In appearance it is dill, so its second name is pharmacy dill. The smell of fennel resembles the smell of anise, only a little sweeter. Fennel fruits are used for medicinal purposes. Also on their basis is prepared essential oil. In cooking, you can use plant seeds as a seasoning, leaves to decorate and flavor the food, and fennel “bulbs” are often served as a garnish.
- normalization of digestion
- breath freshening
Scientists have found that fennel contains substances such as anethole, limonene, and quercetin, which have anti-inflammatory effects. Thanks to them, fennel oil relieves spasms of smooth muscles of the stomach and helps with flatulence. Phytosterol contained in fennel replaces cholesterol, thereby lowering its level in the blood. In India, noticed another property of this plant. In restaurants there they bring fennel along with the final dishes – it is believed that it gives freshness to the breath. According to some studies, fennel is contraindicated in pregnant women. People with allergies and epilepsy should also avoid using it.
The main property of fennel is the high content of essential oils in it. The essential oil of fennel fruit has a strong aroma and sweetish spicy taste. Fennel fruits are rich in fatty oils. Seeds contain from 12 to 18 percent fatty oils.
These oils include many valuable acids:
The composition of the green part of fennel is rich in nutrients:
- Vitamins A, C, PP, group B.
- Magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium.
- Copper, iron, manganese, zinc.
- Essential oils – up to 0.5 percent in leaflets and up to 6.5 percent in fruits.
- vitamin C;
How to choose?
When choosing fennel, all the same rules apply as when choosing dill: buy fresh herbs with small leaves and a characteristic smell. “Correct” fennel is shoots with no signs of wilting and white-green elastic bulbs.
How to make fennel seasoning?
As spice, is used:
- aboveground part (leaves)
- fruits (seeds).
The leaves are harvested in the summer. They are laid out to dry thinly in a shaded place on clean paper. Periodically, the raw material is turned over.
Dried herbs should be put in a canvas bag or carton and sealed.
Also for the preparation of fennel herbs used the method of dry salted, which is harvested dill, parsley and other herbs.
How to use fennel in cooking?
Spaniards and Italians add dried fennel and its seeds to sweets, pastries, compote other dishes, it also turns out fine tea with fennel.
The culinary benefits of fennel are varied, and all parts of the plant can be eaten. Dried seeds are used as seasoning, the leaves will decorate any dish with their original look and aroma – they, like dill, can be added to salads, and you can decorate a salad or a second dish with fennel sprigs placed on top.
Fennel cabbages can be braised or baked and served as a side dish for meat or pasta. Especially popular is the combination of fennel with white fish.
When buying fennel cabbages, you should pay attention to the fact that they are dense, white or light green, as well as the smell – it should be fresh, with aniseed notes. After the purchase, they can lie in the refrigerator for about 5 days, if they are wrapped in foil or cling film, but you should not delay the preparation of fennel dishes, because its flavor disappears every day.
The combination of fennel with ginger is very interesting – you can combine it from roasting meat and fish, or you can brew fennel tea by adding a pinch of ginger. Such tea is an excellent means of preventing and treating colds.
Fennel herb is often used to flavor marinades and pickles.
Fennel seeds in cooking
In cooking, fennel seeds are used as a spice to add a special flavor and flavor to dishes. They are used to decorate hamburgers, pies, and other pastries.
If you want to enhance the taste of fennel seeds, they must be subjected to heat treatment: fry or bake with vegetables.
Fennel root in cooking
Fennel roots are often cooked with vegetables: they are cut in half, fried in olive oil, garlic, tomatoes and olives are added, then the dish is filled with white wine, sprinkled with fennel grains and stewed for an hour. Braised root perfectly emphasize the taste of fish and meat.
Fruits put when baking some varieties of bread. Greens are added to meat dishes, also in salads, in soups. This spice will emphasize the taste of fish dishes. The tubers of the plant are baked and consumed as an independent dish, the stems are cooked as asparagus. Fennel root is cut into small pieces, placed in jars, filled with hot marinade and stored pickled roots in a cold place.
1 large cob fennel
1 garlic clove
100 ml dry vermouth
150 ml of fish or vegetable broth
50 g butter
100 ml heavy cream
Peel the fennel from the damaged leaves, cut off and set aside the top stems with green leaves. Pulp fennel finely chop. Crush, peel and chop garlic. Melt butter in a deep skillet. Put minced fennel, fry, stirring often, 5 min. Pour in vermouth and broth, add chopped garlic, bring to a boil, salt, remove from heat. Lightly whip the cream with the yolk, pour into the pan. Return the saucepan to the saucepan for minimum heat and heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Add the finely chopped green leaves of fennel, serve the sauce hot.
Warm duck salad with fennel
1 medium duck breast
70-80 g of arugula or salad mixture with arugula
2 medium oranges
1 small fennel
1-2 small shallots
1 tbsp. port wine
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
salt, freshly ground pepper
Heat oven to 170 ° C. Drain the duck breast, season with salt and pepper, incise the skin in several places diagonally.
Preheat the grill pan, fry the breast for 2-3 minutes, skin down on high heat until it turns red, then reduce the heat, turn it over and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Place the breast in a ceramic form and cook in the oven for another 5-7 minutes depending on the desired degree of roasting. Remove, cover and give a little “rest.”
Simultaneously with the preparation of the breast, cut the fennel in half and chop finely with a vegetable mandolin cutter. Washed and dried arugula mixed with fennel and spread on plates. Peel oranges, separate into slices and set aside.
Prepare a dressing. Squeeze the juice from the remaining parts of the oranges, add shallots, port wine, olive oil, salt and pepper, mix. If the oranges are very sweet, you can add some lemon juice. Chop the breast across thin slices. Water 2 tbsp. l dressing salad and fennel, mix, spread out the orange and duck on top, add a little more dressing to them. Serve immediately.
Calorie and nutritional value
Caloric content of fennel seeds is 345 kcal, fennel bulbs – 31 kcal.
Nutritional value of fennel seeds: proteins – 15.8 g, fats – 14.87 g, carbohydrates – 12.49 g
Nutritional value of fennel bulbs: proteins – 1.24 g, fats – 0.2 g, carbohydrates – 4.19 g
Useful properties of tea with fennel:
- improves digestion
- beneficial effect on the work of the entire gastrointestinal tract.
- relieves irritation, has anti-inflammatory properties.
- normalizes metabolic processes, so it is often included in the program of restores intestinal microflora.
- strengthens the immune system.
- It has a diuretic effect.
How to make tea with fennel?
Tea with fennel can be brewed from plant seeds, herbs and fennel bulbs.
Fennel Seed Tea
Before brewing tea, you need to grind the seeds in a mortar, taking about one teaspoon.
Crushed seeds pour a glass of boiling water. Close the cup and leave to stand for seven to ten minutes.
Then strain the tea through a fine strainer and add a little hot water.
Tea from fresh leaves
Rinse fresh fennel leaves with cold water and chop. As a rule, a glass of grass is taken from a glass of boiled water. Infuse for 15-20 minutes and drink.
Fennel Bulb Tea
Fennel is of two types: as spicy grass and tuber. From this plant you can also brew tea. For this, tuber plants should be well washed and cut into small pieces.
Fold in a kettle and pour boiling water. Insist for 15-20 minutes.
Before use, add some hot water.
How much to drink tea with fennel
How much to give this tea to babies was written above. For older children, this is between 20 and 50 ml twice a day.
For adults – from 50 to 100 ml twice a day.
During pregnancy – from 20 to 50 ml twice a day.
Elderly people – from 20 to 50 ml twice a day.
When brewing tea, it is not forbidden to add other ingredients, such as cumin and coriander, which have similar properties with fennel.