The secret life of fennel


What is fennel?

I am into Day 8 of my life as a vegan and was a pescetarian (basically a vegetarian diet but eating fish/seafood as well) for about three months before that.  To keep meals interesting and appealing, I am constantly searching for creative recipes using a variety of vegetables and legumes.  I admit that it does get a bit boring eating the same vegetables and legumes all the time.  Yet, it is important to ensure that meals are balanced and healthy.

I have heard of fennel seeds, herbs and probably spices, but have never seen the actual whole bulb.  I was shopping for groceries last week and saw a whole bunch of fennel bulbs on display. And not only that – I saw a lady shopper just picking one up.  I quickly dashed up to her.  It was my cue to probe her for information about fennel. Below were my questions for her and the answers:

Q:  What do you with it?

A: Eat it raw or roast them in the oven.

Q: What does it take like?

A: Minty.

Q: What is the texture? Is it like celery?

A: Yes.  A bit.

I am not a big fan of celery, but what the hell? Let me try it!  

Health benefits

After a quick online search, apparently fennel can help to freshen your breath, aids in digestion, help with bloating, helps to remove water retention, has anti-inflammatory properties, etc.  Not bad for this cute little bulb.

My side dish (pictured above)

Within a few minutes, I washed, chopped up my fennel into long thin slices and tossed them with thai sweet chili sauce.  It was that simple. 

Taste analysis

Yes, minty, like the lady said.  Texture very much like celery (especially the stalk part).  The white part of the fennel is more dense and not stringy like celery.  A satisfying chew indeed! I will definitely add fennel to my list of to buy veggies -if only I can find it again.  

Next up…

  • Make fennel salad for family annual Christmas dinner.
  • Try to roast it with some olive oil and spices.

Other popular uses

  • Use in cooking -as you would other vegetables
  • Use fennel seeds as spice for cooking
  • Drink fennel tea

In this thing called life, it is always exciting to try something new.  Cheers to trying fennel!  Send me a comment on what you think of fennel bulbs…

4 thoughts on “The secret life of fennel

  1. It reminds me of anise. I love fennel and often just slice up pieces of fennel and just pack it in my lunch as a snack. Fennel goes great with citrus like an orange vinaigrette. I also love it roasted and it pairs great roasted with potatoes. Also, it goes really well in scalloped potatoes. You can sub a cashew white bean sauce for dairy. Nutritional yeast will give your sauce a cheesy flavour or use miso to give it that umani flavour.

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