Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sweet Bulb

One ingredient that's never missing in my kitchen is fennel because it's one of those that can go in any dish hot or cold. I've never attempted to grow it at home as I have a hard time growing anything here {guess I've said that before... Hmm?} but I have no problems there are it is available year round {in many places it's only available fall through spring}.

This is one of those veggies you buy that you can use almost all parts of it {bulb, stalk and seeds} which makes it also quite a healthy food. Amongst its benefits you can say that it has health promoting effects, has phytonutrients which make it a great antioxidant, anti inflammatory and help prevent cancer. Beside that, it's loaded with vitamin C, dietary fiber, folate and potassium tat promote cardiovascular and colon health.

When buying fennel look for clean bulbs with no bruising, make sure they are firm to the touch and the colors goes from white on the bulb to green on the stalk. Fresh fennel should have a fragrant smell that is sweet and resembling that or anise. When storing it place it in the refrigerator crisper so it stays fresh and crunchy between 4-6 days.

Fennel can be made in tea to aid as an anti-spasmodic against cramps of the digestive tract. To make the tea, in a teapot put a teaspoon of fennel seeds, then pour on hot water {not boiling water so you don't burn the seeds} and let it steep for 3-5 minutes.

My favorite thing is to eat a fennel salad because it's so refreshing especially during the summer months when it gets so hot here in Miami. The best way to make it is to shave the fennel with a mandoline or peeler {I chop it with a knife because I don't like to wash the mandoline}, add some orange or grapefruit wedges, pecans or walnut, and season with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper... Delicious!

Have a great day and don't forget to eat something delicious!