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Fennel and Green Apple salad…crunchy, cleansing and fabulously fresh!

Aniseed haters…look away now, this is not the page for you! For those of you who don’t mind the aniseedy taste that fresh Fennel provides, please read on!

This is one of Priya’s favourite quick salads to make as it tastes incredibly fresh and clean. It is so refreshing that it tastes like biting into a clean, zingy snowball, whilst standing on the peak of a snow-capped mountain wearing your best bikini/swim wear and then gargling cold, minty mouthwash… kind of. You know what we mean. It’s good. It is also raw, alkaline, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, primal and low GI… whoop whoop!

Fennel has some serious nutritional significance but, food chemistry aside, it is also a key ingredient for those of us who have to struggle a bit when doing up the top button of our jeans. (Does this scenario sound familiar?… You pull your jeans on wiggle a bit, maybe even lie on your bed, summon all your strength and then yank the jeans up as hard as you can, quickly breathe in and fasten that button up before you exhale!?)

Fennel is great for battling the bulge because it is both seriously low on calories and high in fibre (so it is nice and filling) but it is also a secret weapon when fighting “The Bloat” especially if the bloat is caused by digestive issues or water retention. As with many of our dishes, this salad can be made without having to follow rigid measurements — it can be thrown together in whatever quantities you like. It would be really useful to have a mandolin slicer to be able to make this in super fast time, but a good knife and a steady hand will also be absolutely fine!

What you need (to serve 2-4 people depending on how you’re using it)

  • A large, washed, fresh Fennel bulb
  • A washed, Green Apple/strong> (something sharp like a Granny Smith)
  • The juice and zest from an unwaxed Lemon  (to taste)
  • Half a handful of fresh, washed Mint

How to make it:

Cut the fennel bulb in half (lengthways or horizontal is fine) and then begin finely slicing it with the mandolin or knife (watch your fingers please… this salad should be suitable for vegetarians/vegans… so no blood thank you very much!) If you’re using a mandolin don’t set it to slice paper thin because you want this salad to have a good crunch to it. Don’t bother peeling your apple (much of the key nutrition is directly under the skin so why on earth would you peel it off and throw it away??) Cut it into manageable wedges and then slice to the same thickness as the fennel. Mix the fennel and apple slices in a large bowl and then stir in the lemon juice and zest to your personal taste. Finely chop up the mint leaves and then scatter them all over the salad with a chef-like flourish (please note, once you are really confident with your flourish, you should absolutely start doing it in front of people so that they can be dazzled by your culinary capabilities!) Up to you if you want to add a little salt to season this up (but, if you do, please use it sparingly and try to use a good quality one like the Himalayan Pink variety.) Likewise for the extra virgin olive oil (be careful with it if you are really calorie watching!) This is a fast and healthy recipe and once you have made it a couple of times, you will know exactly how you want to balance the flavours to make it absolutely perfect for you. This is delicious on its own but it is also a great accompaniment to light fish, seafood and chicken recipes. Have this a couple of times a week as part of a balanced, healthy diet and then soon enough you will enjoy not having to go through the “jean-button-battle” every single time!!! Phew!

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