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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.

        https://www.flickr.com

          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.

            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.

              https://www.flickr.com

                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.

                      https://www.flickr.com

                        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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                                          Last Updated on August 20, 2018

                                          35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

                                          35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

                                          Every mature relationship has had a less-than-memorable anniversary. Maybe one of you forgot, or both of you got busy with work, kids, family issues, or something else. Whatever happened, the day came and went without fanfare. And neither of you seemed to notice or much care.

                                          But for the health of any relationship, it’s important to make important days feel special. Anniversaries offer the wonderful opportunity to relive beautiful memories, practice gratefulness for your partner, and to show your love and strengthen your bond. Make this year’s anniversary with your significant other something special  — one that will bring you closer together.

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                                          The best way to create a memorable anniversary is to do something new and different together as a couple. Stretch yourselves a bit.

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                                          While boredom can silently kill a relationship, new experiences reinforce the shared bond you already have and create strong new memories. Just think back to the most significant memories you have right now with your spouse and imagine what new ones you can create!

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                                          While you enjoy your chosen anniversary activity, be sure to keep a positive attitude and make your partner happy too on that day. Leave all arguments and day to day detail behind. Just celebrate your relationship. Whether you’re going to spend the day together at home, getting away, or having a wild and crazy new experience together, you can have your best anniversary yet!

                                          If You’re Staying In

                                          1. Spend an evening with no technology, just the two of you and maybe a board game. It’s hard to keep ourselves away from our computers and smartphones long enough to have a meaningful conversation. Make a rule not to use your tech and you’ll rekindle your relationship!
                                          2. Make wine or beer together. If you enjoy drinking together, this is a fun activity to try together. Just remember to buy the necessary equipment ahead of time.
                                          3. Learn something new about each other. With an open mind, try asking some of the New York Times’ 36 questions that lead to love. They’ll help spark intimacy and will lead to some really honest moments.
                                          4. Have a lazy day. Breakfasts in bed, spend all day in bed talking and napping. Follow breakfast with champagne and dessert! If you feel like getting more active, cook together or play some games. Here’re some simple breakfast ideas for you.
                                            • Learn to dance at home. This is best for those active couples who work out together and also enjoy learning something new together. Just go on Youtube to find any music with dance tutorials and learn together.
                                            • Visit model homes or open houses and plan your dream home.
                                            • Have a special dessert – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Having an unusual treat makes a day feel extra special. If you want to make the dessert really special, try these tasty dessert recipes.
                                            • Create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. Choose songs that tell your story, and songs that you bonded over throughout your relationships. Here’re some love songs ideas for your inspirations.
                                              • Write your love story. Write it together or ave each of you write your own and then bring them together in an interesting, both sides of the story format.
                                              • Get a fondue pot. Fondue is a fun way to enjoy melted cheeses (for savory items) and melted chocolate (for sweeter treats).
                                              • Decorate! Turn your home into a dressed-up french cottage, a sophisticated restaurant, or simply with flowers. The different ambience will immediately change the feel of your home and make it feel like a staycation.
                                                • Talk about the future together. It might sound simple and everyday, but imagining how you want to spend your retirement together, or planning future trips can be exciting and romantic.

                                                If You Want to Get Away

                                                1. Take a day trip together to your favorite spot. If you live in a city, it can be incredibly refreshing to get away for an afternoon and drink in the outdoors.
                                                2. Go on a scenic drive and stop at a wine and cheese bar. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have lots of options where you live, try a brewpub. There are tons of small craft breweries with fantastic food options too.
                                                3. Go camping. Relatively affordable and, if the weather’s right, beautiful and romantic.
                                                  • Take an overnight backpacking trip. For the more adventurous couples, backpacking is an even more intense way to challenge yourself physically while becoming one with nature.
                                                  • Take a wine tasting tour. If you live on the West Coast or in the Northeast, take a drive to the nearest winery. Many offer relatively inexpensive tastings and deals if you purchase a certain amount.
                                                  • Take a scenic train trip. Taking the train means less stress traveling: nobody has to drive, you don’t have to stop for breaks every few hours, and you can sleep if you need to!
                                                  • Save up for a destination vacation. What better time than your anniversary to enjoy the beach at a beautiful resort?
                                                  • Explore a new city. Whether you’re on a budget or have a lot saved up, you can have a great time just exploring an unfamiliar town.
                                                  • Rent a cabin for a weekend away, in the woods or next to a lake or ocean. If you like the outdoors but can only take so much nature, try glamping.
                                                    • Go on a retreat. Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, beautiful natural surroundings … they’re all the rage. Search for centeredness and calm with your partner.
                                                    • Spend a day at a food festival. Many cities have fun and affordable food festivals, occasionally based on a theme. Check out your town’s (or a nearby city) calendar for inspiration!

                                                    New & Exciting Experiences

                                                    1. Go spelunking. Dark, damp, and utterly exciting!
                                                    2. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Because the basket is relatively small, this can be a romantic and deeply personal – and yet thrilling –
                                                      experience.
                                                      • Try sky diving. If you and you S.O. are real thrill-seekers, sky diving can really push you to the edge!
                                                      • Explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. This may take you far away from where you normally live and work, which is an added bonus.
                                                      • Experience white water rafting.
                                                      • Drive or hike to the highest spot nearby for a new view of the world. America has tons of beautiful mountains where challenging hikes (or drives) can deliver breathtaking views.
                                                      • Take a craft or cooking class. Up your craft skills or food  making skills, and enjoy something new!
                                                        • Take a wine and painting class today. These classes are easily found these days and even a beginning painter can create a nice painting. Challenging but relaxing, fun, and you get to go home with some artwork!
                                                        • Learn to salsa dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to actively get closer and coordinate physically with one another.
                                                          • Visit a nearby festival you’ve always wanted to go to. Have fun and let go with fellow audience-members!
                                                          • Spend the day at an amusement park together. Laugh and carry on like teenagers.
                                                          • Meet new people! At a restaurant, concert, or class, make it a point to meet new friends. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know – but with whom you have shared interests – can be an adventurous and rewarding experience.

                                                          Whether your budget is big or small, and whether you have a little or a ton of time together, focus on each other. There are tons of options, in terms of location, level of physical activity, and cost. You can make the day special in a way that’s right for you!

                                                          Featured photo credit: Photo by Taylor L. Spurgeon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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