Better Nutrition

Orange blossom water

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Orange blossom water is a fragrant, easy way to make simple foods seem downright exotic. Also called orange fl ower water, it's traditiona­lly made by distilling Seville orange blossoms. To make a simple DIY version: add 6– 8 drops of pure essential oil of sweet orange to 4 ounces of distilled water. Shake well and store in the refrigerat­or in a small glass jar. Because it’s so intense, use orange blossom water carefully, or your recipe will taste perfume- y and annoying, not intriguing. And try these fi ve ideas: Add 1 tsp. orange blossom water, ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, and 2 tsp. honey to a cup of boiling water for a traditiona­l Lebanese white coffee.

Soften 1 pint of vanilla or dairy- free ice cream. Stir in 2 Tbs. orange blossom water and ⅓ cup toasted pistachios. Refreeze until firm.

Mix 2 tsp. orange blossom water, ¼ tsp. cardamom, and 1 Tbs. honey into cup soft goat cheese. Stir well, stuff into 16 pitted Medjool dates, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

Add 1 tsp. sugar and 1 tsp. orange flower water ( or rose water) to 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream. Beat with an electric mixer until peaks form and use as a topping for fresh blackberri­es or other fruit.

Combine 2 cups cooked basmati rice with tsp. turmeric, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 2 Tbs. butter, 3 Tbs. orange blossom water, and ¼ cup each of toasted slivered almonds, dried cranberrie­s, and raisins.

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