Fennel is an integral part of many dishes in German cuisine and is often used in soups or stews or drunk as a tea. Very few people consume Foeniculum vulgare raw, precisely because the other types of preparation are much better known. However, gardeners in particular are wondering whether the tubers with parts such as the stalk can be eaten raw. You can find out here.
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Can you eat fennel raw?
The question of whether Foeniculum vulgare can be eaten raw has already been answered with a clear yes by the world-famous Benedictine nun Hildegard von Bingen. The reason for this are the ingredients of the plant, because fennel contains numerous that are healthy for humans and can be effectively incorporated into the diet. An overview of these:
- essential oils, including ingredients like myrcene, anethole and fenchone
- Fenchon in particular is important for the classic fennel taste
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
- vegetable starch
- Folic acid
- Trace elements
- Minerals, especially calcium, potassium and magnesium
Another advantage of raw fennel is that it preserves the nutrients and vitamins, as these are not destroyed by heating. In addition, the parts of the plant are very low in calories and can be used as a healthy snack or ingredient in a salad without endangering your figure even after consuming large quantities of fennel. Compared to many other types of vegetables, especially tuber or onion vegetables, the taste of the raw umbelliferae is not too strong and for this reason even children enjoy it. Before consuming raw fennel, however, the following steps are important in order to make it significantly more enjoyable:
- wash extremely thoroughly
- Sand and earth tend to be deposited between the layers
- Cut out pressure points
- these often rot, as fennel is a delicate vegetable
- alternatively, simply snap off layers with pressure points completely
- alternatively cut off the roots
If you can look forward to high yields, you should store them carefully. The fewer bruises the tubers have, the more fennel you have available.
You can eat raw fennel, but what about the stalk that is removed in every recipe and even by many trained chefs before preparation? Is this poisonous? The answer is no. All parts of the fennel can be eaten without any problems, including:
The roots are always removed because sand and earth can stick to them and nobody wants something grinded between their teeth while eating. But why is the stalk removed if it is not poisonous? The reason for this is the harshness. The following parts of the tuber vegetables are very woody and difficult to chew:
Consumption is not a problem at all, as there are also many healthy ingredients in these parts, as already described above. Likewise, the taste changes only slightly and, especially in the stalk, the aroma is extremely intense, just a little bitter. For this reason, it is a good idea to cook these parts of the tuber as this makes them softer and more palatable. They do not lose their aroma when they are cooked, they are easier to chew and they lose some of their bitter substances. However, there is nothing to prevent the stalk from being eaten raw in the following way:
- Remove the stalk from the tuber
- cut in half
- Cut into thin strips or slices
- alternatively, dice finely
The thinner the individual pieces, the easier it is to chew them. The woody and slightly bitter taste is also milder and can be used excellently in salads or other raw food dishes. Even so, you may not find the aroma as pleasant as the rest of the tuber. This variant is particularly suitable for raw food lovers, as you can really use all parts of the fennel. If you have a large harvest of fennel, you can even pickle the stalk and do not have to consume the entire amount immediately.
Fennel can be eaten raw without hesitation and, due to its numerous ingredients, is a valuable tuber vegetable that you should definitely include in your diet. Köppernickel from our own cultivation is particularly recommended because you can use natural pesticides and thus know exactly what is on your table.