Fennel seed is a great addition to any vegan kitchen. It’s economical and can be used in a variety of different ways. It is used in many kitchens worldwide including a few such as India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East where fennel seed is a main component.
A few uses are:
- Add it to basmati rice
- Add it to creamy sauces
- Toss onto salads
- Use it to make a tea
- Use it to freshen breath
Fennel seed has almost a liquorice/anise type flavor, but a very delicate one. Often it is confused with anise, but they are 2 different plants that belong to the same family. They are also in the same plant family as dill.
Fennel seed also has healing properties. It is used frequently in Chinese and Indian medicines.
Fennel is known in general for it’s digestive properties. Adding a couple teaspoons of fennel seed to boiling water is a great way to relax the stomach after a meal. It will also help with heartburn and upset stomach.
Among benefits of better digestion are other benefits such as:
- Antioxidant properties: Fennel seeds are rich in flavanoids. This group of antioxidants also help to combat stress related to the circulatory system and neurological disorders.
- Cancer prevention: The same seeds rich in antioxidants may also reduce the risk of cancer caused by free radicals that damage DNA.
- Fiber: the seeds contain fiber. You would have to eat a bit to get your daily intake (about 100 grams is about 150% of the daily intake you need) however, the fiber helps everything to keep moving along exactly how it should.
- Red blood cells: Fennel seeds contain the trace mineral copper, which aids in the production of red blood cells. 100 grams contain about 1067 milligrams of copper.
- High blood pressure: fennel seeds help to keep the blood pressure down because they contain potassium. Potassium also helps to control the heartbeat. 100 grams contain 1694 milligrams of potassium.
- Diuretic: Drinking a hot fennel tea will help to reduce bloating and gas, acting as a diuretic. Just put one tablespoon of fennel seeds into boiling water and let it infuse about 10 minutes.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Fennel seeds may help with arthritis and sufferers of Chron’s disease.
- Increase milk production: Nursing mothers can drink fennel seed tea three times a day to increase their milk production.