What is Fennel Bulbs?
Fennel also is known as Foeniculum vulgare is a flowering plant species in the carrot family. It is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks.
It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb used in cookery and, along with the similar-tasting anise, is one of the primary ingredients of absinthe. Florence fennel or finocchio is a selection with a swollen, bulb-like stem base that is used as a vegetable.
Fennel is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including in its native range the mouse moth and the Old-World swallowtail. Where it has been introduced in North America it may be used by the anise swallowtail.
Fennel Bulbs Recipe| Fennel Bulbs How To Cook
How to Choose and Prepare Fennel
Fennel has a crunchy texture and a flavor similar to licorice or anise. It is a great addition to any winter dish to provide a unique, slightly sweet and warming flavor.
When choosing a fennel bulb, look for a bulb that is firm and mostly white at the bottom. Avoid bulbs that are brown or spotted at the bottom. The stalks should be bundled together and not flowering.
The fennel bulb can stay in the refrigerator for about four to five days. It tends to lose flavor over time, therefore should be eaten within a few days.
All parts of the fennel bulb can be eaten, including the seeds, leaves and the bulb itself. The seeds are commonly dried and used as a spice.
To prepare the fennel bulb, first cut the stalks off the bulb where they sprout. Then slice the bulb vertically into thin slices depending on the recipe you choose. You can eat fennel bulb raw, you can sauté it or roast it with other vegetables.
Want to try out fennel: Then say hello to fennel with this delicious soup recipe! With the slight sweetness of apples and the amazing nutrition of fennel, your whole family will be coming back for seconds!
Fennel Apple Soup Recipe
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 (medium to large) fennel bulbs stems removed and diced
- 2 large apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 1-quart chicken broth
- 2-3 sprigs thyme
- Heat coconut oil in a large pot.
- Saute onion over low or medium heat for 10-15 minutes until soft and almost browned.
- Add fennel and apples and cook for 5-10 minutes until they start to soften or brown.
- Add chicken stock and thyme.
- Puree soup in a high-powered blender until smooth and creamy.
Fennel Bulbs Benefits
1. Boosts Bone Health
Due to the calcium content, fennel can help maintain bone strength and health. One cup of fennel contains about 43 milligrams of calcium, which can be helpful for those who don’t consume enough foods high in calcium and may have a calcium deficiency. Research shows that increasing calcium intake from dietary sources increases your bone mineral density.
But calcium isn’t the only bone-strengthening nutrient found in the bulb. Fennel also contains magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin K, which all play a role in maintaining bone strength.
2. Improves Skin Health
Fennel is high in vitamin C, providing almost half of the recommended daily allowance in just one bulb. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that may help reduce the free radical damage that can lead to premature aging.
Vitamin C is also necessary for the formation of collagen and a powerful tool in protecting skin’s appearance, making it a good choice to naturally slow aging. A deficiency in vitamin C is called scurvy, which manifests in the inability to properly form collagen, leading to bleeding gums and bleeding below the skin.
Due to these functions, adequate intakes of vitamin C are critical for reducing the appearance of wrinkles and maintaining healthy skin. The RDA is 60 milligrams per day, but more vitamin C from whole food sources, like fennel, will help to keep your skin healthy from the inside-out.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure
Fennel can help lower blood pressure and inflammation due to its high potassium content and low sodium content. Potassium works against sodium, helping to fight high blood pressure in the body.
A diet high in potassium can reduce systolic blood pressure by 5.5 points when compared to a high sodium diet. But don’t expect lower blood pressure overnight, it takes about four weeks of consuming a high potassium diet to see a drop in blood pressure.
4. Aids Digestion
Fennel is included in the GAPS diet, as well as on my Healing Food Shopping List, because of its ability to ease digestion. Since fennel contains 7 grams of dietary fiber, it can help maintain a healthy digestive system. The muscles in the digestive system need dietary fiber to provide bulk for the gastrointestinal muscles to push against and increase motility or movement. Because digestive problems like constipation and IBS are so common in adults, fennel makes a great addition to any diet, which is exactly why it’s one of the foods recommended for a healing diet.
Additionally, fiber acts like a small brush as it moves through the digestive system, clearing the colon of toxins that could potentially cause colon cancer. Fennel itself can act as a laxative, helping with the elimination of toxins.
Research published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition indicates that fennel has a substantial body of data to support its digestion-enhancing activities. Researchers also point out ginger, peppermint, citrus fruits, dandelion, and chamomile for their ability to aid digestion as well.
It is also common in certain cultures to chew fennel seeds after meals to help digestion and eliminate bad breath. Some of the oils found in fennel do help stimulate the secretion of digestive juices.
Fennel may also be beneficial for people with acid reflux. Adding fennel to your diet can help balance the pH level within your body, especially within your stomach, and can reduce reflux after meals.
5. Increases Satiety
Fiber contains no calories, but provides bulk, increasing satiety. Humans do not have the enzymes required to break down fiber, therefore it cannot be absorbed as calories. Fennel provides 7 grams of calorie-free, filling fiber.
Studies show that diets high in fiber can help people to effectively lose weight. A 2001 study, found that participants who added 14 grams per day of fiber to their diets, without changing anything else, ate approximately 10 percent fewer calories per day and lost about four pounds over a period of four months. Increasing fiber intake, by adding fennel and other high fiber foods to the diet, maybe a simple way to effortlessly feel more satisfied and to experience weight loss.
6. Improves Colic
Infant colic, although a relatively benign medical condition, can have a significant impact on new parents. Most parents of a colicky infant would probably try almost anything to soothe their crying child.
The current medication used for colic, called Dicyclomine hydrochloride, can have some serious side effects and may not be consistently effective. But researchers have found that fennel seed oil has been shown to reduce pain and increase motility in the small intestine, making it an excellent natural remedy for colic. Fennel also helps to calm the infant and reduce abdominal distension.
In a 2003 study, researchers compared fennel seed oil with a placebo in 125 infants. The group treated with fennel seed oil was reported to have 65 percent less colic, measured by crying episodes, than those in the control group, with no side effects.
Although this research may be promising and many desperate parents may want to run out and get some fennel oil, there is not an established safe dose for infants at this time. The safest way to use it to treat infant colic is for a breastfeeding mother to drink fennel tea.
7. Helps Prevent Cancer
Fennel has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine to help treat inflammatory conditions such as insect bites or sore throat. Fennel’s ability to decrease inflammation led researchers to investigate if fennel’s properties could be applied to other inflammatory diseases, including various forms of cancers.
Fennel contains an oil called anethole that has been shown in some clinical studies to act as a natural cancer remedy, helping to reduce the growth of breast cancer cells. It is believed that anethole reduces inflammation that may lead to the development of cancer, although further research is needed to determine how it can be used exactly.
Other anti-inflammatory nutrients are also found in fennel, specifically selenium, a trace mineral that may help decrease cancer mortality rates. A large study of over 8,000 participants found that selenium did reduce mortality and decrease future incidences of cancer.
8. Decreases Risk of Heart Disease
Foods high in fiber, especially soluble fiber, as is found in fennel, have been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. A diet high in fiber can help to reduce the overall risk of heart attacks and stroke by helping to lower blood cholesterol to a normal level.
In 2018, a study published in the Journal of Menopausal Medicine found that when postmenopausal women used fennel to improve their cholesterol, it resulted in a slight positive change in LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The high fiber and the potassium content make fennel a double whammy in reducing risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering both cholesterol and blood pressure. Fennel is also high in other potentially cardio-protective vitamins such as folate and vitamin C.
9. Eye Health
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of age-related vision loss. Although the exact cause is unknown, antioxidants that help reduce inflammation such as certain flavonoids, vitamin C and zinc, may help improve vision or slow the progress of the disease.
Fennel contains many of these vision-saving nutrients. Due to its high flavonoid, vitamin C and mineral content, it can help reduce oxidative damage and inflammation and may help prevent macular degeneration.
10. May Ease Menopausal Symptoms
A 2017 study in Menopause suggests that the use of fennel, a phytoestrogen, may contribute to improvements in menopausal symptoms. Researchers analyzed 90 women, ages 45 to 60, who had been postmenopausal for at least one year (no more than five years) and had at least moderate menopausal symptoms. Participants either received fennel or placebo capsules daily for eight weeks.
Fennel recipients saw significant improvements in symptoms, whereas placebo recipients did not. Researchers conclude that fennel may help ease menopausal symptoms in women with low estrogen levels as well as those who have experienced early menopause or have had a hysterectomy or oophorectomy. A larger trial, however, is needed to confirm these findings.
And 2018 systematic and meta-analysis published in the Journal of Menopausal Medicine found that when fennel is used to relieve menopausal symptoms, it helps to reduce vaginal itching, dryness, sleeping issues, and vasomotor symptoms like night sweats, flushes, and hot flashes. Fennel also helped to improve sexual function and sexual satisfaction.
11. Stimulates Breastmilk Production
Fennel is used as a galactagogue agent for women who are breastfeeding. Galactagogues increase the production of breast milk. Although the research on whether or not fennel is effective for promoting the production of breast milk, studies have found that many women who do choose to use herbs as natural galactagogues tend to try fennel, milk thistle and goat’s rue most often.
Fennel Bulbs Where To Buy|Fennel Bulbs Price
You can purchase your bulbs from Amazon. Visit www.amazon.com
Fennel Bulbs In Spanish
Fennel in Spanish is Bulbos de Hinojo.
Fennel Bulbs Nutrition
Fennel bulb contains:
- 73 calories
- 0.47 g of fat
- 2.9 g of protein
- 17 g of carbohydrate
- 7.3 g of dietary fiber
- no cholesterol
A cup of fennel also provides:
- 360 milligrams (mg) of potassium
- 45 mg of sodium
- 838 international units (IU) of vitamin A
- 43 mg of calcium
- 10.4 mg of vitamin C
- 0.64 mg of iron
- 0.041 mg of vitamin B-6
- 15 mg of magnesium
Fennel also contains:
- pantothenic acid
- vitamin E
- vitamin K
Fennel Bulbs Coles
- 1 small head green cabbage, halved, cored, and very thinly sliced (8 cups)
- 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, halved, cored, and very thinly sliced (2 cups)
- 1 Granny Smith apple (peeled and sliced into sticks)
- 2 shallots, peeled and chopped (1/2 cup)
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- Freshly ground pepper 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- Slice and prepare cabbage and fennel.
- Peel and slice apples into sticks, about the same size as the cabbage and fennel pieces.
- Mix cabbage, apple, and fennel together in a bowl.
- Add shallots and mix.
- Mix olive oil, vinegar, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl and then add to bowl. Mix well.
Fennel Bulbs How To Grow
Fennel Bulbs contains many useful active ingredients
Anethole – this is the main active ingredient of fennel. It is antimicrobial (kills germs), and also mimics estrogen, and increases prolactin.
Flavonoids like quercetin and apigenin – these are antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory.
Phenolic compounds such as rosmarinic acid and chlorogenic acids – these are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Terpenes such as fenchone and limonene, which improve wound healing.
Water-soluble vitamins like ascorbic acid (vitamin C), thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin b2), niacin (vitamin B3), and pyridoxine (vitamin B6).
Fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, E, and K.
Trace minerals and other elements like aluminum, barium, calcium, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, nickel, lead, strontium, and zinc.
Essential amino acids like leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan.
Fennel Bulbs How To Cut
Fennel Bulbs With Fronds
How to Use Fennel Fronds
If you’re wondering how you can use fennel fronds in your recipes, just think about them as herbs, similar to dill or tarragon, and you’ll have the answer. Use them:
- In salads, especially if the salad contains fennel. Any green salad will have some extra flavor if you chop some fresh fennel fronds in it. Try a combo made of fennel fronds, arugula, baby spinach, citrus, roasted beets, nuts, and seeds. Of course, you can choose the ingredients to your taste. When it comes to salads, you have unlimited combos at your fingertips.
- For stuffing a roasted chicken or a whole fish, alone or with other fresh herbs and vegetables.
- In marinades. Chop fennel fronds and mix them with garlic and other herbs. Combine them with your liquid marinade and use it for fish or meat.
- In soups, if you want to give them extra flavor. Make sure you add the fronds during the last minutes of simmering.
- When you make pesto. You can add fennel fronds to your homemade pesto recipe. We have many ‘fake’ pesto recipes, like arugula, cashew, or spinach pesto. Get inspired with our basic pesto recipe and add a handful of fennel fronds to it (you can replace fresh basil with it or add them both).
Fennel Bulbs In India|Fennel Bulbs In Hindi
Many cultures in India, Afghanistan, Iran, and the Middle East use fennel fruits in cooking. It is one of the most important spices in Kashmiri Pandit and Gujarati cooking. It is an essential ingredient of the Assamese/Bengali/Oriya spice mixture panch phoron and in Chinese five-spice powders. In many parts of India, roasted fennel fruits are consumed as mukhwas, an after-meal digestive and breath freshener, or candied as comfit.
Fennel leaves are used in some parts of India as leafy green vegetables either by themselves or mixed with other vegetables, cooked to be served and consumed as part of a meal. In Syria and Lebanon, the young leaves are used to make a special kind of egg omelet (along with onions and flour) called ijjeh.
Many eggs, fish, and other dishes employ fresh or dried fennel leaves. Florence fennel is a key ingredient in some Italian and German salads, often tossed with chicory and avocado, or it can be braised and served as a warm side dish. It may be blanched or marinated, or cooked in risotto.
Fennel fruits are the primary flavor component in Italian sausage. In Spain, the stems of the fennel plant are used in the preparation of pickled eggplants, berenjenas de Almagro. Herbal tea or tisane can be made from fennel.
On account of its aromatic properties, fennel fruit forms one of the ingredients of the well-known compound liquorice powder. In the Indian subcontinent, fennel fruits are also eaten raw, sometimes with a sweetener.
In Israel, fennel salad is made of chopped fennel bulbs flavored with salt, black pepper, lemon juice, parsley, olive oil and sometimes sumac.
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