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Learn to Love: Fennel

You either love it or hate it. I am talking about the black licorice taste of fennel. Me? I love it and you should learn to love it too. This veggie, related to carrots, dill and coriander, is full of phytonutrients and antioxidants. Fennel's antioxidant make up is unique and contains nutrients that have been shown to reduce inflammation and to help prevent the occurrence of cancer in animal studies. It is also high in vitamin C, folate and fiber. Used in Mediterranean and Indian cooking, fennel is considered a digestive aid.

The entire plant, from the white bulb to the feathery green fronds, is edible. Chop up the fronds and toss them into a salad. The bulb is a great salad addition as well, but is also tasty when braised, sautéed, or roasted. Fennel seeds can be used as a rub for pork or chicken.

Fennel is in peak season right now, making it extra delicious, cheaper and more readily available. Bulbs can be kept for up to two weeks in the fridge. Try this beet and fennel salad tonight if you're curious to taste fennel but don't know what to do with it.

Do you love fennel or hate it? Share your fennel feelings in the comment section below.

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