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Braces Friendly Recipes

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Strawberry No-Bake Cheesecake

Even though June is technically strawberry month, we can't help but grab for these sweet red berries all summer long. They are cool, delicious and they don't hurt your braces!

1 pound fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 (5 ounce) box Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Wash, core and slice strawberries.  Sprinkle strawberries with sugar and toss to coat.  Set aside. 

In a tall mixing bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Once trails begin to form, turn the mixer off and add powdered sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.  Place whipped cream in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

In a medium mixing bowl combine cream cheese, milk, vanilla and lemon juice.  Beat with an electric mixer until mixture is smooth.  Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Place cookies in a blender or food processor to crush.  Blend on low until you have all cookie crumbs.  Pour into a small bowl and combine with butter.  Mix until all cookie crumbs are moist.

Divide cookie mixture into 4 dishes (we used mason jars).  Gently pat cookies down with a spoon or your fingers. 

Add cheesecake filling, divided evenly between jars.  Top with ¼ of strawberries in each jar. Add a dollop of whipped cream.

Refrigerate 2 hours, or until ready to serve.  (cheesecake keeps for several days in the fridge, covered).

Braces Friendly Frightful Finger Cookies

Our team knows how tempting this time of the year can be on our sweet tooth. With all of the caramel, candy corn, and lollipops that are often passed around to trick-or-treaters, we realize that it can sometimes be hard to find hard, chewy, sticky, and crunchy candy alternatives.

However, there is good news! Check out this recipe featured on our fall 2015 newsletter, a great braces-friendly Halloween recipe, courtesy of the American Association of Orthodontics, or AAO, and “The Braces Cookbook” by Pamela Waterman. This Frightful Finger Cookies recipe is delicious, and provided that you remember to brush and floss after indulging, this is a cookie that won’t bite back!

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup almond slices, or whole almonds
1 tube red decorating gel
1 tube green food coloring (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 325°F. Beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla. Slowly beat in the flour, baking powder and salt. If you want green finger cookies, add drops of green food coloring to dough until you achieve a nice deep green color. Divide the dough into four equal parts, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Take one quarter of the dough at a time from the refrigerator. Break off one heaping teaspoonful and roll it into a finger shape. Squeeze in around the middle of the finger to create a knuckle shape. Then, using a butter knife, make indents in several places to resemble a finger. Repeat with rest of dough. Place cookies on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes – let cool. Then, squeeze red decorating gel onto the tip of each finger and gently press an almond on top so the gel oozes out from underneath. Remove cookies from baking sheets and let them cool on wire racks.
Recipe recommended by the American Association of Orthodontics

Braces-Friendly Soft Pretzels

Love pretzels, but find that they are a little to hard on your braces?  Check out this awesome recipe featured in our 2015 Winter Newsletter for warm and soft braces-friendly pretzels.  Yum!

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2007

Your kids (or you!) will go ape for this delicious Banana Bonanza Smoothie. Best of all, it’s high in calcium (great for young teeth and bones) and easy to make and great for you.

Banana Bonanza Smoothie (makes one 8-ounce serving)

4 ice cubes
1 ¼ cup low-fat chocolate milk
1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon wheat germ

Place the ice cubes, chocolate milk, banana chunks and wheat germ into a blender. Blend together on medium speed until smooth (about 20 seconds), making sure all ice chips dissolve. Pour into a tall glass, and enjoy! If you can’t eat them, cream them. That’s the motto of fruit-loving braces-wearers everywhere who keep their tin grins great by liquefying hard-to-chew fruits.

Funky Fruit Punch (makes one 8-ounce serving)

1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks
½ cup fresh berries (frozen berries work, too)
1 cup pineapple, grape or orange juice.

Place all of the ingredients into a blender. Blend together on medium until smooth (about 30 seconds). Pour contents into a pitcher, and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Pour into a tall glass, and enjoy!

Craving potato chips? Nix your fix with these Perfect Potato Pancakes, a healthy snack that tastes even better with a dollop of applesauce.

Perfect Potato Pancakes (makes 6 medium pancakes)

1 egg
½ teaspoon salt
½ diced small onion
1½ tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 cup milk
1½ cups cubed raw potatoes
Non-stick vegetable spray

Place all of the ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth (about 20-30 seconds). Coat a frying pan with the non-stick vegetable spray, and place over medium heat. Pour a portion of the pancake batter into the frying pan. Cook until the underside is golden brown, about two minutes. Turn the quesadilla over with a spatula. Continue to cook, until the bottom turns golden brown, about two minutes. Cook until the underside is golden brown, about two minutes. Turn the quesadilla over with a spatula. Continue to cook, until the bottom turns golden brown, about two minutes. Using a spatula, place the potato pancake on a plate. Repeat directions for the remaining batter. Salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to top the potato pancakes with a dollop of apple sauce.

Looking for a healthy alternative to the fried fish sandwiches found at most fast-food joints? Try serving your child our Crispy Oven Baked Fish Filets—we think they’ll get along swimmingly.

Crispy Oven-Baked Fish Filets (serves two people)

1 pound fresh or frozen fish fillets (cod, orange roughy or trout works great)
Non-stick vegetable spray
1 tablespoon lemon juice Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup bread crumbs

If using frozen fish fillets, thaw thoroughly. Cut the fillets into the serving-size pieces of your choice. Coat a shallow backing dish with the non-stick vegetable spray; then place the fillets in the greased baking dish. Sprinkle the filets with the lemon juice and salt and pepper. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low-medium heat. Add the flour to the butter, and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the milk, and cook until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Pour the butter mixture over the fish fillets; then top with the bread crumbs. Bake uncovered at 350°F for 30 minutes or until the fish starts to flake easily. Using a spatula, place the fillets on a plate, and serve warm.

Make everyday Thanksgiving with this palate-pleasing Peerless Pumpkin Pie. Turkey and cranberry sauce are optional.

Peerless Pumpkin Pie (serves 8)

1 9-inch pre-made graham cracker crust
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin filling
1 5-ounce package of instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin filling, pudding mix, milk and pumpkin pie spice. Beat until blended (about 45-60 seconds). Fold in 1½ of the whipped topping. Spoon the pumpkin mixture into the graham cracker crust. Place the pie in the freezer for two hours or until firm. Move the pie from the freezer to the refrigerator; store there for another hour before serving. Top the pie with the remaining whipped topping. If you’d like, garnish with fresh fruit (such as raspberries) or shaved chocolate.

Valentine’s Day “Braces-friendly” Cupcakes from Gina 

cupcakeWith Valentine's Day looming on the horizon, everyone is scrambling for the perfect way to say, "I love you", even the Team at Southeast Orthodontics. Traditionally, one of the most popular gifts on Valentine's Day is chocolate. There's a good reason – chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine, the same naturally occurring amino-acid released when we fall in love. If you or someone special wears braces, go all out and make a special chocolate Valentine’s Day treat that is "brace safe". (Remember to stay away from sticky, chewy and hard foods to prevent damage to your appliances. This includes many valentine chocolates with nuts, caramel, toffee, and nougat.) 

Below is a sweet and delicious recipe that our team member, Gina, likes to make for her loved ones. Gina just started her own cupcake business called “Gina’s Sweet Surprises.” (Tip: you can check out her Facebook page here


1 1/2 cups flour 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/3 cup cocoa powder 
1/2 cup oil 
1 cup water 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1/2 cup frozen whole strawberries, thawed 
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold 
Pinch coarse salt 
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted 
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 

Directions Cake: Mix all ingredients together until moist and well blended. Put in cupcake cups and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees F. 
Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. Beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree, mix until just blended. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream. Garnish with a chocolate covered Strawberry for an extra treat! 

Just as a reminder, chocolate may be good for your heart and sweet tooth, but it is definitely bad for your teeth… so don’t forget to brush and floss afterwards.

Strawberry Freeze

½ cup plain non-fat yogurt
2 T non-fat dry milk powder
½ cup orange juice
1 ¼ cups frozen or fresh strawberries
½ medium banana, ripe, cut into chunks
2 packets sugar substitute or more to taste
Dash of vanilla extract
3 ice cubes

Place ice cubes in blender first. Add remaining ingredients. Process on low until ice begins to blend into mixture. Increase speed to high and process until smooth. Pour into chilled glass and enjoy!!

Sore Teeth Baked Potato Soup

3 strips bacon
2 T. butter
3 T. flour
3 cups milk
grated cheese
1 ½ t. salt
¼ t. pepper
5 potatoes – boil, peel, diced
2 T. minced onion
Fry bacon with onions together – save grease. Place 1 T bacon grease in double boiler in which butter has been melted. Blend in flour and add milk, stirring constantly. Cook until smooth and thickened. Add salt and pepper, then cooked, diced potatoes, onion and crumbled bacon. Stir- garnish with grated cheese as served.