Smile Snacks for Your Football or Oscar Party

by MikeMeehan 1/31/2018 11:07 AM

Whether you’re hosting an awards show party or throwing a game-day bash, you can help your friends take care of their smiles as well as their taste buds. Reconsider the trend Rosé, champagne and prosecco may be a trendy choice and a fun idea for an award show party or to celebrate your favorite team winning the big game, but these drinks can be hard on tooth enamel. Prosecco, champagne, and rosè have high acid levels, so opt for sparkling water or even a dry martini instead. Cheese – both appetizing and helpful A fancy cheese tray – or even just slices of good ol’ cheddar – is an easy choice. It can also protect your teeth if you do decide to indulge in champagne and the other celebratory drinks described above. Cheese is always a crowd pleaser, and you can dress it up with a charcuterie board including prosciutto, salami and chorizo. Throw in some healthy garnishes, such as almonds and pickles, and you’ve got a spread that’s sure to impress. But skip the crackers and crostini. Foods that are high in carbohydrates break down into sugars that can harm your enamel just like the sugars in cookies and candies. A veggie tray will save the day Instead of opening a bag of chips, which are also high in carbohydrates and starches, put a veggie tray on the menu. Vegetables will provide the same satisfying crunch your guests crave while keeping their smiles healthy. If you’re looking for something different than the usual celery, carrots and broccoli, try parsnips, jicama, snap peas, artichokes and asparagus. Berries for sweetness For a little something sweet, opt for berries drizzled with dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has lower sugar content than milk chocolate and white chocolate, so it’s a good choice for dessert.

Wellness Wednesday Recipe: Healthy Carrot Muffins

by MikeMeehan 4/12/2017 10:54 AM

Searching for a healthy Easter snack? The Easter Bunny and your kids will love these whole-wheat carrot muffins.  Ingredients 1¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour 1½ teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 2 cups peeled and grated carrots* (that's potentially a lot of carrots—about 3 large or up to 6 small/medium) ½ cup roughly chopped walnuts ½ cup raisins (I like golden raisins), tossed in 1 teaspoon flour ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup maple syrup 2 eggs, preferably at room temperature 1 cup plain Greek yogurt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (also called raw sugar), for sprinkling on top Instructions Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. If necessary, grease all 12 cups on your muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray (my pan is non-stick and doesn’t require any grease). In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Blend well with a whisk. In a separate, small bowl, toss the raisins with 1 teaspoon flour so they don't stick together. Add the grated carrots, chopped walnuts and floured raisins to the other ingredients and stir to combine. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oil and maple syrup and beat together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then add the yogurt and vanilla and mix well. (If the coconut oil solidifies in contact with cold ingredients, gently warm the mixture in the microwave in 30 second bursts.) Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a big spoon, just until combined (a few lumps are ok). Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with turbinado sugar. Bake muffins for 13 minutes, or until the muffins are golden on top and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool. If you have leftover muffins, store them, covered, at room temperature for two days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Freeze leftover muffins for up to 3 months. Recipe and photo credit: http://cookieandkate.com/2015/healthy-carrot-muffins-recipe/

Wellness Wednesday Recipe: Guaca-Bowl-e Nachos Stadium

by MikeMeehan 2/1/2017 11:17 AM

Looking for a healthy snack to munch on during the big game? This Guaca-Bowl-e Nachos Stadium Recipe will be the life of party. Ingredients 8 ripe fresh avocados, peeled and pitted 1/2 cup lime juice 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced 1 large clove garlic, minced Salt and pepper to taste 1/3 cup sour cream 5 black olives, pitted 8 baby carrots 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro, reserve 10 additional leaves for garnish 1 bag (13 oz.) tortilla chips 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar or jalapeño jack cheese 2 small bell peppers, different colors, seeded and cut into small squares to resemble flags 4 radishes, thinly sliced 3 scallions, thinly sliced Instructions 1. Heat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl combine 7 avocados, lime juice, onion, jalapeño pepper, and garlic. Mash to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the guacamole into a 6-cup rectangular dish (or aluminum foil carry-out container); smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. 2. Place the dish of guacamole in the center of a large platter or tray. Scoop the sour cream into a small plastic bag. Snip a tiny piece from the corner; pipe lines on the guacamole to resemble a football field. Pipe lines on one olive to resemble a football; place in center of the field. 3. Pare down one end of each of 4 baby carrots and fit one end of each carrot into one of the remaining black olives to make football players with helmets; press “players” into the field. Slice remaining 4 carrots crosswise and reserve for garnish. 4. Sprinkle the edges of the guacamole with chopped cilantro. 5. Place half of the tortilla chips on two large foil-lined, baking sheets. Top with half of the cheese and bell peppers. Top with remaining chips, cheese and peppers. Bake 3 to 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. 6. Working quickly, place the tortilla chips around the guacamole, mounding them up on the outside edges to appear as stadium seating. 7. Sprinkle chips with radishes, remaining cilantro leaves, baby carrots and chopped scallion. Cube remaining avocado; add to nachos as garnish. Recipe and photo credit: https://www.avocadocentral.com/avocado-recipes/super-guacabowle-nachos

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