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Fennel

Fennel is an often ignored vegetable, but for those who love aniseed-y flavours like licorice, or more peppery veg like celery or cucumber, it’s a winner! It’s flavour is strongest when raw, and sweetens considerably when cooked, so if a child isn’t a fan of the raw version, see how they feel about slices that have been roasted with the meat for a roast dinner, or slow-cooked or braised in butter or oil until golden, softened and much sweeter! A great, affordable British veg that deserves a bit more love.
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Fennel tastes like liquorice – if your family are fans of an aniseed-y flavour, this is the veg for them! Fennel is strongest as a flavour when raw, so if you are not such a fan, try it roasted, braised, or slow-cooked – cooking mellows the flavour and brings out a natural sweetness resulting in a completely different taste. While raw fennel, thinly sliced, works beautifully in a salad or simply serve with orange slices or a dip, cooked fennel with a little lemon juice and oil makes a lovely side, a perfect partner to any chicken, pork or fish dish, or a great addition to soups, stews and casseroles.

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Nutrition

You can get your potassium from fennel. This supports proper muscle function. 

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Shopping Guide

Look out for a fresh appearance for the greens to make the most out of your fennel.

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Storage

To store fennel, just wrap in paper towels, place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 10 days.

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Serving Suggestions

It is strongest as a flavour when raw, so if you are not such a fan, try it roasted, braised, or slow-cooked – cooking mellows the flavour and brings out a natural sweetness resulting in a completely different taste.

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Seasonality

Buying veg in season is not only great for the planet, it can be good for your wallet, too! Seasonal veg are often cheaper and frequently taste better, so can be a better time to try with a child as the often sweeter, riper taste is more enjoyable.

Coming In:

June

At Its Best:

July - December

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Engage

Here are some of our favourite ways to engage kids with fennel:

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Your Food

Find your go-to meals in our family favourites section and see what veggies work best with them.

We’ve gathered together 15 of the nation’s favourite meals and given you step-by-step ways to make small improvements, helping you to make healthier dinners the easy way, and even showing you which veg work best with which recipes.
 
Find out how to add more veg to your suppers here.
 

Recipes

Mac ‘N’ Cheese

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Complexity: 1
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Family Favourites

Sausage and Mash

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Complexity: 1
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Family Favourites

Stir Fry

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Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Spaghetti Bolognese

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
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Family Favourites

More Recipes
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If You Like Fennel…Try

Does your child enjoy fennel? That’s great! Fennel is usually crunchy, peppery and aniseed-y, and a little sweet, so why not try a similar texture and/or taste…

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Serving

The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it!

The first thing to do is remove the pressure. If the veg doesn’t get eaten, it’s not the end of the world. There will be other days, other dinners, other chances. Fun is key here – try not to worry about mess, perfect table manners, or playing with food. Instead, focus on making the process of getting the food to the plates, readying the table, and the actual eating relaxed.

The best principles for success here are the Three Rs (role modelling, rewarding, re-offering) which you can read about here.

But there is one more way you can serve for success, and that is giving your child a role. You don’t have to do this every time, just encourage them in their strengths through it when you can.

Here are some of our favourite ideas:

Design a menu

Come up with a silly name or story for a dish

Help with making a meal plan and choosing veg for dinners or snacks

Help to serve up the meal on dishes, lay the table or create a centrepiece to be involved in the physical ‘serving up’ process

The Wonderful World of Veg

Check out our vegepedia. When to buy in-season. How to store them to keep for longer. How to engage children with each veg, and simple ideas of how to prepare and cook them for maximum taste and minimum waste. Select a veg…

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