by Jenna Koroly, MS, RD, CSOWM, CDN
With its white bulb bottom, celery-like stalk, and feathery leaves, fennel is a member of the parsley family. Fennel originated on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and is often used in Italian cuisine, where both raw and cooked fennel can be found in side dishes, salads, risottos, and pastas. This vegetable has an anise-like (or licorice) flavor [i].
Nutritional Value & Health Benefits
Fennel is a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant which may protect cells from free radical damage, and potassium, which helps manage blood pressure [ii, iii, iv]. Fennel is low in calories and high in fiber, which may aid in weight management, as foods rich in fiber promote satiety.
Ways to Eat
Fennel can be incorporated into many different types of meals. Soups and salads are popular fennel features, but fennel can also be roasted, as well as added to pasta dishes, sandwiches, and even desserts. Try including this vegetable in your favorite recipes for a unique taste, and look out for our Savor Cooks recipe of the month, starring fennel.
References:[i] Fennel. Retrieved from http://www.bismarcknd.gov/DocumentCenter/View/493/Fennel?bidId= [ii] Fennel, bulb, raw. Retrieved from https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/3023/2 [iii] Vitamin C. Retrieved from https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/vitamin-c [iv] How Potassium Can Help Control High Blood Pressure. Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/how-potassium-can-help-control-high-blood-pressure