Veggie Of The Month: Fennel

Sunrise Senior Living  |  August 26, 2013

You have probably eaten fennel at some point in your life, even if you didn't know it. 

Though it's technically a vegetable, fennel is often used as a spice, so you might have tasted it in a dish without even being aware that it was giving your food flavor. Whether you use it subtly or as a main part of a salad or entree, fennel is good for you, which is why we're featuring it as one of our veggies of the month.

According to the World's Healthiest Foods, fennel is chock full of nutrients that promote healthy senior living. It's high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that can boost the immune system and prevent bone issues like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. And that's not all - the fiber in the bulb of the fennel can help lower cholesterol levels and possibly prevent colon cancer as well. The vegetable is also an excellent source of the mineral potassium, which has benefits for the heart.

So how do you go about incorporating fennel into your diet? There are many recipes that show you how to roast the bulb of the fennel or include it in a healthy salad. But we're fond of the recipe below, adapted from Martha Stewart. It's particularly well-suited for this time of year, as we begin to look forward to the tasty treats of autumn.

Baked Chicken With Fennel And Apples

Ingredients

8 pieces of chicken, bone-in
2 fennel bulbs, fronds removed, bulbs cut into small wedges
4 shallots cut in half
1/2 cup of fresh sage leaves
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 red apples, cored and quartered

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. On two baking sheets, place the raw chicken, fennel, shallots and sage, arranging the vegetables around the chicken pieces evenly. Whisk together the oil and vinegar in a small bowl, then pour it over the chicken and veggies. Toss all of this to coat it, then season with salt and pepper. Roast the sheets for 35 minutes on the top and lower racks, switching the baking sheets halfway through. When the timer goes off, add the apples to the sheets and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken and fennel have browned and turned crispy.