Saturday, June 21, 2014

ALL ABOUT FENNEL

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,
faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
I Peter 4:10

Today was the June Herb Seminar at Full Moon Natives & Herbs - All About Fennel - uses for culinary, tea, aroma, health and the language of herbs. Marvette Bagwell and I teamed up to share everything! 

 

There are 3 types of fennel, but all fennel plants have an anise-like fragrance and tall, feathery leaves, which look something like a dill plant

  • FLORENCE - an annual plant commonly used as a vegetable with hollow stalk & a thick, bulb-like base that resembles celery
  • SWEET - a perennial plant with wispy green leaves & umbels of tiny yellow flowers, grown as both an herb, the leaves and a spice, the seeds & pollen
  • BRONZE - a type of sweet fennel whose leaves have an attractive bronze cast and is useful not only as an herb, but also as an ornamental in the butterfly garden

 

For more information see this earlier post on FENNEL.

 

           

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Marvette demonstrated several recipes using fennel: Crispy Cream-Braised Potatoes; Zucchini, Fennel & White Bean Pasta; Apple Fennel Rhubarb Crisp;  Tangy Apple Fennel Slaw plus tastings of White Chocolate Fennel Truffles and Lemon Fennel Iced Tea! 

Recipes are available at http://fullmoonnatives.com/recipes.htm.

 

I also brought some sugared fennel seeds and teacakes for tasting:

 

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FENNEL SEED & ORANGE TEACAKES: Combine 1 yellow cake mix, 1 1/2c vanilla yogurt, zest of 1 orange and 1tsp fennel seeds.  Spoon batter into greased mini muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 15 mins.  Ice the teacakes with a combination of 1/4c softened butter, 2 1/2c powdered sugar, 1Tbs orange juice and 1tsp orange zest.  Sprinkle with sugared fennel seeds.

SUGARED FENNEL SEEDS: Heat 2Tbs water and 1/4c sugar until sugar is completely dissolved. Add 1/2c fennel seed and mix well. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Using a slotted spoon, place fennel seed onto waxed paper in a very thin layer. Allow fennel seed to dry completely in an oven with the light on, breaking up large clumps as they are drying. When completely dry, break all large clumps with the back of a spoon until you have single fennel seeds. They should be completely dry and not sticky when they go into the storage jar.
To use: Eat like candy, use as a natural breath freshener, or sprinkle on cookies before baking.  Try them in your favorite cup of tea to add a bit of sweetness and the delicious flavor of anise.

 

FENNEL USES

Finally, my demos included several uses for fennel seed

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FENNEL MILK BATH
1/4 cup crushed fennel seeds
1/4 cup instant powdered whole milk
1/4 cup oatmeal
1/4c Epsom Salt
     
Place 1/4c into large sealable tea bags and iron shut. To use: Toss a bag into the bath water as it is running. You can also use the bag to rub your skin as you bathe.


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FENNEL SUGAR SCRUB
2Tbs brown sugar
1Tbs sugar
1Tbs oil
1Tbs crushed fennel seed

      To use: Scoop a small amount on to your hand and rub your hands and fingers gently with the scrub.  Rinse with warm water and pat dry. This leaves your hands soft, and is great after gardening!

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SPICY LEMON SALT
1/4c dried grated lemon zest or 1Tbs lemon peel powder
1Tbs fennel seeds
1 dried red pepper
1/4c coarse sea salt
1/4c fine sea salt
      Grind fennel seeds, red pepper and zest together and then add both salts and grind again.  Store in an air tight container for up to 6 months.  This combination would be perfect with meat or roasted vegetables.

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FENNEL AFTER DINNER TEA
A tea to help digest a heavy meal and gently relax for the evening. 


Equal parts:
            Fennel seed
            Lemongrass
            Ginger root
and a sprinkle of cardamom seeds

 

                                                                                          Joyce

1 comment:

dorisswift.com said...

Love all the uses!! Thanks for sharing about Fennel; not much of a baker, but I think I could pull-off the tea cakes!