There are many spices and herbs in the world used for a myriad of meals and purposes. One of the spices that is becoming increasingly popular, especially in the foodie community, is fennel pollen. With numerous health benefits and virtually endless culinary uses, it is quickly becoming a staple in many Americans' kitchens. Read on for some background information on this great ingredient!

What is fennel?
It is a flavorful spice that has many different uses and benefits. It can be used as an ingredient in many dishes, and throughout history it has also been taken for medicinal purposes.

What are the benefits of fennel?
There are numerous benefits to this flavorful ingredient. Herbs contain anti-oxidants, essential oils, vitamins, phyto-sterols and many other plant derived nutrient substances, which also help equip our body to fight against germs, toxins and to boost immunity level. In addition, they have anti-spasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, analgesic, aphrodisiac, deodorant, digestive, antiseptic, lipolytic, stimulant and stomachic actions. The vitamin C in fennel bulbs in particular help boost the immune system, and provides fiber which reduces cholesterol levels.

How can I use it?
Fennel tea is a popular drink in many parts of the world. Made from bruised fennel seeds, in ancient times it was used as a carminative. It can also reduce bloating from digestive disorders. Fennel pollen is incredibly versatile, and can be used on meats, fish, and salads. In Italy, it is often used in breads and pesto as a flavoring as well. It has gained popularity specifically for the reason that it can be used endlessly, with different results in each dish. Use it to add a twist to a more traditional dish, or use it to create something totally new! It's very easy to work it into any recipe, and it adds a great surprise flavor.

Have you ever tried fennel, tea, or pollen? What's your favorite way to work it into your diet?

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