Seeds Similar to Fennel Seeds
There exist a number of seeds that can be a good substitute to fennel seeds. While fennel seeds are known for their medicinal and culinary benefits, the seeds on this list are also equally beneficial in treating many illnesses and have multiple culinary usesa.
- Anise Seed
Having a similar licorice flavor, anise seeds are the closest substitute. Compared to fennel seeds, these seeds are smaller and their flavor as well as their aroma is stronger. It is important to note that anise seeds have widely been used to cure stomachache and as a cold remedy. Aside from putting these seeds in hot water to create a healthy tea, they can also be used to make oil to massage the areas that ill the body. These seeds are full of important nutritional factors, such as calcium, iron, copper, potassium, zinc and more, as well as vitamins and anti-oxidants.
- Coriander Seed
Unlike the rest of these substitutes, coriander seeds have a very different flavor from fennel seeds. Like cumin, coriander seeds have amazing effects on health, as they contain anti-oxidants and prevent diseases. They can be used in stews, sausages, sweet pastries and especially when cooking Middle-Eastern, Indian and Chinese foods.
- Caraway Seed
This seed is a radically different flavor, but they are along the same category as cumin. Caraway seeds are easy to mix in with all sorts of foods; from coleslaw to potato salad or pork roast. It has a strong flavor, but not as specific as anise or fennel seeds, which allows to mix it up. These aromatic seeds can be used to make a distinct bread, soup, and tea. Caraway seeds are a key ingredient in Indian, German, Dutch, Scandinavian and Russian foods. Like the other seeds in this list, caraway seeds have been known to prevent bloating and gas. However, thanks to its antihistaminic compounds, it aids congestions and colds. These seeds are great supplements for fennel seeds, but they are also key ingredients for many delicious recipes.
- Mahlab seed
This seed is known for its sweet and sour taste with the subtle cherry flavor. It’s a staple in Mediterranean cuisine, and can be used from breads to cookies because of its pleasant almond aftertaste. It’s commonly used in place of fennel when supplies run low, but it may not be the best choice to season meat. The mahlab seeds are commonly cooked in order to eliminate a bitter aftertaste. Some spices lose all flavor when they’re subjected to heat, but the mahlab seed releases a rich and fruity flavor that works well with a range of sweet dishes.
5. Cumin Seed
Unlike anise, cumin seeds are different in flavor from fennel seeds, but cumin is equally beneficial and delicious. It can replace fennel seeds for cumin ones and be expected to have better digestion, improve immunity, treat insomnia, respiratory disorders, anemia and even aid in cancer treatment. Cumin seeds are part of the parsley family and have good amounts of iron, vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, minerals and fatty acids. They are considered—along with turmeric—to be the best ingredients in modern diets due to their range of health benefits and flavor. Using cumin seeds is easy, as it mixes well with seasonings, sauces, soups and even as stand-alone ingredients.
- Licorice Root
This root has a very similar flavor to fennel seed and anise, but its flavor is much stronger. For this reason, it must be used in controllable, lesser amounts. This sweet root is a native of the Mediterranean and has medicinal properties too, such as relieving stomach ulcers, cure sore throat, cough and colds, acid reflux, and support the immune system. Unlike the other items in this list, licorice root is extremely sweet due to its high content of glycyrrhizin: a compound fifty times sweeter than sugar. This is why eating too much licorice can cause headaches, fatigue and high blood pressure in rare cases.
- Dill Seed
These seeds are very similar to caraway in taste. Despite what one might expect, this seed is actually the flat oval and brown part of the flower from the herb. It is still related to the carrot, cumin, coriander and parsley family, which is why it can sometimes be used as a replacement for these. The most common use of dill seed is to make dill oil, also known as eugenol, which can have therapeutic uses as an anti-septic and anesthetic. The oil can aid breast-feeding mothers and relieve neurological symptoms like headaches. This seed also contains more calcium than milk, as well as manganese, iron and magnesium. Unlike the other items in this list, dill seed goes better with acidic foods, such as recipes using cucumber, beets, and even fish. It can also go well in casseroles, stews, rice, and especially in making pickles.