YES! Fennel is keto-friendly! Read on to find out more about the nutritional and health benefits of fennel, and, more importantly, how you can use it in your keto cooking!
Fennel is across between a white onion and a celery stalk, in appearance. Although, fennel is actually a member of the carrot family; nobody can deny that they are odd-looking.
Fennel is native to the Mediterranian area, although, in this day and age, it can be found in most countries.
It is described as tasting of anise (the main flavor in licorice). However, let me reassure you, as somebody who does not like licorice, fennel does not taste like anise at all, however, it does have a distinct aromatic flavor.
Fennel is not only an amazing, flavorsome, cooking ingredient, but it’s also one of the main ingredients in absinthe. Alongside absinthe, it is also the ‘fifth spice’ in Chinese five spice. It is also a popular vegetable in Asian cooking.
Check out our guide to Eating Chinese on Keto.
In order to answer the question as to whether fennel is keto friendly, we first need to look at the nutritional value and net carbs in fennel to decide whether it fits within your keto macros, keeping you within your allowance of 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% fat.
If you need to find out more about the basics of keto, check out our Keto Starters Guide.
What is the Nutritional Value of Fennel?
The nutritional value of Fennel per 100 grams is;
- Carbs: 7 grams.
- Protein: 1.2 grams.
- Fat: 0.2 grams.
- Fibre: 3 grams.
- Sugar: 0 grams.
- Calories: 31 cal
As you can see, fennel is low in calories, low in protein, and low in fat.
How many Net Carbs are there in Fennel?
Net carbs are calculated by deducting the total amount of fiber from the total number of carbs.
There are 4 grams of net carbs in Fennel; (7 grams of carbs – 3 grams of fiber = 4 grams of net carbs).
The average serving size of fennel is 87 grams, making it fewer than 3.5 grams of net carbs per serving.
Is Fennel Keto Friendly?
As long as it is tracked, fennel is keto friendly. Ideally, when you are eating a keto diet, you are looking for foods that are low in carbohydrates and high in fat to meet your macros.
Obviously, fennel is not high in fat, so it is not a keto-friendly food in that respect. On the flip side, fennel is not high in carbs, so it is not going to kick you out of ketosis.
The other big bonus of fennel is that it is a whole food and has not been processed anyway, it is full of nutrients which we will explore below.
What are the Health benefits of Fennel?
It has been used traditionally to treat stomach problems such as indigestion, nausea, heartburn, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and other digestive issues.
It also helps with weight loss because it contains an active compound called sesamin which reduces appetite and increases metabolism. Sesamin may help reduce body fat levels too!
In addition, fennel seeds have anti-inflammatory properties and they contain antioxidants like vitamin C, and E.
Keto Fennel Recipe Ideas
So, now we know that fennel is keto friendly and that it’s full of health benefits, let’s see how you can incorporate fennel into your keto cooking.
Fennel can be eaten in many different ways, it can be slice widthways like an onion, sliced like potato fries, or diced like an onion. Depending on what you want to do with your fennel depends on how you will need to slice it.
Check out our favorite keto fennel recipes.
Favorite Keto Fennel Recipes
Fennel Gratin – slice the main bulb of the fennel, place in microwave bowl, and steam in the microwave for 5 mins until it is tender. Add to an oven-proof dish top with cream and cheese of choice and oven bake for 30 minutes. The perfect alternative to a potato gratin. This can also be made by layering the fennel with celeriac.
For more potato alternatives here.
Roasted Fennel – this can make the perfect keto side. Slice your fennel around 1cm thick and season to taste (I like to keep it simple with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic). Roast in the oven and serve as a side dish.
Fennel Coleslaw – slice the fennel thinly to make the perfect keto coleslaw.
These are just a few of our favorite ways to eat fennel.
Do you have a favorite keto recipe for fennel? If so share it with the group in the comments below, so we can all give it a go!
Fennel Not for You?
If fennel is not for you, or you are just looking for some other keto friendly vegetables, check out this list;
- Asparagus: 2.5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
- Broccoli: 4 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
- Bean Sprouts: 4 grams of net carbs per 100 grams (check out our review of Bean Sprouts on Keto)
- Brussels Sprouts: 5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
- Cabbage: 4 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
- Carrots: 7 grams of net carbs per 100 grams (check out our review of Carrots on Keto)
- Cauliflower: contains 3 grams of net carbs per cup 100 grams
- Celeriac: 4 grams of net carbs per 100 grams (check out our review of Celeriac on Keto)
- Celery: contains 1.5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
- Courgette: 3.5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
- Green Beans: 5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams
Final Thought on Fennel & Keto
Although fennel does not have the high fat content that we would normally like to eat on keto, fennel will not kick you out of ketosis. Fennel can be an amazingly versatile addition to your keto cooking, enjoy!