3 Mouth-Happy Memorial Day Dips

Memorial Day is right around the corner and we’re excited to celebrate! We’re ready to hang out with our families, play some outdoor games, and maybe even watch some fireworks. But we’re most excited about our Memorial Day dips, which are delicious and promote good oral health! Below are a few recipes that will tantalize your taste buds without damaging your teeth.

1 – French Onion Dip

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small white onion, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 sprigs of fresh Thyme
1 1/2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 Tablespoon onion powder
1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in a non stick pan over medium heat and add onions and the whites of the scallions. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are brown and soft, about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine onions with Greek yogurt, onion powder, garlic powder, scallion greens, and the thyme leaves. Stir well to incorporate.
3. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour, and then sample it. Salt and pepper to taste.

What makes it mouth-healthy?
Greek yogurt is a dental super food. It keeps your teeth strong by providing high amounts of calcium, and it’s also a great source for healthy bacteria called probiotics, which help slow the growth of bad bacteria that causes cavities.

2 – Sage Hummus

Ingredients:
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup tahini with some of its oil
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 cloves garlic, peeled with the ends removed
7-10 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1/2 Tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 Talespoon smoked sweet paprika, plus a more for garnish
Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley leaves for garnish

Directions:
1. Put everything except the parsley in a food processor and blend. After blending for a minute, turn off the processor and remove it from the motor. Scrape the hummus down toward the blade to ensure a more creamy consistency. Add a bit of water as needed to allow the machine to produce a smooth puree.
2. Sample and season to taste. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top, and add a dash of salt, pepper and paprika to the top.

What makes it mouth-healthy?
Protein rich chickpeas don’t contain any saturated fat or cholesterol, making hummus a good choice for your overall health. Chickpeas are also rich in folic acid, which keeps your mouth healthy by promoting cell growth throughout your body.

3 – Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
2 cups plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
3 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, grated
1 14 oz can quartered artichoke hearts in water, drained and coarsely chopped
3/4 Cup of pickled banana peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed, drained and dried
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Directions:
1. In a mid-sized pot over medium heat, add the butter and garlic. Sautee the garlic until fragrant, about one minute. Then, melt together the cream cheese, Greek yogurt and parmesan cheese, stirring frequently until it’s at an even consistency.
2. After it begins to bubble, stir in the artichoke hearts, banana peppers and spinach. Let it bubble for a few minutes, stirring occasionally and seasoning to taste.

What makes it mouth-healthy?
Outside of the Greek yogurt benefits mentioned above, spinach and artichoke dip contains a lot of cheese, which helps fight cavities by promoting saliva production. Cheese also contains casein, a protein that helps protect the surface of your teeth.

Bonus dipping tip!

Replace chips, crackers and bread with vegetables like celery, carrots and cucumbers. Fresh vegetables are better for your overall health, and they won’t stick to your teeth like starchy carbs typically used as dippers. If you crave the crunch of chips, try to use whole grain crackers, which often have more nutritional value than regular chips.

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