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posted May 22, 2012, 9:16 AM by Amanda Bontempo

With its slightly sweet, mild licorice taste, fennel is a vegetable that be substituted instead of celery. When it is grilled or roasted, it takes on a sweet caramel-like flavor. Top with fronds for some pop of green. 

Although I haven't found hard sciencey studies to support it, fennel has been used traditionally to relieve abdominal pain, gas, cramping and has been said to help relax the digestive tract to reduce appetite.  Cut in thin slices and incorporate it raw in salads or add to a sautee for a sweet aroma that complements savory dishes. 

Beauty bonus: Fennel extract can be found in many oils that is said to temporarily diminsh cellulite.