Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I'm about to wrap up day three of my newly-inaugurated second-ever juice fast, and I'm feeling pretty good.  Today's special is another juice I really enjoyed last time around: Orange-Carrot-Fennel Juice.

If you don't know what fennel is, well, you're clearly not Italian.  I'm sure you've seen it in the produce aisle, over near the cabbages and wondered "Just what the hell is that thing?"

Fennel is "a celery-like plant with a large white bulb and feathery leaves which resemble dill."  Yes, well, thank you, we can see that now, can't we?

Growing up, fennel was always served after those big Italian dinners at my grandmother's house.  The bulbs were cut up into chunks and chilled in a cup of ice water in the fridge.  I think this made the fennel super crispy.  I don't recall any of the kids eating it, or if we did, I certainly don't remember liking it.  It was definitely a grown-up or "old-Italian-grandfather" sort of thing.  The claim, from my dad, grandfather and all the other "old-country" types at the table, was that it was good for digestion.  It came out after the meal and was often accompanied by Creme de Menthe, a mint-flavored liqueur and/or Anisette, an anise-flavored liquer, both of which were also allegedly taken "for the digestion."  After all that sausage, we needed it!  (A picture of my grandfather sitting at that table would go perfectly right here, wouldn't it?)

Anyway, it turns out they were right (at least in the case of the fennel).  According to The Juicing Bible, fennel has both anti-oxidant and digestive properties in addition to being a good source of vitamin A.  It also appears to be anti-inflammatory and is chock full of phytonutrients like flavinoids.  It has a sweet anise flavor, similar to licorice.  It contrasts nicely in this juice with the sweetness of the orange.  At our local Food Lion, it's maybe $2 a head (or a "bulb"), and considering you use only about one-quarter of it in the juice, it's a pretty good deal.  When juicing it, use the whole thing, bulb, stems and leaves.


Orange-Carrot-Fennel Juice

1 lemon
4 oranges
3 carrots
1/4 bulb fennel

I just cut up a batch of ingredients myself and tossed them in the fridge to have ready for the morning.  I can't wait!

Sweet dreams everyone!

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