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Spice of the month: Fennel Seed. - Friday, April 26, 2013

Fennel Seed


Health Benefits: Calms Menstrual Cramps

Fennel is one of the few plants that has it all — it’s a vegetable, herb and spice. That tang of licorice when you bite into a fennel seed comes from the volatile oil anethole, the same compound that gives anise its licorice-like flavor. Fennel seeds are teeming with anethole and dozens of other phytochemicals, including phytoestrogens, estrogen-like compounds found in plants. These can help offset menstrual cramps that affect more than 50 percent of menstruating women.

In a study reported in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, doctors treated 30 women with moderate to severe menstrual cramps, using either an extract of fennel or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) similar to ibuprofen. Both the drug and fennel effectively relieved menstrual pain. In a similar study, involving 110 women, fennel outperformed the NSAID.

Fennel has also been shown to calm colic in babies. In a study, doctors treated 125 infants with colic, dividing them into one group that received a product containing fennel seed oil and one that received a placebo. The fennel seed product eliminated colic in 65 percent of the babies given it, compared with 24 percent of the placebo group.

May also help prevent and treat:
Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, colitis (inflammatory bowel disease), dementia, glaucoma, heart disease, high blood pressure, hirsutism (unwanted hair growth in women), stroke.

How to buy fennel seed:
Fennel seeds are sold whole or ground. Whole fennel seeds are yellow and tinged with green, which indicates top quality. Ground fennel starts to lose its flavor after six months, while whole fennel seeds keep for three years, so it’s best to buy whole and grind as needed.

Most of the fennel seed sold in grocery stores is imported from Egypt. If you shop in an Indian market, you may come across Lucknow fennel seeds, which are about half the size of regular fennel seeds. They’re mostly green and have a sweeter flavor — in India, they are eaten as an after-dinner digestif.

Cooking tips:

* Dry and crush toasted fennel seeds and steep them in tea.
* Fennel seed naturally complements many foods from the Mediterranean diet, including tomatoes, olives, olive oil, basil, grilled meat and seafood.
* Throw in extra fennel seeds the next time you make a sausage ragu.
* Add fennel seeds to fruit salads and compotes.
* Add ground fennel to scrambled eggs.
* Make spiced olives by marinating 2 cups olives in ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon each of fennel seeds, dried oregano and dried thyme.



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6 tips that you should always keep in mind! - Saturday, April 13, 2013

 Simple tips that help you to get through your day.

1. Place some chopped onion in the vessel having burnt food, pour boiling water in it, keep 5 minutes and then clean.

2. Keeping a small piece of hing (asafoetida) in the same container will store chili powder for long time.

3. Use a wooden board to chop. It will not blunt the knife. Don`t use a plastic board, small plastic pieces may go with the vegetables.

4. You can use dried coriander and mint leaves in coarse powder form in vegetable curry or chutney, if fresh ones are not available. To keep them fresh for longer time, wrap them in a muslin cloth and keep in a fridge.

5. Put some boric powder in kitchen in corners and other places. Cockroaches will leave your house.

6. Immerse coconut in water for ½ an hour to remove its hust.

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH:Blueberry Banana Smoothie - Friday, April 05, 2013



• 1 1/4 cups calcium-fortified orange juice $
o 1 1/4 cups frozen mixed berries (such as Cascadian Farm Harvest Berries) $
o 1 cup sliced ripe banana $
o 1/2 cup vanilla fat-free yogurt $
o 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
o 1 tablespoon sugar $
. Combine all ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.
Sip this power breakfast which boasts more than 300 milligrams of calcium while getting ready for work or on your way there. A scoop of powdered milk boosts the calcium contributed by the yogurt and the calcium-fortified orange juice. Additional nutritional benefits come from potassium-rich banana and antioxidant-rich berries. Frozen berries ensure a thick, creamy consistency, but you can also use fresh ones. Other frozen fruits, such as peaches or mangoes, work well, too.

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