flavor that becomes less potent in the cooking process. If you aren’t a fan of licorice, adding vinegar or dry white wine makes the flavor less noticeable. Some evidence suggests that fennel seeds may benefit heart health, aid digestion, increase milk production in lactating women, and reduce inflammation [2-3]. *It’s important to note that more research is needed in these areas and that you should always consult your physician before beginning any supplement regimen*

Storage Tips

Don’t wash fennel until you are ready to use it. To keep your fennel fresh in the fridge, wrap it in paper towels or a bag with the stalks and fronds removed for up to 10 days, preferrably in the crisper drawer. Stalks and fronds can be stored upright in a jar of water like flowers! To freeze, separate the bulb from the stalks and freeze the stalks in a plastic freezer bag. Blanch the bulb before freezing to avoid too much texture loss.

Fennel plants have a white bulb that extends into green stems and fronds; all of which are edible!

Seeds: Can be added to baked goods, Italian sausage, or tea.

Bulb: Can be eaten raw in salads, pickled, roasted, pan-fried, or grilled.

Stems: Can be eaten raw in salads, added to teas, or grilled.

Fronds: Can be used as a garnish or added to salads, pickles, or fish.

 

Recipes

Sauteed Fennel, Leeks, and Mushrooms

 

References

  1. Fennel, bulb, raw. FoodData Central. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169385/nutrients. Published April 1, 2019. Accessed October 17, 2022.
  2. Kubala J. 10 science-based benefits of fennel and fennel seeds. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fennel-and-fennel-seed-benefits. Published September 27, 2019. Accessed October 17, 2022.
  3. Ware, M. Is fennel good for you? Health benefits, nutrition, and more. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/284096. Published January 6, 2022. Accessed October 17, 2022.
  4. Buryk D. 8 facts you might not know about fennel. https://www.freshcityfarms.com/blogs/8-facts-you-might-not-know-about-fennel. Published June 29, 2021. Accessed October 17, 2022.
  5. Lui N. How to store fennel. https://www.eatingwell.com/article/7963112/how-to-store-fennel/. Published May 20, 2022. Accessed October 17, 2022.
  6. Veg Kitchen. Sauteed fennel, leeks and mushrooms. https://www.vegkitchen.com/sauteed-fennel-leeks-and-mushrooms/. Published October 8, 2021. Updated August 18, 2021. Accessed October 17, 2022.