Try These Delicious Holiday Dishes To Help Maintain a Healthy Smile
One of the best parts of the holidays is the great food. Many families have made baking or cooking together a holiday tradition this time of year. Cooking meals together is a great way to spend time together as a family. Baking sweets and such can help to brighten smiles and spread joy to everyone. Unfortunately, too many sweets or certain foods can also be doing damage to some of those smiles. Instead, take the time to seek out holiday recipes that will please your family and your dentist.
Here are some excellent recipes that are not only delicious but also healthy for the whole family. It is important to remember that your oral and general health doesn’t take a holiday, even if you do! Substitute some of your favorite holiday dishes with these healthy alternatives. Your dentist will thank you!
1. Mashed Sweet Potatoes (Makes About 6 Servings)
This is a great choice to for the holidays and it can even replace two dishes! It is overall healthier than traditional mashed potatoes and exposes your precious tooth enamel to fewer sticky-sweets than candied yams. Plus, it is easy to prepare, which makes it a hit with younger children who enjoy helping out in the kitchen.
- 6 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
Begin by boiling a large pot of water. Add salt to help bring the water to a rolling boil. Then, place the potatoes in the boiling water, reduce the heat, and cook them for 20 to 30 minutes or until a fork goes through them easily.
Remove the sweet potatoes, place them into a large mixing bowl, and begin mashing together. An electric mixer is recommended. Slowly incorporate the milk until you get the desired consistency. Once achieved, you can fold in the butter and maple syrup to taste.
2. Algerian Carrots (Makes About 6 Servings)
Carrots make for an excellent holiday dish because not only can they be delicious, but they are also great for your dental health. Carrots can cause you to produce saliva, which helps to clear out damaging bacteria in the mouth. Not to mention, they can help to scrub your teeth, too. Talk about a versatile side dish!
- 1 ½ cups water
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Insert a steamer into a medium saucepan and fill it with enough water to cover the bottom, about 1 ½ cups, and cover it. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and then add the sliced carrots. Reduce the heat to medium and cover again. Steam the carrots until they are tender (but not mushy), about 4 to 6 minutes depending on thickness. Reserve 1/2 a cup of the water.
In a separate bowl, combine the salt, pepper, cinnamon, cumin, garlic, and thyme. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add in garlic and the spice mixture, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant. Stir in the reserved cooking liquid, a bay leaf, and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the carrots and stir well to coat evenly with the spice mixture. Cook the carrots for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until completely heated through. Remove the bay leaf and finish with lemon juice.
3. Spinach and Artichoke Dip
This popular dip is jam-packed with healthy components that can contribute to both dental and general health. The calcium in milk and cheese and build stronger bones and enamel and leafy greens like spinach are an excellent source of vitamin and minerals. You might want to check your teeth before any pictures, but this dish is sure to be a hit among all ages. For a fun spin, try this tree-shaped frittata recipe!
- 1 (8 ounces) package cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 (12 ounces) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 (10 ounces) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess water removed
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Begin by preheating your oven to 400°F. Coat your baking dish with a nonstick cooking spray or butter. In a mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise.
Once combined, stir in the artichoke hearts, spinach, and the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into the coated baking dish and spread evenly. Cover the mixture and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cheese is gooey and bubbly.
4. Fresh Pear Slices with Honey Yogurt Dip
Dessert can be a tumultuous time for those who want to avoid heavy sugars and sweets. Instead of turning to traditional desserts like apple pie, try a fresh fruit alternative. Fresh fruits are a natural source of sweetness and pears can help to neutralize acid on your teeth. Pears are a seasonal fruit but this favorite can be made year round with similar ingredients.
- 2 cups yogurt
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Pear (or assorted fruits)
This is an easy and effortless recipe that takes only minutes to make and can provide a delicious favorite that everyone will enjoy. In a serving dish, combine yogurt, honey, and cinnamon in small bowl and stir well to blend. Chop up the pear and arrange it on a platter. Place the bowl in the center of the platter and enjoy.
Don’t Forget To Visit the Dentist!
Taking measures to incorporate healthy dishes into your holidays as well throughout the year is an excellent way to help maintain your oral health. However, it is only a supplementation and it is important to remember that you should still brush, floss, and visit the dentist regularly!
At Beaufils Dental, we offer complete health dentistry services throughout the year to help patients maintain and improve their dental health. Together with his dedicated staff, Dr. Beaufils delivers comprehensive dental procedures to all members of the family. Contact us today at 954-252-1390 to schedule an appointment at our Cooper City office.