I am not the biggest fennel fan…at least until now.
We’ve grown it plenty of times in the veggie garden..cause it looks pretty cool.
But we’ve never really known what to do with it.
And I’ve never been keen on anything that has an aniseed flavour.
So no one was more surprised then me when one ended up in my shopping cart this week (veggie gardens still being under construction at our new house).
It was time to expand my taste bud horizons and get down to some creative cooking.
But first things first – what’s the benefit of adding fennel to the diet?
Possible health benefits
Bone Health :- The iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K content present in fennel all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength.
Blood Pressure :- Dietary nitrates present in certain foods such as fennel have been found to lower blood pressure and protect the heart due to their vasodilatory and vasoprotective properties. One study conducted by the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences showed that participants’ blood pressure levels were lower after taking nitrate supplements that contained nitrate amounts equivalent to 150-250 grams of nitrate-rich vegetables than after taking a placebo.
Heart Health :- Fennel’s fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B-6 and phytonutrient content all support heart health.
Inflammation :- Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient in fennel that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.
Weight Management :- Dietary fibers are commonly recognized as important factors in weight management and loss by functioning as “bulking agents” in the digestive system. These compounds increase satiety and reduce appetite, making you feel fuller for longer and thereby lowering your overall calorie intake.
Okay, so there are potentially some great benefits in incorporating fennel, but I’m still a firm believer that even if it’s healthy for you, it still has to taste damn good!
The most popular recipes for fennel seem to incorporate eating it raw in salads.. Okay I’m game but need a way to cut through that liquorice flavour.
Clearly the dressing is key here, salty, sour with just a hint peppery goodness.
And of course easy to make…I can’t stress enough, just how important EASY is….
So enjoy the quick easy to make yummy salad, even if you are not a fennel fan…you just might be surprised.
And most importantly it got approved by the resident taste tester which is always a bonus!
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- Juice from half a lemon
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
- 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and sliced as thinly as possible
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion,
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, and salt.
- Add the avocado and toss to coat.
- Add the fennel and red onion and toss to coat.
- Add black pepper and more salt to taste if you like.