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20 Flowers You Probably Never Knew Were Edible And Would Add Taste and Color to Your Festive Meal

20 Flowers You Probably Never Knew Were Edible And Would Add Taste and Color to Your Festive Meal

The culinary use of flowers dates back thousands of years to the Chinese, Greeks and Romans. Many cultures use flowers in their traditional cooking — think of squash blossoms in Italian food and rose petals in Indian food.

Today, it’s not uncommon to see flower petals used in salads, teas, as well as garnish for desserts. The possibilities are endless. Your imagination is your only limit.

With the festive season upon us, delight your guests with colourful, fresh flower accents or crystallized flowers.

Here are a selection of 20 flowers which will add flavour and color to any festive table.

1. Apple

Apple blossoms have a slightly floral taste and the petals are lovely in salads. Infuse petals in whipped cream or ice cream to go over an apple tart. Blossoms look attractive when floated in a fruit punch.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/midnightcomm/493837202/in/photolist-KD3Aw-8KwS2B-fu5mzk-6RrBso-9ehvm1-5Evuf7-5EvtZw-5zEJjc-8YS3vg-au52Xu-B4CYe-5zG96c-etV3E5-5zLKZ5-9EqnSF-LJ7bC-anqPnT-9ZfqYo-e2cqzb-5zGusH-eAbd6P-8RQYRn-6HG18w-aHiPFD-8juM32-9z96dS-qhzJ6-3hNd5-jKcf-av9rpp-6ciiUb-82CJh1-63s3c2-dgi6ys-BXiCw-au52Q3-8CWhD3-au53s3-ar44nj-5Evu8E-5fUwG4-q5dmUv-2k517D-7TEbRM-bBYLG4-mmUCe2-4bsa4j-82CJjA-oNjhWr-oNk3XR

    2. Basil

    Basil Flowers can be used as a substitute for leaves in any dish requiring basil. The flowers should be used more sparingly due to their very intense flavour. Delicious when added to salads, soups or pasta.

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      3. Chives

      Chive flowers have a mild onion flavour and are surprisingly crunchy. They are widely used tossed in salads, pasta, omelettes and scrambled eggs. Or you can add a few to white fish dishes or to cheese sauce to give that extra bite. As tempting as it may be to pop the whole flower into your mouth, refrain from doing so as the pungency in that quantity can be overwhelming. For garnish and cooking, break the flower into individual florets .

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      https://www.flickr.com/photos/bricolage108/508441268/

        4. Daisy

        Pull the flowers apart for a mass of small quill petals ideal for creating a colourful garnish on desserts or soups, in salads or with savoury dishes. Also makes useful decorations for cakes, biscuits, mousses and pâtés.

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          5. Dandelions

          Dandelions are sweetest when picked young. They have a sweet, honey-like flavor. Mature flowers are bitter. Dandelion buds are tastier than the flowers. It is best to pick these when they are very close to the ground, tightly bunched in the center, and about the size of a small gumball. Dandelion flowers are good both raw or steamed. Young leaves taste good steamed, or tossed in salads. When serving a rice dish use dandelion petals like confetti over the rice.

          https://www.flickr.com

            6. Day Lily

            Day lily petals are great in salads, hot and cold soups, cooked and served as a vegetable or chopped and added to stir-fries. Try sautéing the buds or flowers, which can then be stuffed with almost any filling.

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              7. Hibiscus

              Infuse the flowers to make a popular, mildly citrus-flavoured tea. Add strips of vibrant coloured petals to fruit salads. It is best to use the petals from the flower heads. If you use them whole, beware of the pollen.

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                8. Jasmine

                The flowers are intensely fragrant and are traditionally used for scenting tea but can also be added to shellfish dishes.

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                https://www.flickr.com

                  9. Lavender

                  There are many ways to use lavender flowers in sweet or savoury dishes. Make a delicious lavender sugar and add to biscuits, sorbets, jams or jellies. Add flowers to vegetable stock and create a tasty sauce for duck, chicken or lamb dishes.

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                    10. Lilac

                    Mix fresh fragrant flowers with a little cream cheese and serve on crackers or stir flowers into yogurt to add a hint of lemon. Also useful as a garnish for cakes, scones or sweets.

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                      11. Marigold

                      The flowers and leaves have a citrus taste, making them ideal for adding to salads, sandwiches, seafood dishes or hot desserts.

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                        12. Nasturtium

                        The fresh leaves and flowers have a peppery flavour similar to watercress. The flowers will add a spicy touch to salads and the green seeds can be chopped and used with parsley as a garnish or made into capers. Try them combined with cream cheese, butter in canapés, or in a cheese and tomato sandwich. Nasturtium flowers can also be used to garnish steaks or casseroles.

                        https://www.flickr.com

                          13. Pansy

                          Pansy flowers have a lettuce-like flavour and make a decorative addition to a green salad, garnish. a pâté or dessert. They can be crystallised and used to decorate cakes, cookies or creamy desserts.

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                          https://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/14895107338/

                            14. Rose

                            As a general rule, if a rose smells good, it will taste good. Petals have a delicate flavour which will improve cool drinks and fruit dishes, or why not try rose petal jam? Rose hips and petals can both be used in jellies. If the flowers are crystallised, they will make attractive cake decorations. It is best to remove the white heel from the base of the petals before eating.

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                              15. Rosemary

                              Rosemary flowers and leaves can be used with poultry or pork – try adding a few flowers to biscuit dough to add flavour.

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                                16. Squash

                                All squash flowers have a slightly sweet nectar taste. These can be stuffed with cheeses and other fillings, battered and deep fried, or sautéed and added to pasta. Thinly sliced blossoms can be added to soups, omelettes, scrambled eggs or used to add colour to salads.

                                https://www.flickr.com

                                  17. Sunflower

                                  The buds, petals and seeds are all edible. Add the petals to a green salad for a colour contrast and a mild nutty taste. The green buds can be blanched, then tossed in garlic butter. They are similar in flavour to a Jerusalem artichoke. The kernels inside the seeds can be eaten raw or toasted as a snack.

                                  https://www.flickr.com

                                    18. Tulip

                                    Tulip petals have a sweet, pea-like flavour and a tender crisp texture. Try stuffing whole flowers with a shrimp or chicken salad. Add strips of petals to salads or sandwiches for that added touch of colour. Carefully remove pollen and stigmas from the base of the flower before stuffing. Some people have had strong allergic reactions to tulips.

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                                    https://www.flickr.com

                                      19. Viola

                                      Viola flowers have a lettuce-like flavour and make a decorative addition to a green salad, garnish, pâté or dessert. They can be crystallised and used on cakes, cookies or creamy desserts.

                                      https://www.flickr.com/photos/rosipaw/6035045515/in/photolist-acibLT-9Ticz3-api4G7-awY3YC-bBbKLm-48N6KY-noheq9-8kHnW7-aGT3Zc-5VrCPA-9Z7tBp-a3fkBT-9TicFS-bxR3DV-anKkwp-8FznvT-bAFxTW-7r4wNs-anKkm2-G1bZR-anKkeK-dYsGyj-8q6knQ-anKksv-7SPB6c-63whuy-63s3hk-dLnndL-bPrey4-7r51aE-avinpW-8CBYC6-bsibNR-7MfB4Q-fAHg3x-a7VzSH-7Ns2HC-7xMEd5-59XHU8-ajMVBm-hXrUYy-oXpcH-4zm91R-9JDXZP-54aabk-6ihHjn-dFUAkN-432vR-i2mYmb-a63JbM

                                        20. Yucca Petals

                                        The white Yucca flower is crunchy with a mildly sweet taste (a hint of artichoke). In the spring, they can be used in salads and as a garnish.

                                        https://www.flickr.com

                                          Wondering where you can buy flowers in the heart of winter? You can order on-line from places like Gourmet Sweet Botanicals, Marx Foods,  and Melissa’s.

                                          Featured photo credit: Vegetables with salad dish with spring edible flowers via shutterstock.com

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                                          Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                                          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                          Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                                          your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                                            Why You Need a Vision

                                            Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                                            How to Create Your Life Vision

                                            Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                                            What Do You Want?

                                            The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                                            It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                                            Some tips to guide you:

                                            • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                                            • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                                            • Give yourself permission to dream.
                                            • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                                            • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                                            Some questions to start your exploration:

                                            • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                                            • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                                            • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                                            • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                                            • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                                            • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                                            • What qualities would you like to develop?
                                            • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                                            • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                                            • What would you most like to accomplish?
                                            • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                                            It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                                            What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                                            Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                                            A few prompts to get you started:

                                            • What will you have accomplished already?
                                            • How will you feel about yourself?
                                            • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                                            • What does your ideal day look like?
                                            • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                                            • What would you be doing?
                                            • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                                            • How are you dressed?
                                            • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                                            • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                                            • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                                            It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                                            Plan Backwards

                                            It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                                            • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                                            • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                                            • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                                            • What important actions would you have had to take?
                                            • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                                            • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                                            • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                                            • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                                            • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                                            Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                                            It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                                            Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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