Our dish Trout En Papillote features fennel this week. We hope you enjoy!

We’ll start off with some fun fast facts about fennel:
-Indigenous to the Mediterranean (but popularized in international cuisine)
-A perennial herb the carrot family
-It’s considered a weed in many parts of the United States and Australia

Given that it belongs in the same family, is fennel as good for you as carrots? Doctors say fennel’s fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and phytonutrient content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. Fennel contains significant amounts of fiber. As fiber helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, it decreases the risk of heart disease. The iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K content present in fennel all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength.

If you’re trying to lose weight or reach a better BMI at the gym, you may enjoy some of fennels other benefits. Fennel is a source of vitamin B-6, which plays a vital role in energy metabolism by breaking down carbohydrates and proteins into glucose and amino acids. These smaller compounds are more easily utilized for energy within the body. Compounds within fennel increase satiety and reduce appetite, making an individual feel fuller for longer and so lowering overall calorie intake.

Fresh fennel can be kept in the fridge crisper (or your box!) for about 5 days before beginning to lose it’s sweet, crunchy flavor. The seeds can be saved for 6 months.

To prepare fennel, cut the stalks off the bulb at the base where they sprout and then slice the bulb vertically. The fennel leaves, stalks, and bulb can be prepared in a variety of ways:
Use the stalks as a soup base or stock
Sauté the leaves and stalks with onions for a quick and easy side
Mix sliced fennel with a variety of your favorite fresh vegetables for a light, crisp salad
Serve roasted fennel bulbs as an entrée

You’ll be eating it steamed with trout and carrots this week, what a treat!

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