Hey there, everyone! Get ready for a veggie adventure that’ll have you grinning from ear to ear. We’re about to dive into the world of our little superheros!
Let’s kick it off with our little green pals, peas! These humble goodies, whether fresh or frozen, are nutritional powerhouses that work wonders for your overall well-being and give your pearly whites a reason to shine. But hold on tight because we’re not stopping at peas alone. We’ll also explore other tooth-friendly heroes like carrots, kale, and beetroots, packed with vitamins, fibre, and minerals. Let’s get cracking and discover why these supercharged veggies are the real deal when it comes to your oral health.
So, buckle up and get ready to uncover the dental wonders of our favourite winter veggie picks. We’ll show you how these tooth-friendly powerhouses can keep your oral health in tip-top shape while adding a touch of fun to your meals. It’s time to embrace the joy of healthy eating and let these veggie superheroes bring a smile to your face. Are you ready for the tooth-friendly adventure ahead? Let’s get munching!
No matter how different our little sweet peas may be, they all have one thing in common: a deep love for peas! These tiny wonders are small but mighty, bringing a nutritious punch to your plate. They’re like the superheroes of the veggie world, saving the day with their tooth-friendly superpowers. Whether you’re chomping on snap peas or regular peas, these green gems work their magic in more ways than one.
The Nutritional Powerhouse of Peas
When it comes to nutrition, peas are the real MVPs. These tiny green wonders are packed with a treasure trove of vitamins, minerals, and fibre that make them a nutritional powerhouse. From vitamin C to vitamin K, folate, and fibre, peas offer a wide array of nutrients that are not only beneficial for overall health but also play a crucial role in the major development of growing kids.
- Let’s start with vitamin C, the superhero of immune support. Peas are surprisingly rich in vitamin C, which helps strengthen the immune system and ward off pesky colds and infections. This essential vitamin also promotes the production of collagen, a protein that supports the growth and repair of body tissues, including bones, cartilage, and skin.
- Another nutrient that peas excel in is vitamin K. This often-overlooked vitamin is vital for bone health and development. By working in synergy with vitamin D, vitamin K helps regulate calcium absorption and ensures that it finds its way to the right places, such as the bones.
- Peas are also a fantastic source of folate, a B-vitamin that plays a crucial role in cell growth and division. Folate is especially important during periods of rapid growth, such as pregnancy and childhood. It supports the formation of red blood cells and DNA, contributing to healthy cell function and development.
- Fibre, the unsung hero of digestive health, is abundant in peas. This dietary fibre is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system and regular bowel movements. It helps keep things moving smoothly and aids in the absorption of nutrients. For kids, who are often picky eaters, peas provide a convenient and tasty way to increase their fibre intake, promoting healthy digestion and preventing constipation.
These little green gems are not only delicious and versatile but also offer incredible benefits for your teeth and gums.
Whether you’re munching on snap peas for their saliva-stimulating benefits or adding regular peas to your favourite recipes, both varieties offer incredible advantages for your oral health. They act as nature’s floss and toothbrush combination, scrubbing away plaque build-up, promoting saliva production, and keeping your teeth and gums in top shape. Embrace the tooth-friendly power of peas and let these little green wonders contribute to your dazzling smile and overall oral well-being.
Peas, those little green powerhouses, are not only packed with nutritional benefits but also bring incredible versatility to our everyday meals. From salads to stir-fries, peas can easily be incorporated into a wide range of dishes, adding a burst of flavour and a dose of goodness. One of our favourite pea recipes is a simple yet comforting Sweet Pea Chicken Broth, perfect for those cosy winter evenings. Let’s dive into the recipe and discover how this tooth-friendly dish can warm both your body and soul.
But first, let’s start with the foundation of this dish – the Simple Chicken Stock. This stock, prepared in advance, forms the base for our flavourful broth. Here’s how you can make it:
Simple Chicken Stock
(Prepared in advance!)
- 2 large free-range, hormone-free organic chickens (1.5kg – 1.8kg each)
- 2 large brown onions
- 2 celery stalks, plus the leaves, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed with the skin on
- 1 bunch of parsley stalks, tied together with kitchen string
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 6-8L filtered tap water (depending on your pot size)
- Fill an extra-large pot with water.
- Remove the chicken breasts and skin from the chickens, saving it for another meal, and place the carcasses in the pot.
- Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic cloves, parsley stalks, bay leaves, sea salt, and peppercorns to the pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 6-8 hours on low.
- Strain the meat and vegetables, dividing the stock into containers for storage in the freezer or immediate use.
Note, you can leave the thigh and drumsticks on if you’re planning on using it in a dish like our sweet pea chicken broth!
Be sure to have some disposable gloves handy to pull off most of the chicken meat remaining on the carcass to use your soup. Dispose of any excess skin.
Now that we have our homemade chicken stock ready, let’s move on to the Sweet Pea Chicken Broth:
- 1 small brown onion, finely diced
- 2 cups shelled or frozen peas
- 2 cups chicken meat picked off the bone
- 2L chicken stock broth
- 1/2 cup rice or risoni
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- White pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese to serve
- Cook the rice or risoni separately according to the packet instructions.
- Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium to low heat.
- Add the diced onion and cook gently until translucent, without browning.
- Add the peas and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until tender
- Pour in the chicken stock broth and bring it to a boil.
- Add the chicken meat and cooked rice or risoni to the broth. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Stir the ingredients together and allow them to come together for one minute before turning off the heat.
- Serve the Sweet Pea Chicken Broth with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top.
There you have it – a bowl of sweet winter comfort! This nutritious and tooth-friendly dish combines the goodness of peas, chicken, and homemade stock, creating a warm and satisfying meal. The peas not only add a vibrant pop of colour but also bring their fibrous goodness, promoting oral health by naturally scrubbing your teeth and breaking up plaque build-up. So, embrace the versatility of peas in your everyday meals and indulge in the delightful flavours they bring to the table.
Exploring Other Tooth-Friendly Veggies: Carrots, Kale, and Beetroots
But wait, there’s more to this tooth-friendly party! We’ve got other veggie superheroes joining the fun. Carrots, kale, and beetroots are here to save the day too, offering a bounty of vitamins, fibre, and minerals that your body craves. From the crisp crunch of carrots to the leafy green goodness of kale and the vibrant hues of beetroots, these versatile veggies bring a burst of flavour and nutrition to your plate.
The Constance of a Carrot
Carrots, with their vibrant orange hue, are not only visually appealing but also packed with nutritional value. These crunchy root vegetables are rich in vitamin A, which plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Chewing on carrots stimulates saliva production, which helps wash away harmful bacteria and neutralise acid in the mouth. So, next time you reach for a carrot stick, know that you’re not only indulging in a delicious snack but also giving your teeth a natural cleansing session.
The Constance of a Carrot in your diet offers several benefits for teeth and oral health. Here are some of the key advantages:
- Natural abrasiveness: Carrots are crunchy and firm, which makes them effective in mechanically cleaning the teeth’s surfaces. When you chew on carrots, their texture helps remove plaque and food particles from your teeth, acting as a natural toothbrush.
- Increased saliva production: Chewing on carrots stimulates saliva production. Saliva plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health by neutralizing acids, washing away debris, and aiding in the remineralisation of tooth enamel. The increased saliva flow can help protect your teeth from decay and cavities.
- Nutrient content: Carrots are rich in essential nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, and fibre. Vitamin A is important for maintaining healthy tooth enamel, while vitamin C supports gum health. Fibre-rich foods help stimulate saliva production and promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the mouth.
- Dental-friendly properties: Carrots contain antioxidants, particularly beta-carotene, which may help reduce inflammation and support gum health. Additionally, they are low in sugar, which is beneficial for overall oral health, as sugars can contribute to tooth decay and cavities.
- Satisfying alternative: Carrots can serve as a healthier alternative to sugary snacks and desserts that are harmful to dental health. Choosing carrots as a snack can help satisfy your cravings while providing nutritional benefits to your teeth and body.
While carrots can be beneficial for oral health, it’s important to remember that they shouldn’t replace regular dental hygiene practices. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups are still crucial for maintaining optimal oral health.
Apart from their eye-catching orange hue, carrots provide a plethora of nutritional advantages. They are an excellent source of vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining good vision and promoting healthy skin. Moreover, carrots are packed with antioxidants that aid in reducing inflammation and safeguarding cells from harm. Integrating carrots into your meals can be as effortless as incorporating them into salads or enjoying them roasted as a delightful side dish.
To showcase the tooth-friendly potential of carrots, we have a delightful recipe for you: Take Carrot of You Honey. As a Smiley Dentist, it’s my take on how I take care of you!
Take Carrot Of You Honey
- 500g bunch of fresh carrots
- 1 large clove of garlic, smashed
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 heaped tablespoon pure honey
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
- Peel the carrots and leave about 1cm of stem for garnish if desired.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once it starts foaming, add the smashed garlic and swirl it around for 30 seconds.
- Add all the carrots to the saucepan and let them cook in the infused butter and garlic. Cover the pan partially with a lid to allow some steaming. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, depending on the size and desired crunchiness of the carrots. For me I like a bit of bite to it as a smiley dentist should!
- Once the carrots are slightly tender, add the honey, salt, pepper, and thyme. Increase the heat to high for about 1 minute to char the carrots slightly.
- Turn off the heat and serve this tooth-friendly dish, taking care to brush your teeth soon after enjoying the honey, as it can stick to your teeth.
The King Of Kale
When it comes to oral health superfoods, kale takes the crown. This leafy green powerhouse is a rich source of fibre, minerals (including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus), and vitamins (such as vitamin K, A, C, and various B-vitamins). The abundance of calcium in kale helps in strengthening tooth enamel, while the vitamin C contributes to healthy gums.
Kale is the King when it comes to leafy green vegetables, offering several benefits for teeth and oral health. Here are some of the key advantages:
- High in vitamins and minerals: Kale is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium. Vitamin C supports gum health and helps prevent gum disease, while calcium and magnesium are crucial for maintaining strong tooth enamel.
- Alkaline properties: Kale has an alkaline nature, which means it helps balance the pH level in your mouth. Acidic foods and drinks can erode tooth enamel over time, but consuming alkaline foods like kale can counteract the acid’s effects and protect your teeth.
- Antioxidant content: Kale is rich in antioxidants, including beta-carotene and vitamin K. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and promote gum health. Inflammation in the gums can lead to gum disease, so consuming foods like kale that combat inflammation can be beneficial.
- Fibre content: Like carrots, kale is a fibre-rich food. Foods high in fibre stimulate saliva production, which helps wash away food particles and neutralize acids in the mouth. This can contribute to better oral health and reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease.
- Low in sugar: Kale is a low-sugar food, which is advantageous for dental health. Consuming foods low in sugar reduces the risk of tooth decay and cavities, as harmful bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and produce acids that attack tooth enamel.
Incorporating kale into your diet can be as simple as adding to a salad, or cooked dish, or even whipping up a batch of Kale Me Silly Crisps. Here’s the recipe:
Kale Me Silly Crisps
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 heaped cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Wash the kale well, then remove the leaves from the stem and trim them into large bite-sized pieces.
- Use a salad spinner to remove excess water from the kale. If you don’t have a salad spinner, you can let the leaves drain on tea towels for about an hour or pat them dry without damaging the leaves.
- Prepare four large baking trays by lining them with baking paper and preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
- In a large bowl, mix the kale, olive oil, and grated Parmesan cheese until well coated.
- Place the coated kale pieces on the lined trays and put them in the oven.
- Bake for around 15-20 minutes, keeping a close eye on them to avoid burning. The goal is to achieve a crispy texture without overcooking them.
- Once they are ready, remove the crisps from the oven and let them cool. Enjoy the tooth-friendly goodness of these kale chips as a tasty and nutritious snack.
Introducing Unbeatable Beets!
As a Smiley Dentist, it may seem surprising for me to advocate for beets, but I can’t help but include them in my winter veggie picks of superheroes. Allow me to explain why!
- Vitamin C content: Beetroot is packed with vitamin C, a crucial nutrient for gum health. Vitamin C plays a vital role in maintaining the integrity of gum tissue and preventing gum disease.
- Antioxidant properties: Beetroots are rich in antioxidants like betalains and polyphenols, which possess remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. These antioxidants help to reduce gum inflammation, contributing to improved gum health.
- Fibre content: Another reason to love beets is their high dietary fibre content. This fibre promotes saliva production, which in turn helps to neutralize acids, cleanse the mouth, and remove food particles. By doing so, it reduces the risk of cavities and promotes overall oral health.
- Natural teeth staining properties: While not traditionally considered a benefit for teeth, it’s interesting to note that beets contain natural pigments that can temporarily stain the teeth. Some people even opt for beetroot as a natural alternative to commercial teeth-whitening products. However, it’s important to exercise moderation as excessive consumption or prolonged contact of beetroot juice with the teeth may result in more stubborn staining. So, remember to use beetroot for this purpose in moderation.
It’s worth mentioning that beetroot is naturally sweet and contains sugar. Although the sugar content in beetroot is not excessively high, it’s essential to practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth after consuming beets or any other foods that may stain or contain sugar.
Including natural fresh beetroot into your diet over the options in a can or jar will give you remarkable benefits and a very satisfying feeling of achievement. Allow me to let you in on a little secret, it’s so easy to do. Read on to see just how simple it is to roast up some beets. This is just unbeatable! You get wholesome ingredients into your diet for very little effort!
Un-beet-able Roasted Beetroot
- Around 5 small to medium beetroots
- ½ tsp salt, add pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Line baking tray with baking paper.
- Scrub the beetroots under running water with stainless steel scrubber or dishwashing brush until clean, dry them.
- Trim top and bottom of the beetroot, followed by cutting into wedges around 2cm in thickness.
- In a medium size bowl, add oil, salt and pepper and toss together until well coated and spread beets out onto the tray.
- Place in the oven for approximately 40 minutes until they can pierce through firmly with a fork.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, followed by peeling off the skin off each beet by removing with fingers. Note, this step is optional, but I prefer it.
I can’t stop here without sharing an exceptionally tasty un-beet-able winter salad incorporating these roasted beets now can I?! So here we go!
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dijion mustard
- 1 tbs maple syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 small clove of garlic bashed with side of a knife
Whisk all ingredients together until well combined and infused, set aside.
- Roasted beetroot wedges
- 1 small fennel, cut in half, sliced wafer thin. Note, reserve some of the top leaves of the fennel for garnish.
- 100g Danish fetta, cut into small cubes
- 1/3 cup roasted, salted, de-shelled pistachios
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
Assemble the salad, place the beetroot and fennel on a large serving platter, scatter the fetta, pistachios, spring onion on top, followed by drizzling the vinaigrette. Gently toss to coat.
Note, if you don’t require all of the vinaigrette then simply place in the fridge for another use. Just try as you go for the perfect amount of dressing.
Now, for the wrap up, we’ve explored the nutritional powerhouse of peas, their tooth-friendly qualities, and their role in promoting oral health and overall well-being. We’ve also delved into the versatility of other tooth-friendly veggies like carrots, kale, and beetroots, discovering their unique benefits and delicious culinary possibilities.
As you may have picked up on already, there is a common thread across all these winter veggies as they pack a punch when it comes to vitamins, minerals, and fibre. They contribute to major body development in kids and promote healthy teeth and gums. Whether it’s the high vitamin A content of carrots, the oral health superpowers of kale, or the vibrant antioxidants found in beetroots, these veggies have something special to offer.
So, whether you’re enjoying a comforting bowl of homemade chicken pea broth or savouring the crispy kale chips or honey-glazed carrots, these tooth-friendly options can make your meals nutritious, flavourful, and enjoyable.
Let’s celebrate the versatility of these veggies, embracing their tooth-friendly qualities while exploring new recipes and culinary adventures. By incorporating peas, carrots, kale, and beetroots into our everyday meals, we not only nourish our bodies but also take care of our oral health.
Remember, these tooth-friendly options are not limited to a specific season, although they do provide comfort in winter and can be enjoyed all year round. Go ahead, get creative in the kitchen, involve your little sweet peas in the cooking process, and discover the joy of preparing and savouring these delicious and tooth-friendly meals together.
Incorporating peas, carrots, kale, and beetroots into your diet is a fantastic way to add a burst of flavour, nutrition, and oral health benefits to your meals. So, let’s celebrate the goodness of these veggies, making them an essential part of our tooth-friendly eating habits.
Here’s to the peas in a pod and the tooth-friendly veggies that bring smiles to our faces and health to our mouths. Let’s keep exploring, discovering, and enjoying the wonders of nature’s dental delights!