Check out this delicious and mouth-friendly fall feast!

When you think of fall meals, a traditional Thanksgiving spread may come to mind. But Thanksgiving is just one day out of the season, and there are plenty of other opportunities for a delicious family meal!

Here are recipes for four courses that’ll leave your bellies happy and your mouth healthy. From apple to pumpkin to rosemary, these dishes are bursting with fall flavor. And as an added bonus, each recipe contains items that you can pick up ahead of time and store in your freezer or pantry. That means less last-minute grocery shopping and more time to enjoy your family and your meal.

Appetizer: cheese board

 

 

Appetizers are a fun and delicious part of a prepared meal, but it’s no fun to fill up your stomach early and have no room for the main course. Fortunately, this sweet and savory combination of cheese, fruit and nuts leaves plenty of room for the entrée. You can easily customize this dish with what you have on hand — just try to avoid adding starchy or sugary items that could hurt your teeth, such as crackers or jam.

Health benefits:

• Apples have more than just a satisfying crunch. They also help you fight cavities.

Almonds are an excellent source of antioxidants that help protect your body and reduce the risk of disease.

• Cheese is rich in calcium that helps keep your teeth and bones healthy.

Ingredients:

Blueberries (If you can’t find fresh berries, you can thaw frozen ones.)

Apples (Fall is the perfect season for fresh apples.)

Assorted cheeses (For a milder taste, try mozzarella or a young cheddar. For more intense flavors, try aged cheeses or blue cheeses)

Nuts, especially ones that are higher in fiber such as almonds

Directions:

1. If you use frozen berries, you can thaw them by placing the unopened bag of frozen fruit in the refrigerator overnight or placing the bag in a bowl of cool water for 10 minutes until the berries are thawed. Don’t use warm or hot water, as this can cause the berries to expel their juice and shrivel up!

2. Slice the apples and cut the cheese into bite-sized pieces.

3. Place the apple slices and chunks of cheese on a large board.

4. Add small bowls of nuts and blueberries.

Shopping tips:

Unopened hard and soft cheeses are freezer-friendly. In fact, hard cheeses can last up to eight months in the freezer!

 

 

Main dish: roast beef

 

 

Getting delicious flavor from beef doesn’t require fancy tricks. Simply using salt, pepper and herbs can transform your meat into a tender, juicy roast that’s full of flavor. Choose your favorite cut — whether that’s top round, sirloin or eye of round — to make this hearty meal.

Health benefits:

• Beef is packed with protein and phosphorus that can strengthen your teeth.

Thyme fights bacteria in your mouth and helps ward off bad breath.

Ingredients:

4-pound roast (top round, sirloin, eye of round, etc.)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon rosemary

1 tablespoon thyme

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper (freshly ground is ideal)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.

2. Combine the olive oi and spices in a small bowl. Rub the mixture on the beef.

3. Place the beef in an oven-ready pan and roast for 15 minutes at 450 degrees F. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and roast up to two hours more, depending on how well done you’d like your meat to be.

4. Let the roast sit for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

Shopping tips:

Buy the meat in advance and freeze until you’re ready to cook. Uncooked roasts can last up to a full year in the freezer. (But watch out for power outages!)

 

 

Side dish: Roasted Brussels sprouts

 

 

Adding veggies to your meal doesn’t have to be boring or bland. Roasting Brussels sprouts with some Parmesan cheese gives them a delightful crispiness and creates a tasty side dish.

Health benefits:

• Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin K, which supports the health of your jaw bone.

• Parmesan has very little lactose, making it a great source of calcium and protein — even if you're lactose intolerant.

Ingredients:

24 ounces of fresh or frozen Brussels sprouts

⅓ cup olive oil

½ teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

1 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated cheese is ideal. Prepackaged cheeses may include additives such as titanium dioxide or cellulose powder that may alter flavor or texture)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Place the Brussels sprouts in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and add the spices. Toss the sprouts until they’re fully coated.

3. Spread the seasoned Brussels sprouts in an even layer on a nonstick baking sheet. Roast them for 10 minutes.

4. Remove the sprouts from the oven. When they’re cool enough to handle, cut each one in half and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

5. Return to the sprouts to the oven and shake the pan every 15 minutes until the edges of the Brussels sprouts are brown and crispy. This can take up to another 40 minutes.

Shopping tips:

Freshly grated Parmesan can be stored in the fridge for up to three weeks. Frozen Brussels sprouts taste great and have just as many nutrients.

 

 

Dessert: pumpkin cheesecake mousse

 

 

Try this pumpkin cheesecake mousse for a light, fluffy and creamy end to your meal that’s perfect for the season. Few desserts are both tasty and good for you, but this one has no added sugar, is low in carbs, and is both gluten free and keto friendly!

Health benefits:

• Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A, helping keep your gums and other soft tissues in your mouth healthy.

Cream cheese contains riboflavin, which also keeps the inside of your mouth healthy.

Ingredients:

16 ounces cream cheese

15 ounces canned pumpkin

2 cups heavy cream

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1-2 teaspoons sugar substitute (such as stevia or xylitol)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sugar-free whipped topping

Directions:

1. Blend cream cheese and pumpkin in a large bowl until smooth.

2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and whip until fluffy.

3. Add sugar substitute to taste, if desired.

4. Scoop into individual bowls or serving glasses..

5. Chill for an hour before serving.

6. Add a dollop of sugar-free whipped topping and serve.

Shopping tips:

Canned pumpkin can be purchased throughout the year, so stock up! You can store cream cheese for up to two months in your freezer without sacrificing flavor.

Even if you have a hard time getting together with loved ones this holiday season, you can still enjoy a virtual meal together, and that’s something everyone will smile about!

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