Fennel is a versatile vegetable – it is easily recognized by its pale bulb and long green stalks, and can be grown almost anywhere.

All parts of the fennel plant - the bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds, are edible. With a crunchy texture & slightly sweet taste, fennel adds a nice blend of flavor to foods.and can be used in a variety of dishes like soups, salads, pasta, stir fries, sauces etc.

Good quality fennel will have bulbs that are clean, firm and solid, without signs of splitting, bruising or spotting. If possible, go for the smaller, young bulbs, as these are more tender. The bulbs should look white or pale green, with no blemishes/scars, and feel heavy for their size. The feathery green tops should be fresh and bright green – there should be no signs of yellowing or flowering buds, as this indicates that the vegetable is past maturity.

Usually available from autumn through early spring, fresh fennel should have a fragrant aroma, smelling subtly of licorice or anise. Fresh fennel can be stored in the refrigerator crisper for about 3 - 4 days, although it is best to eat fennel right after it's bought because it loses its flavor over time.

Dried fennel seeds can last for about six months provided it is stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry environment.

The fennel leaves, stalks and bulb can be prepared in a variety of ways:

  • The stalks can be used as a soup base or stock

  • Sauté the leaves and stalks with onions to make a quick and simple side dish

  • Add sliced fennel to a variety of fresh vegetables for a crisp salad

  • Roasted fennel bulbs make a tasty addition to a meal.

Fennel has several health benefits :

1.  Stronger Bones - the iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium & zinc content present in fennel all contribute towards building and maintaining bone structure and strength.

2.  Decreases Blood Pressure – minerals present in fennel, like potassium, calcium and magnesium, have been found to decrease blood pressure naturally.

3.  Healthy Heart - Fennel's fiber, potassium, folate & vitamin C content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, are all supportive of a healthy heart.

4.  Helps Prevent Inflammation – fennel contains selenium, a mineral that helps prevent inflammation. Externally, fennel oil eases muscular and rheumatic pains.

5.  Digestion and Regular Bowel Movement - because of its fiber content, fennel helps to prevent constipation and promote regular bowel movement for a healthy digestive tract. It also aids in reducing elevated cholesterol levels whilst also stimulating the digestion and appetite.

6.  Stomach Remedy - it is an excellent stomach and intestinal remedy which relieves flatulence and colic, and helps to remove toxins from the colon as well.

7.  Bronchitis – Fennel has a calming effect on bronchitis and coughs.

8.  Milk production – consumption of fennel helps to increase the flow of milk in nursing mother.

So do make it a point to regularly include fennel in your diet!


Great health is everyone's birthright!