Certainly one of the most common vegetables on the Mediterranean table, fennel it is in season from autumn to late spring. It therefore accompanies us for almost the whole year and is a precious food, for many reasons.
Fennel are best known for their digestive qualities, but the benefits on the gastrointestinal system go far beyond this quality.
In fact, for example, avoid the formation of intestinal gas and contain anethole, a substance that acts on painful abdominal contractions.
Fennel also has purifying properties and a mild anti-inflammatory effect. It is mainly composed of water and contains a fair amount of potassium.
It is one of the most recommended foods for women who are breastfeeding because it helps to give a pleasant taste to breast milk. It is also said to increase milk production, but there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.
How to choose fennel when buying
To bring home sweet and crunchy fennel pay attention to color, which must be bright white, and the external ribs, which must not appear excessively numerous or accentuated.
Also observe the color of the tuft, which must be bright green; finally check for any bruises, brown spots and dry parts that indicate a product that is not very fresh.
How to consume fennel
Fennel is a vegetable that does not need too much maintenance; just cut it into pieces and wash it well. It is, therefore, one of those clever foods to always keep at hand, even when you have little time to devote to cooking. Any ideas to bring it to the table?
> At the end of the meal. To aid digestion. In the South it is very common to consume a small piece of fennel after lunch or after dinner.
> As a hunger-break snack. Fennel has a good satiating power in the face of very few calories. 100 grams of fennel contain about 10 calories. Try to keep it in the refrigerator always clean and ready to be munched, it will help you to keep your appetite and body weight under control.
> In salads. Fennel give an excellent aroma and a pleasant flavor to many mixed salads. For example, they go very well with oranges, black olives and artichokes.
> In pinzimonio. As an appetizer or at the end of a meal.
> Cotto For example au gratin or stir-fried.
> In soups, even in those of young children, during weaning. Fennels are extremely digestible and are therefore excellent at all ages.
A recipe with fennel: cream of fennel
La cream of fennel it is a very light and simple recipe.
Ingredients for people 4
> 300 g of potatoes;
> 400 g of fennel;
> 1 liter of vegetable broth (the amount of broth is indicative because it depends on how thick you want the cream to be);
> 1/2 onion;
> 4 croutons of bread;
> toasted pumpkin seeds;
> 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil;
Wash and clean the potatoes and fennel, put in a saucepan with the onion cut into small pieces. Cover the vegetables with the boiling broth and cook with the lid on for about 30 minutes.
Occasionally, turn and check that it is not sticking to the pot. When cooked, season with salt and blend with an immersion blender.
Season with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and serve like this: put a crouton on the bottom of each plate, add the cream and finish with a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds.
An advice: do not discard the tufts of fennel, they will make your dish even more aromatic and fragrant.