Are you going to talk about Pinocchio, Rose? The wooden puppet who became alive and whenever he lied, his nose lengthened? Was his real name, Fennel? - Oh, sorry, no time for story telling today. I just want to introduce a vegetable that is very good for our health.
The Yunnan Restaurant where we dine frequently offers ‘Finocchio Omelette’, of course the menu is in mandarin. There was where I had my first taste of finocchio. I fell in love at the first bite. You can imagine how happy I was when I saw it at the local farmer’s market. Of course, I had to buy some home.
Finocchio is the Italy word for ‘fennel’. In Indonesia, they call it ‘adas’ (pronounced : ah-dus). Adas seed, shaped like rice paddy, is often used as kitchen spice. The plant itself is eaten as vegetable. Isabel Shipard, a herbalist, wrote in her book “How Can I Use Herbs in My Daily Life” that fennel can help you lose your body weight.
Fennel is one family (Umbellifereae) with celery, carrot, parsley, and dill, but from different genus. There are two kinds of mostly consumed fennel, Sweet Fennel and Florence Fennel (Finocchio). The leaves are feathery with yellow flowers. When washing and cutting the vegetable, I can smell the pleasant fragrant. The bulb, stalk, leaves, and the seeds are all edible.
1. Enhancing milk production for nursing mothers.
2. Lower cholesterol level, prevent constipation and intestinal cancer because of the high fiber content.
3. Lower blood pressure, prevent stroke and heart attack because it is rich with potassium and folic acid.
4. A strong antioxidant and anti inflammation, because it contains flavonoid (rutin, quercitin, and kaempferol glycoside). Besides, fennel bulb is rich in Vitamin C, which is important for our immune system. Vitamin C is water soluble antioxidant and neutralizes free radicals, the reasons of body cells deterioration resulting in joint diseases like osteoarthritis.
5. Helps digestion. (Fennel contains fenchone, an essential oil that can cure cholic. It is one of Gripe Water ingredients which mothers believe can help their babies, from gas to teething.)
6. Help losing body weight. Greek word for fennel is ‘marathon’, from the word ‘maraino’, means ‘to become thinner’. Greek fighter drank fennel tea to maintain their body weight.
7. Part of fish culinary especially high fat fish like salmon. The taste combination is great and fennel can help with fat digestion.
Fennel seed powder is one of the 'five spice' ingredients, a spice used in Chinese culinary.
8. In animal studies, anethole in fennel reduces inflammation and helps prevent cancer. Researchers think that anethole prevents the activation of NF-kappaB molecule (a inflammation trigger molecule and high potential gene modifier). Besides, the study shows that the fat in fennel can protect liver from toxic chemicals.
Nutritional value of 100 g raw fennel
|Total fat||0,29 g|
|Vitamin C||12 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0,64 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)||0,22 mg|
|Folic acid||27 mcg|
Fennel can be prepared in a lot of ways, soups, baked, stir-fried, steamed, or eaten raw in salad. Don’t overcook fennel, it will ruin the taste.
1 cup fennel
1 Tsp corn starch, mix with 2 Tsp water
1 tsp soy sauce
1 Tsp fresh milk
salt, pepper to taste 3 Tsp olive oil
1. Clean and chop fennel.
2. Gently beat the eggs in a clean bowl. Add soy sauce, milk, salt and pepper.
3. Add in the chopped fennel and the cornstarch mixture.
4. Pour olive oil into a heated frying pan. Pour in the egg mixture.
5. Cook until the omelette is set.
Plant you own fennel
You can plant your own fennel, preferably in a container because it can spread very fast.
You can read more about it here.