Toothsome Veggies

by March 15, 2012
filed under Life
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Toothsome VeggiesSo there I was, lying back in a leather recliner, thinking long and deeply about this week’s column. And it came to me that perhaps I ought to focus on dental health this week. It helped that the leather recliner was at the dentist’s office, and when you’re receiving a root canal, there’s not much to do besides think.

We’ve all been well-educated on what sorts of food are bad for your teeth. Candy, pop, anything sugary or carbonated. My dental hygienist went on a rant about pop while I was getting my checkup, during which I learned it’s one of the absolute worst offenders.

But which foods are good for your teeth? In truth, the world is full of delicious things you can eat that contribute to dental health. Foods rich in calcium are a must. Your body uses calcium to build and strengthen your teeth. I think most of us knew that.

But what I didn’t know until my hygienist told me was that your teeth need more than just nutrients. Your teeth are a living part of your body. They have nerves and blood vessels, and good circulation to your teeth is vitally important. All that calcium won’t do you a bit of good if it’s not getting where it needs to go!

The absolute best foods for stimulating circulation to your gums and teeth are raw vegetables. They require mild effort to chew, and they are firm enough to massage your gums as you eat. In addition, veggies are high in fiber and contain no processed sugars, making them excellent for the rest of your body, too.

Raw veggies are delicious, but just about everything is better with a sauce to dip it in. So here is a lovely, creamy, dairy-based dill dip to make those raw veggies into an even more satisfying snack. It’s also one one that will help steer you away from your own meditation session in a dentist’s chair!

Note: This recipe is vegetarian friendly but not vegan-friendly. Low-fat cream cheese and sour cream work just fine.
Credit: Allrecipes.com

Creamy Dill Dip

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill OR ½ tablespoon dried dill
½ tsp minced garlic
2 tablespoons milk

Blend the cream cheese and sour cream with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in green onions, salt, dill and garlic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to blend flavors. If dip is too thick after chilling, stir in milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the consistency you want.


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