dentist milwaukie oregon

Same Spring, Different Veggies

What’s one critical aspect of preventative dental care? Diet. As the premiere dentist Milwaukie Oregon has, Dr. Sue Walker, is committed to helping our patients follow a healthy diet that supports their best oral health. Fortunately, with Spring right around the corner eating healthy is easier than ever– in the Pacific NW, the Spring season is defined not only by a welcome change in the weather, but with an abundance of fresh food.

Asparagus and radishes may be some of your favorites, but if you’re looking to branch out, here are some new and interesting fresh foods to integrate into your healthy diet!

Pea shoots

Start enjoying your pea plants right away with crisp cool shoots. This delicious part of the pea plant is often overlooked in favor of its fruit, but in reality your young peas can be a part of your salads from spring-time on! Just clip off a few healthy looking shoots and toss with the rest of your salad greens.

Garlic scapes

Even though we live in the foodie saturated Portland, garlic scapes have yet to leave farmer’s markets and enter the arena of your standard grocery store. Here’s what you need to know about this mouthwatering green: the stalk of garlic planted in October, a garlic scape has a pleasingly whimsical shape and tastes crunchy and garlicky without being overwhelming. They require only the simplest preparation if necessary: a quick saute and you can add them to a savory dish or as a side.

Cardoons

Another fun looking vegetable, cardoons are closely related to artichokes and are native to the same Mediterranean region where they were first domesticated. In fact, another common name for the cardoon is Globe artichoke. While you can eat the flowering bud of this plant just as we do with artichokes, cardoon stalks are eaten far more commonly. Underneath their fibrous outer layer is a delicious vegetable that tastes faintly of artichoke and can be cooked almost any way, from roasting to frying.

Nopales

Nopales are prickly pear cactus– the edible kind. Enthusiasts compare its flesh to that of okra, and while, with the magic of global imports, it is available year-round, nopales are in-season come mid-Spring. Once removed of the prickly outer rind, their fleshy pads are can be eaten raw or cooked and make an authentic addition to tacos, tamales, or other traditional Mexican fare.

Rapinis

This fun vegetable wears a few different hats: it looks like tiny broccoli, is related to mustard greens, and goes by another name– rabe. It is a traditional ingredient in many italian dishes and is served lightly sauteed with butter, garlic, and tossed with fresh pasta.

These veggies won’t just make you smile– they’ll keep you smiling!

Spring vegetables and fresh foods are a critical part of supporting oral health. Water rich vegetables stimulate saliva, while the high fiber content cleans teeth and gums. Vegetables are rich in the vitamins and minerals we need to keep our gums healthy and our teeth strong.

Help us get the kick-start back into your healthy diet with these and more spring eating tips. Call to schedule your next appointment today!

 

 

Photo Credit: Fluffymuppet via Compfight cc

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