When you learn how good fennel is for you, You’ll want to learn how to grow and cook fennel in your garden and kitchen!
Fennel, also known as sweet anise, is full of antioxidants, it’s anti-inflammatory and it helps support immunity! In addition, fennel is packed with fiber and is so versatile in cooking. It’s seeds are wonderful for eating and for your health!
Did you know that fennel helps remove mucus and fat from the digestive tract? It does! It’s also a natural appetite suppressant! Fennel also relieves gas and stomach problems. Learn how to grow and cook fennel with me!
How To Grow Fennel
First, plant fennel seeds in your garden soil as close to your last spring frost date as possible. Make sure fennel seeds are spaced 10 – 12″ apart so that the fennel plants have plenty of room to grow. Your fennel seeds will then germinate in 8 to 12 days after planting.
Another option is to start fennel indoors. You can plant fennel seeds in a sunny spot inside. Sow fennel seeds indoors 4 weeks prior to your last frost date. After that, make sure to harden starts off, then you can transplant starts into your garden!
Fennel is naturally a warm climate or Mediterranean crop. In cooler climates it’s grown as as an annual. Fennel will only survive light frosts. However, fennel will live over-winter out in the garden, as long as you do NOT harvest the bulb, in warmer growing zones 6-10. In growing zones 2-5, fennel can be grown spring and then again in fall as a biennial!
If you planning to eat fennel raw, then harvest the bulbs before they get too big. Bigger bulbs are tougher, and smaller bulbs are more tender. Tender bulbs are about three inches wide, and smaller. In general you will start harvesting your fennel bulbs 65 days after planting!
How To Cook Fennel
Fennel is delicious raw and cooked so many, but first you need to trim off the stalks and wash the bulb! The upper fronds are used as a wonderful accent added to salads. The fennel BULB is the main part for cooking!
After rinsing the exterior of the fennel bulb off, carefully cut off a thin layer at the bottom to remove any old tuff stem.
There are so many recipes for fennel, so I will share just a couple of my favorite ways to eat fennel here.
Roasted Fennel: Fennel can be roasted alone or with other fresh vegetables. To roast fennel, cut the bulb in half, then cut halves into quarters. After that, sprinkle with salt and olive oil and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes till tender! Then let cool for a couple minutes and ENJOY!
You can also use fennel anyway that you would use celery and it will add a lovely mild licorice or anise flavor. After fennel is cooked it turns sweet and carmely like cooked onions.
Some of the best ways to incorporate cooked fennel is in: stir fry, soups, stews, and stuffing. Your imagination is the limit when cooking fennel!
Preparing Fennel Raw
When you are preparing fennel raw, you’ll want to choose smaller bulbs because they are more tender. Raw fennel has a texture like raw celery, and you can use it in similar ways!
Fennel is also delicious raw! You can use your fennel raw by slicing the bulb THIN, and then adding it to your favorite salad. Fennel is also wonderful in chicken salad, potato salad, and in tuna sandwiches!
Or, make a FENNEL Salad! Add THINLY sliced fennel bulb, or shaved fennel bulb, orange slices, sliced olives, and your favorite meditrainanian or citrus dressing! Olive oil, lemon juice and thyme make a nice fennel salad dressing.
Note: Fennel oil and seeds are good used for flavoring too!
Fennel Medicinal Uses
Fennel seeds roots and stems are used medicinally in several ways. It’s so mild that fennel is a common ingredient in infant colic or gas drops!
The most popular use of fennel supplements is for eliminating GAS problems and stomach or digestion problems. It does so many likes like improving heartburn in people with acidic stomach, relieving gas & indigestion, and is a natural appetite suppressant!
Fennel fat from the digestive tract and acts as a natural appetite suppressant, so it is used for aiding weight loss too.
This is powerful ally against mucus, and remove it from the digestive tract and also clears the lungs!
Fennel relieves gas, stomach aches and colon disorders. In addition, fennel promotes healthy function of the spleen, kidneys and liver! It also helps relieve period pains, and regulate blood sugar levels.
Fennel tea is a nice relaxing way to calm your tummy after dinner. I use fennel capsules, I order these from Amazon, because they’re the easiest for me to use when I’m in a hurry. However, you can also make a fennel tincture or extract with fennel seeds at home!
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