Give this low-sodium orange-pickled fennel recipe a try if you love pickles or just want to add more heart-healthy fennel in your diet.
This crisp, acidic and slightly sweet orange-pickled fennel recipe is perfect for pickle lovers, and just may surprise you if it’s not typically part of your diet. You can enjoy pickled fennel straight out of the jar, sprinkle it on a salad or serve it with fish. Not only is it low in sodium, which is helpful for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), fennel is also known for its heart-healthy benefits.
To make this recipe you will need a sharp knife, one quart-sized Mason jar or three pint-sized Mason jars, a micro-plane grater or zester and a small pot.
Nutrition information (per serving)*: Total Fat (0.4g); Carbohydrates (12g); Sodium (30mg); Sugar (7g); Fiber (2g); Cholesterol (0mg); Protein (1g)
2 bulbs of fennel
3 cloves of garlic
2 dried chili peppers
Zest and juice from 1 large orange
2 cups white wine or champagne vinegar
1/2 a cup of sugar
1 tsp. of black peppercorn
1-quart sized Mason jar (or 3 pint-sized Mason jars)
1. Slice fennel
Take two bulbs of fennel, cut off stems and slice in to crescent shaped spears.
2. Put fennel, garlic and peppers in jar
Stuff fennel slices, some of the soft fennel fronds from the stem (packs extra flavor), three cloves of garlic and two dried chili peppers into one quart-sized Mason jar or divide among three jars.
3. Add orange
Zest one orange and place in the Mason jar with fennel.
4. Make the pickling liquid
Heat 2 cups of white wine vinegar, 1/2 a cup of sugar, juice from one orange and a teaspoon of black peppercorns in a pot. Remove from heat once it begins boiling.
5. Add pickling liquid to the Mason jar
Carefully (it’s hot!) fill the Mason jar with heated pickling liquid (step 4). The heat tends to reduce the size of the fennel almost immediately, so if you have leftover slices, stuff more into the jar.
6. Cool and refrigerate
Once lid is closed, shake it up, allow to cool and stick it in the fridge. In two days, it will be ready for munching.
Ingredient Tips & Benefits
If you want to make smaller portions of pickles just use pint-sized Mason jars instead, but make sure to divide ingredients evenly between the jars. For added punch, slice fresh ginger and put in jar as well.
It’s important for people with RA to consider a low-sodium diet because they may feel the effects of salt more. Corticosteroids, commonly used to treat RA, cause the body to hold more sodium.
Fennel is a great source of fiber, which is helpful for digestion and also for eliminating cholesterol from the body. In addition, it provides potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure.
*Disclaimer: All nutritional information provided is approximate and based on USDA measurements. Actual amounts may vary based on exact ingredients used, how they are prepared and serving size.
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