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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.

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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.

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                          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.

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                                    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.

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                                          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 December 2, 2019

                                          10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

                                          10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

                                          Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

                                          In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

                                          These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

                                          1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

                                          Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

                                          But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

                                          Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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                                          2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

                                          You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

                                          The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

                                          3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

                                          If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

                                          Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

                                          If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

                                          4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

                                          Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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                                          To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

                                          In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

                                          5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

                                          We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

                                          If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

                                          Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

                                          “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

                                          6. Give for the Joy of Giving

                                          When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

                                          One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

                                          So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

                                          7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

                                          Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

                                          Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                                          8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

                                          When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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                                          So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

                                          9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

                                          Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

                                          It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

                                          It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

                                          10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

                                          There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

                                          But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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                                          Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

                                          More About Living a Fulfilling Life

                                          Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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