Why You’ll Love It
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Organic fennel seeds
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Amount Per Serving
- Certified Organic
- Certified Kosher
- Ethically Sourced
- Sustainably farmed
- Cholesterol Free
- Dye and Color Additive Free
- Low Fat
- Low Sodium
- No Added Sugar or Sweeteners
- No Artificial Ingredients
- No Trans Fats
- Pesticide Free
- Preservative Free
- Salt Free
- Soy Free
Why You’ll Love Organic Fennel Seeds
The slightly sweet, licorice-flavored seeds of the beautiful fennel plant can add an earthy sweetness to dishes of all types. Particularly common in traditional cooking of the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Scandinavia, it works especially well with seafood and pork.
The hardy, perennial herb that produces these seeds is a tall, multi-stalked plant with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. Fennel is native to the Mediterranean and can be found growing wild in mild climate regions near the seashore or along riverbanks. The crisp root-stock—or bulb—of the fennel plant is also eaten as a root vegetable. Its subtle licorice flavor pairs well with potatoes, carrots, and parsnips, while the stalks and leaves of the plant are sometimes used in salads.
But the seeds are on a whole other level, containing bright flavor and adding a specially unique taste to a wide range of foods. Green seeds are best for cooking, and Thrive Market's version hits that perfect sweet spot. Even better, our fennel seeds are also USDA Certified Organic, OU Kosher Certified, and non-GMO.
Fennel in history
Fennel has been cultivated since ancient times: historians claim that the Greeks named it, and the Romans used it as both food and medicine. Pliny the Elder, a Roman naval commander and author of Naturalis Historia, listed 22 ailments that he believed fennel could help with, from cough to fever to inflammation.
In Europe during the Middle Ages, fennel was believed to ward off witchcraft and evil spirits and was hung over doorways on Midsummer's Eve. It was frequently included in Anglo-Saxon cooking prior to the Norman conquest, particularly as a condiment to accompany salt cod during Lent. And in Renaissance Europe, fennel was used in drinks and broths to help longevity and give strength.
Fennel for health
Like many herbs, fennel is a power-packed food: in 100 grams of fennel seed you can find 345 calories and more than 19 percent of your daily value of protein, dietary fiber, and B vitamins, plus more than 100 percent of your daily calcium, iron, magnesium, and manganese.
Throughout Western history, one popular use for fennel is to mix the oil distilled from its seeds with water, sodium bicarbonate, and syrup to make "gripe water,” which is used to soothe gassiness. The seeds and their oil are carminative—meaning they can help relieve gas in the body. Fennel tea is also a popular home remedy to alleviate gastrointestinal issues, and can easily be made by pouring boiling water atop a teaspoonful of slightly crushed fennel seeds.
Due to their distinct aroma, fennels seeds are often used for flavoring or scenting products. Additionally, the oil that is distilled from the seeds has a robust, sweet flavor and is frequently used in cordials and liqueurs, as well as in hygiene products like scented soaps and natural toothpastes.
Fennel around the world
Asia & The Middle East
Fennel is particularly widely used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine—especially in India—where it is called saunf in Hindi—and in Pakistan, where it’s particularly central to the cooking of the Kashmiri Pandit and Gujarati communities. Around these regions people also eat roasted fennel seeds after meals as a breath-freshening digestive and candied as a sweet.
Fennel is an important element in some Italian cuisine, especially as the central flavoring in Italian sausages. In Scandinavia and Central Europe, fennel seeds are an often an ingredient in baked goods, notably rye breads and pastries.
Cooking with fennel
There are a ton of uses for fennel in the home kitchen. For one, fennel seeds can be used whole or ground to impart a wonderful snap of flavor to a dish. Freshly ground fennel is best: Keep whole seeds and crush them when needed instead of stocking pre-ground fennel in your spice cabinet. When using the seeds whole, crack them a bit with the heel of a chef's knife or the bottom of a frying pan to release their oils. Toasting the seeds or heating them in a dry pan can also enhance their flavor and aroma.
Here are a few good ideas for using fennel seed in your cooking:
- Put it in rubs for meat.
- Use it in fish soup and fish stock.
- Add it to cucumber salad or to salad dressing.
- Mix it with soft cheese as a spread.
- Incorporate it in bread or biscuit recipes.
- Stir it into stews, casseroles, and pasta sauces.
- Include it in pickling brine.
- Add it to couscous or bulgur wheat dishes.
- Include it in a spice blend.
- Pour boiling water over it to make a digestive tea.
Need more inspiration? Try these tasty recipes that feature fennel seeds:
1) Roast chicken with orange, fennel, and sumac uses crushed fennel seed as well as two bulbs of fresh fennel.
2) Fennel is a great, savory ingredient in sausage, and that’s certainly true of this Paleo breakfast sausage.
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