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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.

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            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.

            https://www.flickr.com

              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.

                            https://www.flickr.com

                              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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                                          5 Ways To Avoid A Disappointing Holiday Season 20 Flowers You Probably Never Knew Were Edible And Would Add Taste and Color to Your Festive Meal 15 Life Changing Quotes from T. Harv Eker: “The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” When Unexpected Delays Happen, Take Advantage of Them When I Learn To Embrace Criticism, These 10 Amazing Things Happened

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                                          Last Updated on October 15, 2018

                                          Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

                                          Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

                                          “Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. When tiredness is persistent, however — when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get— it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

                                          While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here’re some of the most common causes of fatigue:

                                          1. Dehydration

                                          If you want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions.

                                          If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energising oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

                                          You cannot cure this crash with caffeine – the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

                                          2. Lack Of Exercise

                                          A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

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                                          Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of our everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

                                          3. A Poor Diet

                                          The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats. The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

                                          An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by pizza or cheese.

                                          Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

                                          4. Skipping Breakfast

                                          Physician Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan advises that eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

                                          Ingesting food signals to your brain that there is enough food available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

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                                          Some great ideas for a healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

                                          Or if meal-prepping isn’t your think, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit: 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

                                          5. Poor Quality Of Sleep

                                          We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed. But did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is.

                                          TO feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

                                          Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time. And before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to prepare for a restful night.

                                          Read more about how to develop a routine that will get you better sleep: Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning

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                                          6. Sleep Apnea (A Person’s Airways Get Blocked off While They Are Asleep)

                                          Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while they are asleep. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

                                          Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing as well as the use of a special breathing machine to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

                                          If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

                                          7. Depression

                                          Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating.

                                          Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling and lifestyle changes like stress management to help manage this condition. You can take a look at these 15 Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness.

                                          Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

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                                          8. Hypothyroidism

                                          If a person has hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these important hormones— and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain and feeling cold all the time.

                                          Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills like Synthroid. Check here for signs of having a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

                                          9. Anemia

                                          People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

                                          However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements or B-12 shots.

                                          While here are some drinks you can try to relieve symptoms of Anemia, it’s best to do a blood test and consult your doctor in case of any hidden medical conditions.

                                          10. Cancer

                                          While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surround tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

                                          Diagnosis is usually by biopsy and treatment often focusses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery— and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

                                          Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

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