Know Your Ingredients - FENNEL
Today, we are going to be talking about one of the most amazing and my favorite culinary herb and spice - Fennel
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgate) has been used for centuries in cuisines all over the world for the wonderful flavor it imparts and it’s amazing therapeutic properties.
Even though all parts of the fennel plant are edible, the bulb and the seeds are the most commonly used. The bulb is crunchy and sweet with a licorice - like flavor while the seeds are bright green in color and have a more potent flavor due to the essential oils in them. You must've seen these seeds in many Indian restaurants, usually by the entrance. They are usually eaten after a meal as they function as an excellent mouth freshener.
SOME OF THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF FENNEL:
According to Ayurveda, Fennel seeds are cooling in nature and tridoshic - which means they help balance all three doshas.
They are a good source of some of the micro nutrients like calcium, manganese, selenium and folate and may also provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects.
They act as a digestive aid and can help with some of the discomfort that one may experience after a heavy meal.
Fennel can suppress appetite/ cravings and can help aid weight loss
Fennel seeds are great for skin health and can help get rid of acne.
TIP: Make sure you chew the fennel seeds really well. Chewing activates the essential oils in these seeds so you can reap maximum benefits of the therapeutic properties of this amazing spice!
CULINARY USES OF FENNEL BULB AND SEEDS:
Fennel seeds are generally used in a lot of spice blends like garam masala, curry powder etc and can be added to flavor curries, rice dishes, meat dishes etc.
Fennel bulb can be sliced and used in salads, chopped up fine and used in soups, can be slit into halves and grilled and roasted.