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  • Writer's picturePhilippa Evans

Veggie of the moment – Fabulous Fennel!

This versatile vegetable is now in season and will add a burst of aniseed flavour to salads, soups and risotto. As part of the carrot family, it has a crunchy green and white bulb, a green stalk and feathery leaves. Its seeds taste stronger and will add a punch to roasted veggies. Fennel is full of nutrients and has many health benefits, so why not give it a try if it’s new to you!

Fennel is a great source of fibre, which is essential for a healthy digestive system and linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. It contains potassium, magnesium and folate which may promote heart heath.

It’s also high in Vitamin C, needed for a healthy immune system and with properties that repair tissue and produce collagen, it can support healthy skin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and along with other plant flavonoids contained in fennel such as quercetin, may reduce inflammation and help your body fight several chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

And if all those health benefits weren’t enough, it’s quick and easy to prepare and cook! You can eat the fennel bulb raw to give salads a crunchy and flavourful kick, or cooked for a sweeter, milder flavour. The stalks can be quite fibrous, so are best cooked in soups or stews, or to add flavour to stocks or steamed veggies, fish or chicken. The feathery leaves can be chopped and used like a herb or as a garnish on top of scrambled eggs and many other veggie or meat dishes.

This amazing Fennel, Pomegranate & Broad Bean Salad from BBC Good Food is full of nutrition and zingy flavours and would make a fabulous addition to your next picnic or BBQ!

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